Gov. Beshear: State Continues to Expand Testing to Protect Kentuckians
On Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the expansion of testing sites across the state will help Kentuckians get the care they need and help the state better track and control the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
“Yesterday with our drive-through testing, we had the single best day we’ve had here in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “And, this is really important because if we want to move from healthy at home to healthy at work, we’ve got to increase our testing capacity. It gives us more data about how we are going to respond, where our hot spots can be and we will learn more about how many asymptomatic people are there out there.”
Gov. Beshear said testing has increased by more than 40% in the past week. New testing sites are located in Cadiz, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Mount Vernon, Murray and Louisville.
Testing Sites and Eligibility
In addition to some health care facilities, Kentuckians can now be tested free of charge for COVID-19 at:
Kroger Drive-Through Testing
Throughput of 300-330 tests per site per day
All Kentuckians are eligible to be tested at Kroger sites
Louisville (Jefferson County) – FULL for next week
Testing conducted Monday, April 27- Friday May 1 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Hand sanitizer and face mask to be distributed at the site
Lexington (Fayette County) – FULL for next week
Testing conducted Monday, April 27- Friday May 1 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Hand sanitizer and face mask to be distributed at this site
Owensboro (Daviess County) – Limited availability
Testing conducted Tuesday, April 28- Thursday April 30 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Bowling Green (Warren County) – FULL for next week
Testing conducted Tuesday, April 28 - Thursday April 30 from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Walgreens Drive-Through Testing
2296 Executive Drive, Lexington, KY 40505
Seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
First responders/healthcare workers without symptoms and anyone over 18 years old with symptoms
Walmart Drive-Through Testing
2020 Bashford Manor Lane, Louisville, KY 40218
Starts Wednesday, April 29, open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Seven days a week
First responders/health care workers without symptoms and anyone over 18 years old with symptoms
Must sign up at doineedacovid19test.com
Kentucky Dept. for Public Health and Christian County Health Dept.
Tie Breaker Park, 9503 Eagle Way, Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Open to first responders, health workers and anyone else with symptoms, screening on site
Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky
101 Town and Country Lane, Hazard, KY 41701
Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Open to everyone, screening on site
Murray Calloway County Hospital
803 Poplar Street, Murray, KY 42071
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call (270) 753-0704 to request an appointment
Open to first responders, health workers and anyone with symptoms
Rockcastle Regional Hospital
145 Newcomb Ave., Mt. Vernon, KY 40456
Monday, April 27 to Friday, May 1, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Open to everyone, must register at (606) 256-7385
Trigg County Primary Care Clinic
214 Main Street, Cadiz, KY 42211
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Open to everyone over 5 months, registration on site
Unemployment insurance update
Today, Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development Josh Benton provided an update on unemployment insurance claims in the commonwealth.
“We are ahead of the curve compared to other states as, at last check,” Benton said. “That does not diminish the fact that we have not helped every Kentuckian yet that has applied for unemployment insurance.”
Phone System Update
In two weeks, the state has gone from receiving and responding to 1,200 calls per day to over 50,000 per day.
1,000 people answering phones and working on claims
15 people addressing the backlog of unpaid claims
250 people working on adjudication, appeals, e-claims, etc.
200 people working on Tier 2 and 3
Over 20 staffers from three different Cabinets and the Governor’s Office are helping
Total number of claims since March 16: over 550,000
Total amount paid to Kentuckians since April 5: approaching $1 billion
Week of March 12: 306,267
Week of March 19: 293,231
Update on voting in primary election
Today, Governor Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced new voting guidelines for the June primary.
“We appreciate the Secretary of State and the fact that what we have done here isn’t partisan, it isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing, it’s what is required to respond to a worldwide health pandemic. It’s just about doing the right thing so thank you very much,” the Governor said.
“What the Governor believed and what I believed, of course, to do was to negotiate something in advance – well in advance – of the June 23 election as early as possible, so we could make sure the rules of the game were in place,” Secretary Adams said. “We wanted to make sure the rules were negotiated by people of both parties, the State Board of Elections, which is a bipartisan body, Democrat governor and a Republican secretary of state, so we could have broad public consensus that these were the rules of the game and they were fair.”
Gov. Beshear said both arts organizations and local public safety and governments were receiving federal funding made available in response to COVID-19. Separately, the Governor said the President has authorized assistance for certain Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides beginning Feb. 3, and continuing through Feb. 29, 2020.
Guidance on reopening for health care providers and facilities
Thursday, Gov. Beshear announced that Monday, April 27, the state will begin the gradual restart and reopening of our Phase 1 health care services and facilities, although they will operate vastly different than they did before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019.
Today, the Governor commuted an additional 352 sentences. All of those who were commuted were serving sentences for non-violent, non-sexual offenses and had 5 years or fewer remaining on their sentences.
“This isn’t something we take lightly but we know that this virus can get in these facilities,” the Governor said. “And we’re taking similar actions that we see governors all over the United States doing.”
339 of those commuted were state inmates serving their sentences in local jails who have medical conditions that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified as making them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
13 of those commuted were state inmates in both jails and state prisons who are over age 65, another risk factor identified by the CDC.
As with the previous commutations, these commutations are conditional. Those who are commuted cannot have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 when released, they must have a verifiable residence to be released to, they must self-quarantine for 14 days after release to ensure they do not have COVID-19, and they must not commit other crimes during their period of release.
The Governor said an individual incarcerated at Green River Correctional Complex passed away this morning after spending 11 days in the hospital after battling COVID-19. The 59-year old man was admitted to the hospital April 13 and tested positive for COVID-19 the same day. His family has been notified but out of respect for their privacy and the HIPAA Privacy Rule, we are not identifying his name.
He was serving a 15-year sentence out of Taylor County and had approximately eight years left to serve of his sentence. Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble provided a video on the steps taken at Green River Correctional Complex.
“By following medical advice and the CDC guidelines we are applying a two-step protocol to address this problem,” Secretary Noble said.
“The first step is an expansive sanitization. Bleach cleanings of the building are done multiple times daily. Masks have been distributed and both officers and inmates are required to wear them. And officers are required to wear gloves. When officers begin their shift, their temperature is taken and they are checked for other coronavirus symptoms,” she added. “The second step is controlled containment. In controlled containment, no outside visits are allowed. The seven dorms are separated and the inmates spend the majority of the day in their cells.”
The Governor announced that all inmates at Green River Correctional Complex will be tested for COVID-19.
Healthy at Work
The Governor’s chief of staff and general counsel, La Tasha Buckner, said the state is continuing to update the website, HealthyAtWork.ky.gov, to make the process more clear. The administration is also continuing to talk with mayors, county judge-executives, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and local chambers.
“We want to make sure we get the best input on how to do this right,” Buckner said. “The process is about being safe and doing it right, not being first. And as the Governor says, we’re going to get through it together and we’re going to reopen Kentucky together.”
As of 5 p.m. April 24, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 3,779 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 322 of which were newly confirmed. Today marks the highest number of cases reported in one day.
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear also reported nine new deaths Friday, raising the state’s toll to 200 deaths related to the virus.
“It’s now 200 souls, 200 we have lost to this virus,” the Governor said. “I will say that’s far less than we thought we would have lost to date. Far, far less. But that’s too many.”
The Governor said that every decision we make matters.
“Let’s be smart and do the right things. Let’s make sure as we take steps to reopen that we don’t increase that count. Our job is to protect one another. We’ve come too far to stop,” he added.
The newly reported deaths include a 93-year-old woman from Graves, an 82-year-old woman from Graves, a 74-year-old man from Shelby, an 89-year-old woman from Adair, a 79-year-old woman from Jackson, an 88-year-old woman from Graves, a 90-year-old woman from Hopkins, a 54-year-old man from Hopkins and a 59-year-old man from Muhlenberg.
At least 1,341 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Kentucky.
To date, at least 44,962 people have been tested. At least 1,143 people have ever been hospitalized with 303 currently hospitalized.
At least 575 have ever been in the ICU with at least 164 people currently in the ICU.
Gov. Beshear also offered an update on the racial breakdown of COVID-19 patients and victims, which unfortunately highlights existing disparities in health and health care access.
The Governor said with about 78.78% of the known cases accounted for, 76.21% of Kentuckians who tested positive were white, 13.09% were black or African-American, 5.72% were Asian, 4.90% were multiracial and 0.08% were Native American or Alaskan Native.
The Governor also said with about 73.87% of the known cases accounted for, 92.06% of people who tested positive were non-Hispanic and 7.94% were Hispanic.
On fatalities attributed to the coronavirus, with about 86.00% of the known cases accounted for, Kentucky deaths are about 79.65% white, 17.44% black or African-American, 1.74% Asian and 1.16% were multiracial.
On fatalities attributed to the coronavirus, with about 83.00% of the known cases accounted for, Kentucky deaths are about 98.80% non-Hispanic and 1.20% Hispanic.
The Governor is asking all Kentuckians to continue to fight the spread of the virus by following his 10-step guidance, which includes practicing social distancing and staying healthy at home. Gov. Beshear says these efforts have the potential to save the lives of as many as 11,000 Kentuckians.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov
and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Watch the Governor’s social media accounts at 5 p.m. ET each day for his regular briefing. Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s press conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol
(Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations
(more than 20 additional languages).
The CDC encourages people to follow these steps to prevent illness. Kentuckians who want advice can call the state hotline at 800-722-5725 or call their local health care provider.
Team Kentucky hashtags for social media
#TeamKentucky, #TogetherKY, #Patriot and #HealthyAtHome.