Kentucky Moving Towards 100% Coronavirus Testing At Nursing Homes

May 8, 2020

Credit Governor Andy Beshear

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander are working to test 100% of the commonwealth’s long-term care facilities for COVID-19. Beshear made the announcement at his Friday press conference alongside additional guidance for the phased reopening of Kentucky’s economy. 

Friedlander said state officials are working closely with health departments and hospitals throughout the state to ramp up testing capacity, especially in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. A total of 86,428 Kentuckians have been tested for the coronavirus.

“We are improving and we have worked to improve,” Friedlander said.

Friedlander said the federal government is delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state’s nursing homes, in an effort to keep all facilities stocked with two weeks’ worth of the equipment. 

“If we’re gonna be healthy at work, we have to be doing significant testing all across the commonwealth,” Beshear said.

With Mother’s Day approaching, the state is offering resources for alternative visitation to long-term care facilities. This includes the use of technology for virtual visitation as well as in-person visitation through windows. 

With the first phases of Kentucky’s economic thaw slated to begin over the coming weeks, Beshear said the commonwealth’s unemployment trust fund is rapidly being depleted due to the severe economic strain in place because of the coronavirus. He said the state will have to “look at our options” to shore up the fund by the end of spring if the current economic trajectory is maintained. Those options could include borrowing money to offset the shortfall. 

Beshear confirmed 176 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, bringing the statewide total to 6,288. 369 virus patients are currently hospitalized with 210 in intensive care units.

The new cases come from Jefferson, Warren, Fayette, Kenton, Logan, Boone, Shelby, Daviess, Muhlenberg, Bullitt, Hardin, Butler, Campbell, Edmonson, Breckenridge, Floyd, Grant, Lewis, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Clay, Graves, Jessamine, Laurel, Leslie, Lyon, Meade, Mercer, Nelson, Oldham, Rowan and Russell counties.

Four Kentuckians died as a result of COVID-19 Friday. The total number of deaths statewide now sits at 298.

Up-to-date information on the coronavirus pandemic in the commonwealth can be found here.