By Mary Beth Sallee
Jobe Publishing Reporter
COVID-19 information is changing daily, including case statistics, government decisions, and state mandates. This story includes information that was relevant as of Monday afternoon, April 6.
One million. Let that number sink in for a second.
On April 2, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide hit a grim milestone of 1 million. By Monday night on April 6, the number of global infections continued to rise, bringing the total to 1,346,566.
One-forth – or 367,004 cases – are in the United States with the national death toll at 10,871.
The total number of COVID-19 related deaths worldwide have reached nearly 75,000. Italy has reported the highest number of deaths of any country thus far at 16,523.
As the pandemic continues, the question remains: Will you or someone you know become the next statistic? Your odds of contracting the virus increases significantly if you are not following guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC has stated for weeks to practice social distancing and stay at home unless traveling to an essential job or purchasing necessities from a grocery store or pharmacy. Most recently, the CDC has added another guideline: wear a mask.
Through continuous studies of the spread of the novel coronavirus, the CDC has learned that individuals with the virus can transmit the virus to others even without showing symptoms. A large portion of individuals with COVID-19 are actually asymptomatic, or lack symptoms. Even those who are pre-symptomatic, or eventually develop symptoms, can also transmit the virus to others before actually showing symptoms. It is believed that the virus can be spread into the air during even the mildest of coughs or sneezes.
To help slow the spread of the virus, the CDC is advising the use of simple cloth face coverings for the general public. Cloth face coverings can be made from household items or low cost common material such as t-shirts, bandannas, or dish towels combined with coffee filters and rubber bands or elastic.
According to the CDC, cloth face coverings should be washed regularly and removed very carefully by not touching eyes, nose, or mouth. Hands should be washed immediately after removing a mask.
However, the CDC states that cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under two-years-old or anyone who has breathing issues.
Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks and N-95 respirator masks. Those masks are critical supplies that must be reserved for doctors, nurses, first responders, and other health care workers on the front-line fight against the virus.
Despite wearing masks, the CDC is still emphasizing that individuals stay home as much as possible. Governor Andy Beshear is still encouraging this as well.
“This is our challenge. This is our calling. This is our time,” Gov. Beshear said during a press conference. “Other generations went to wars, went to other challenges with even more than this on the line. I know it is tough, but what is being asked of us is to follow rules and stay apart from each other.”
As of 5 p.m. on April 6, Governor Beshear announced there were at least 1,008 cases of the COVID-19 illness in the commonwealth. Of those cases, 54 were newly confirmed. Fourteen new deaths were also reported Monday, raising Kentucky death toll to 59.
Governor Beshear is continuing to ask that all Kentuckians continue to fight the spread of the virus by following his 10-step guidance plan. This includes practicing staying healthy at home. According to Governor Beshear, taking such efforts has the potential to save the lives of as many as 11,000 Kentuckians.