Gov. Andy Beshear reported two records for COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Monday, continuing a surge that led to his enactment of public safety restrictions last week.

The 2,135 new daily cases marked the highest total for a Monday since the pandemic started. Mondays normally have lower case totals due to labs not operating on weekends.

But recent weeks have seen Monday figures consistently rise.

“I'm tired of needing to report that,” Beshear said. “I'm fed up with watching our people suffer, knowing that every single day there exists a new record, more and more people will need to visit the hospital, people these days are likely to die.”

Beshear also announced a new weekly record of COVID-19 cases for that state. For the first time, there were more than 20,000 cases reported in Kentucky over the course of the week – a figure that easily shattered the previous record, Beshear said.

“That's [more than] 3,000 cases a lot more than the previous week,” Beshear said. “Do you remember how shocking it was whenever we had 3,000 cases in a single week?

“This is exponential spread. It'll, and it is, overwhelming us. This is exactly why we must do something.”

Last week, Beshear announced a number of new restrictions to limit multiplication of COVID-19. Those included the closing of indoor service at bars and restaurants, capacity limits in a number of venues, and also the transition to remote learning for schools.

The restrictions happen to be met with pushback from Republican state officials, plus some businesses and schools have announced they intend to defy the orders.

“Every day that people spend arguing with one another is really a day that we are not putting all of our efforts towards stopping herpes,” Beshear said. “Some of us can neglected, but it's not likely to ignore us.”

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack referenced a study showing how adherence to the restrictions could affect spread of the virus inside a 14-county region which includes Louisville. If everyone were to comply, almost 1,000 deaths could be averted by mid-January. Even low compliance could still prevent a lot more than 500 deaths.

“This is substantial,” Stack said. “Those measures, if they're followed, will have a profound impact and may really alter the trajectory of this, and completely avert the crisis of health care staffing and the harm that's caused with other men and women without COVID who aren't able to get care because COVID fills the hospitals, consumes all of the resources and also causes healthcare workers to visit out sick,” Stack said.

Beshear reported five additional deaths Monday. The positivity rate sits at 8.97%. A lot more than 1,500 Kentuckians have been in the hospital because of COVID-19, 391 are in the ICU, and 203 take presctiption ventilators.