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Large uptick in COVID cases reported Friday

The was a large jump in new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear said during his daily press briefing.

A total of 283 new cases were reported to state health officials, bringing the total cases to 9,464, and ending the streak of less than 130 cases per day that began on Monday.

“We’ll have to wait for the next few days, to see if it is just labs getting caught up from the holiday weekend or whether it is significant and something we’ll see moving forward,” Beshear said. “Previously, what we’ve seen is cases increase on Wednesday or Thursday. What we have to see here is since Monday the labs weren’t open, pushing the results into Friday.”

For the second day in a row, nine more deaths were also reported on Friday, making it 418 since the start of the pandemic. Six of the cases were reported in Butler County, two in Gallatin County and the other in Oldham County.

“These are nine families that need us to light up our home, places of business, places of worship, everywhere, green for compassion,” he said. “With all the events of the last couple days, compassion is something that we ought to have on full display, even when it’s hard.”

One of the events he referred to was Thursday night’s protest in Louisville over the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death at her home in March by police; for which Beshear has called for a full investigation.

“This is a very concerning shooting of an EMT, a young woman who worked to save lives of others here in Kentucky,” he said. “In a broader context, this pandemic we’re facing has laid bare the inequalities that still exist in our society and that many times are fatal.”

He noted the protest started peacefully and safely, with most people following CDC guidelines. “Then, I believe, some other folks came in late, about three hours in, and ultimately instigated actions, that were hard to watch.”

It led to seven people being shot.

“While I’m trying to provide the right words, I don’t claim to understand the depths of pain and frustration that I know so many people feel,” Beshear said. “I can’t. But what I can commit to do is to listen and to do my best; to tell you that I want to move this world into a better place.”

Beshear said there was no request to call the Kentucky National Guard to patrol the streets of Louisville, but Kentucky State Police would be standing by, if needed by Louisville Metro Police.

Beshear says he will not hold another briefing until Monday and is moving to a Monday through Thursday schedule. Next week’s briefings will be at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort.

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