At least nine new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the five-county Pennyrile Health District since June 19 including three each in Lyon and Caldwell counties. Meantime, the country’s highest-ranking Republican in Congress encouraged Americans to wear a facial mask as the number of cases surge nationwide.

The other new positive tests for coronavirus in the health district since June 19 included two in Trigg County and one in Livingston.

That brings to 78 the number of confirmed cases in the five-county Pennyrile Health District, including four deaths. The case breakdown by county is:

  • Trigg: 24, no deaths.
  • Lyon: 21, three deaths.
  • Caldwell: 15, no deaths.
  • Crittenden: nine, one death.
  • Livingston: nine, no deaths.

Joshua Ramage with Pennyrile District Health Department distributes a weekly update each Friday to the judge-executives in each of the five counties in the district, as well as other officials and media outlets. Since that update, Ramage has confirmed to The Herald Ledger two new cases in Caldwell and one in Lyon County.

According to Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White, the Lyon County patient had pretty much recovered by the time the test results were returned early this week.

There was also reportedly another new case in Crittenden County Monday, according to The Crittenden Press, but Ramage did not confirm that.

Statewide, Gov. Andy Beshear reported Monday at least 15,347 coronavirus cases in Kentucky since the pandemic began in late February. There have been 560 deaths in the state. Across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 2.5 million cases with 126,369 deaths as of Tuesday morning.

In a speech Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, did not mention President Donald Trump’s refusal to abide by the public health guidelines. Instead, the GOP leader joined those trying to set an example for a wary population that’s deeply divided over masks, which experts say is a simple and effective way to help protect the spread of the virus.

“We must have no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes,” McConnell said in the Senate.

He was careful not to confront Trump directly over bucking the health recommendations. But with an alarming surge in virus cases forcing a reversal of states’ efforts to reopen businesses and shops, it’s becoming clear to leaders that more public health guidance is needed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has mocked Trump’s refusal to wear a mask as a “vanity thing.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.