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Beshear Confirms 206 New COVID-19 Cases, Seven Deaths; Plan Presented For Nursing Homes

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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced 206 new cases of the coronavirus and seven newly reported deaths statewide related to COVID-19. Beshear said long-term care facilities in the state have seen significant increases in case numbers. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services presented an action plan to control infection in these care facilities.  

Kentucky now has 2,707,total reported cases, with 32,225 total people tested. 

“You're going to see that increasing a bunch when we have four sites up. Our drive thru sites have about a 48 hour return,” Beshear said. 

The total number of coronavirus deaths in Kentucky is 144. The number of Kentuckians recovered from coronavirus is 1,174 out of 2,707 cases. Beshear confirmed that is about a 46% recovery rate. 

Saturday was the second highest amount of newly confirmed cases in a day. Of the 206 new cases, 39 are out of Western Kentucky counties: 12 in Graves County, five in Hopkins County, four in Daviess, County four in Muhlenberg County, four in Union County, four inWebster County, three in Henderson County, two in McCracken County, and one in Todd County.

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At Green River Correctional Complex in Central City, the governor confirmed five new cases. All five cases are inmates. There are no new cases or deaths reported at Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville. Beshear said the largest increase in cases and deaths come from long-term care facilities. 

Among Saturday’s new cases and deaths, 40 more residents and six more staff members of long-term care facilities have tested positive for COVID-19. Three more resident deaths have been reported out of the facilities. 


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“Remember, this is what this virus is, and this is how devastating the virus can be. This is why we have made the sacrifices we have. These are big numbers,” Beshear said. “These numbers would be a lot worse right now if we hadn't shut down all visitation and if you all hadn't been out there, taking those steps and making the sacrifices that you are.”

Eric Friedlander is the secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. During the press conference he presented an action plan on how to decrease the spread of the virus in long term care facilities. Friedlander said maintaining non-infectious environments within care facilities is “the biggest challenge across this country” because of the way that they are designed.


“We focus on infection control. This is the most important thing that we have been focusing on. You've heard about medical students who volunteer to go into places to help support staff when they get overwhelmed,” Friedlander said. “Just now, we brought together a team of experts to help advise us and help advise facilities.”


Friedlander said these experts have looked at the unique features of these care facilities’ vulnerable populations. “When do you transfer somebody? When do you have somebody in a facility? When do you begin cohorting within a facility? These are all recommendations that are going to be up Monday and Tuesday,” Friedlander said.



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Saturday was the last day of drive-up testing in Kenton County. The testing was done through a partnership with Kroger. Kenton County administered over 212 tests on Saturday, bringing their total number of tests to 848 over the last four days. 

“At least as far as the state's concerned that's the most successful drive through testing today, but I think we can do even better,” Beshear said. “Starting on Tuesday, Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset, and Pikeville, will have drive-up testing that the state and Kroger are putting on.We need you to sign up.” 

 Beshear said he would like 1,000 tests to be done in each of the four locations.The governor said testing capacity plays an essential role in moving forward. 

“We're going to start seeing some small steps in the week ahead, but the White House came out and said you need 14 days of a decrease in the positive rate before you start engaging in any of these steps,” Beshear said. “We absolutely have to have increased testing capacity and contact tracing. This is where we're going to move into a new normal.”



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Beshear described the “new normal” as slowly reopening businesses. He said even if businesses are open, if individual tests positive for the coronavirus, they will need to do a 14-day self quarantine. Beshear said the 14-day self quarantine will likely be required for everybody that comes in contact with the infected person. However, there is a shortage of swabs needed to administer the tests, according to State Health Commissioner Steven Stack. 

“The challenge right now is there's a testing capacity in Kentucky that we can't use because we don't have enough swabs. So, it's not how many tests we can do theoretically. It's how much of the materials do we have to do a test,” Beshear said. “I was on a call with other governors this week, and in many places across the country, that is the challenge.” 

“People, let's make sure we keep our eye on the ball, that we realize lives are at stake, and that we are strong and resilient,” Beshear said. “If we're going to pass the test of humanity, it's not going to be easy.” 

 Steps The State Has Taken To Address COVID-19

  • License plate numbers of any individual attending in-person gatherings will be recorded by state and local officials. The residents will then receive quarantine notices in person from their local health departments.

  • Beshear issued an executiveorder limiting the number of people in stores that remain open. Only one adult per household should shop at one time.

  • The state is increasing unemployment hotline operators from 12 to more than 1,000.

  • The Department of Public Health is introducing a tiered system to streamline COVID-19 testing. Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack announced a partnership with 32 Kentucky hospitals to expand access to testing, especially in the rural parts of the commonwealth. 

  • Beshear issued an executive order commuting the sentences for 186 C and D felons.

  • Beshear has issued a 14-day quarantine for returning Kentucky residents who have left the state for reasons other than: caring for a loved one, going to the closest grocery store for supplies, parental visitation, going to work

  • State officials are moving ahead with plans to convert the Louisville Fairgrounds into a field hospital with at least 2,000 beds. Beshear said the state is working in conjunction with the National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers.

  • State officials banned overnight stays in state parks. Beshear said this includes campgrounds and lodges.

  • Beshear extended the policy of no in-person instruction in schools through at least Friday, May 1.

  • Beshear announced an executive order expanding travel restrictions to where out-of-state people travelling into Kentucky need to quarantine for fourteen days “wherever they’re coming.” People who are just stopping for gas in the state are not included in the order.

  • Beshear issued an executive order allowing critical workforce sectors to rehire previously retired workers to fill key roles.

  • Beshear issued an executive order easing restrictions on nurses who live out of state and making it quicker to obtain a license.

  • Beshear announced a new website portal to connect businesses interested in donating services or supplies with Kentuckians and Kentucky medical facilities in need.

  • Beshear asked mayors and county judge-executives to monitor people gathering in public places such as parks and stop them if people are not practicing social distancing and risking the spread of COVID-19.

  • Unemployment eligibility has been expanded to include individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance. This includes self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers and childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and nonprofits.

  • ?State officials have suspended evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency.

  • Beshear established a Team Kentucky fundto help provide financial assistance to Kentuckians whose employment has been affected by this virus. People can donate to the fund that will be overseen by the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet. Beshear said the fund will work like most popular fundraising platforms where people can “click a couple buttons and give instantly.” He said donations are tax-deductible. 

  • State officials created a COVID-19 reporting hotline for people to report situations and groups or organizations they believe are dangerous. Beshear said this could be groups not engaging in social distancing or businesses not abiding by CDC guidelines. The hotline is 1-833-KYSAFER or 1-833-597-2337. The hotline will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. by labor cabinet employees. People can also leave messages after hours. He said the hotline received roughly 2,000 last night.

  • Beshear said the state is taking “security measures” around hospitals to ensure safety. He said people will see additional law enforcement and National Guard around hospitals.

  • Beshear encouraged all radio and TV stations to do public service announcements. He said Kentucky needs more encouragement about social distancing and recommended stations pull information from the website.

  • The state is going to be conducting a survey of outpatient surgical centers for their supplies and staff. Beshear said it's something the state is doing so it can “marshal every single resource at a time of need.”

  • The state is closing non-essential retail businesses to in-person traffic. These include entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, shoes, jewelry, bookstores, florists, furniture and auto dealers. Beshear said these retail businesses can still do curbside and pickup and urged them to be “innovative.” He said stores unaffected by this order are grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, drug stores, liquor stores, hardware stores, agriculture supply and equipment stores and auto repairs and parts stores. Beshear said these stores still need to follow CDC guidelines and “spread people out.” He said auto dealers will still be able to provide repairs and parts and can only do sales if the interaction is complete online or over the phone. 

  • The state is mandating medical facilities cease elective procedures. He said the vast majority of providers have responded to the state’s recommendation voluntarily. 

  • Kentucky has issued a state of emergency that Beshear said will last until COVID-19 is “taken care of.”  He said the state’s emergency management operations center is up, as well as the state health operations center. 

  • The state established the COVID-19 hotline and a website providing updates on the virus for Kentuckians. People who are sick but would have not sought care should  contact their healthcare provider to prevent flooding of health care facilities. People who have questions about the virus call the COVID-19 Hotline at (800) 722-5725.

  • A price gouging order is in effect. Kentuckians who have any information regarding possible price gouging should dial (888) 432-9257 for the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection hotline.

  • Officials adjusted state government sick leave policy to ensure sick employees stay at home. Beshear said businesses should do the same. He encouraged all businesses to allow employees to work from home if at all possible. 

  • The state published CDC guidelines with warnings for sick individuals. Beshear said people over the age of 60 or people with heart, lung or kidney disease; compromised immune systems; or diabetes should be extremely careful and avoid places with crowds. He said Kentuckians should not fly if they don’t have to and that no one should get on a cruise ship.CDC guidelines say everyone should be engaged in social distancing.

  • Beshear issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees. He said the state has issued executive orders and worked in Medicaid to make sure COVID-19 testing and treatment is free.

  • Beshear signed an executive order to allow pharmacists to refill prescriptions for up to 30 days.

  • The state closed all state prisons to visitors.

  • Beshear said the state closed restaurants and bars to all in-person traffic, except for drive-thru, delivery and, in some instances, take-out.

  • Beshear said the state has limited visitation in “just about every type of facility that works with or for our seniors.” 

  • The state has recommended schools cease in-class activities, including in-person classes. Beshear said this has been extended to April 21 and, as of now, all school districts have complied.

  • Beshear said the state is making sure first responders and health care workers are covered through Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance. The insurance provides wage replacement benefits for first responders and medical personnel who have been quarantined for COVID-19.

  • Child care centers are closed with the exception of those helping healthcare workers and first responders. 

  • The state postponed primary elections, moving voting to June 23.

  • The state issued an executive order to close all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation.

  • Beshear said the state has waived the waiting period for unemployment insurance and continues to work to reduce the barriers to unemployment. Beshear said they are working on unemployment for independent contractors and small business owners.

  • The federal government’s Small Business Administration has granted Kentucky application to allow small businesses to get disaster loans. Beshear said SBA’s website is fixed and small businesses can now apply online for the disaster loans they need. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at

  • All Kentuckians on the Grand Princess cruise ship were brought back home.

  • The state provided a three-month extension on driver’s licenses.

  • Beshear said the state is extending Medicaid, SNAP and other benefits: “If it’s running out and you would have to reapply in the next couple of months, you don’t have to.” He said the state is re-upping people on those benefits for a three-month period.

  • The state has suspended all charitable gaming licenses. 

  • The state has issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings.

  • The state is delaying the tax filing deadline by three months from April 15 to July 15.

Sydni Anderson and Dalton York contributed to this post.

Hannah is a Murray State Journalism major. She found her place in radio during her second year in Murray. She is from Herndon, KY, a small farming community on the Kentucky/Tennessee stateline.
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