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Gov. Beshear: ‘I’m Grateful We Know How to Celebrate Safely’

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

Thanksgiving week could cause dangerous COVID-19 surge, but Kentuckians can prevent that

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear reminded Kentuckians that COVID-19 cases are already surging across the commonwealth and the entire nation. The virus’ exponential growth could accelerate further after the Thanksgiving holiday if our families don’t celebrate differently this year.  

“The number of people we lose is compounded when community spread is as high as it is and when it overwhelms the health care capacity of a state or region. This is happening in real time across the country,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s starting to happen here in Kentucky. If we do not stop the exponential growth of cases, we will exceed our health care capacity. We will experience more loss and more death than we have to.”

Kentuckians should avoid travel and only have dinner with people who live in their household, or at a maximum, people from two households (no more than eight people total).

“Protect your family at Thanksgiving this year so they will be here at Christmas next year,” said Gov. Beshear.

Just today, Ohio announced 98 COVID-19 deaths; Indiana announced 103; and Wisconsin announced 104.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Americans avoid Thanksgiving travel. In addition, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) recommends the following for celebrating Thanksgiving safely:

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases today: 2,690
  • New deaths today: 17
  • Positivity rate: 8.82%
  • Total deaths: 1,809
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,658
  • Currently in ICU: 390
  • Currently on ventilator: 207

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin and Madison.

The red zone counties for this week can be found here. Community leaders, businesses, schools and families in these counties should all follow red zone reduction recommendations.

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 90-year-old woman from Calloway County; two women, ages 64 and 81, and a 52-year-old man from Daviess County; an 81-year-old man from Hardin County; a 67-year-old man from Henry County; an 86-year-old woman and five men, ages 64, 67, 75, 76 and 88, from Jefferson County; a 78-year-old woman from Kenton County; a 60-year-old man from Martin County; a 90-year-old woman from McLean County; an 88-year-old woman from Metcalfe County; and an 81-year-old woman from Shelby County.

Finally, the Governor reminded Kentuckians that receiving one negative COVID-19 test result days before a gathering can’t guarantee that you won’t infect others at that event.

“It can take time for an infection to show up in a test,” said Gov. Beshear. “Please keep your Thanksgiving celebration as small as you can.”

KDPH especially advises against travel to any state with a positivity rate of 15% or higher. Currently, those states are: Wyoming (58.89%), South Dakota (44.14%), Iowa (43.14%), Idaho (40.12%), Kansas (38.23%), Pennsylvania (25.40%), New Mexico (23.87%), Missouri (22.59%), Alabama (22.15%), Utah (19.62%), Montana (18.71%), Arizona (18.54%), Mississippi (18.23%), Oregon (16.30%) and Ohio (15.87%).

More Information
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, new statewide requirements, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports and guidance, red zone counties, red zone recommendations, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit,

New requirements impact restaurants, bars, social gatherings, indoor fitness and recreation centers, venues and theaters, professional services and schools. See the full executive orders here and here.

Audio public service announcements about the new requirements (created in partnership with RadioLex) are published here in: Bosnian, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Russian.



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