Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on steps the state is taking to address the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“COVID-19 has been tough. It has changed so much about our daily lives. It has upended our economy, it has required us to sacrifice. It has taken the lives of so many of our loved ones, and it has tested our mental and emotional health. It has also taught us critical lessons: that we are compassionate people, that our ability to survive and thrive depends on each other, and that we Kentuckians are some tough people,” the Governor said. “It’s also taught us a critical and deadly lesson on the importance of health care. When we fail to provide our people coverage, we allow our population to suffer from diabetes, lung cancer and congestive heart failure. This pandemic shows us that the lack of good health care options makes us more vulnerable and less resilient.”

The Governor also offered new information on efforts to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to poll workers ahead of next week’s primary elections and new testing sites as part of the state’s partnership with Kroger. The Governor also made announcements about the Cabinet for Health and Family Services health care exchange and leadership at the Department for Community Based Services.

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 17, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 12,995 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 170 of which were newly confirmed Wednesday.

“We don’t want 170 new cases, but when you look at Arizona, a state that is one-and-a-half times our population, I believe, they had over 2,000 new cases yesterday. There’s only about a 20,000 difference overall in how many tests have been out there,” Gov. Beshear said. “So Kentuckians are doing a good job. But we’ve got to remember, what we see around us says it can come back very, very quickly.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported six new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 518 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Wednesday include a 71-year-old man from Clay County; a 90-year-old woman from Fayette County; and four women, ages 45, 87, 93 and 95, from Jefferson County.

“Let’s make sure we continue to turn on those green lights and ring the bells every morning at 10 a.m.,” the Governor said. “It’s something that’s brought us together as a people, but more important it’s something that’s been there for people at that tough time. It’s something small we can all do to lift someone up. It’s well worth it.”

At least 3,444 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

The Governor also shared a story of a remarkable recovery, as reported by WLKY.

“Let’s share a good news story. The story of Marilyn Newton. After a 58 day stay at Baptist Hospital in Louisville, she can now say she officially beat COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “She’s being transitioned to Kindred Healthcare for rehabilitation. Her daughter, Amber, said they were told she wasn’t going to make it. Amber and their family have a renewed sense of faith from their experience.”

PPE for Election Workers
Gov. Beshear directed his administration to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep voters and poll workers safe during Kentucky’s primaries next Tuesday.

“I encourage every Kentuckian to vote, which is their duty as an American, but we must take every precaution available to protect voters and poll workers exercising that fundamental right,” the Governor said. “We continue to take action to allow people to safely exercise their right to vote on Tuesday, including ensuring our poll workers have this protective gear.”

The Governor’s office is providing 5,000 masks, 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 5,800 face shields and 20,000 gloves for the June 23 election. The PPE will be distributed to all 120 counties.

Gov. Beshear, the Board of Elections and Secretary of State Michael Adams previously reached an agreement to allow Kentuckians to vote via absentee ballot ahead of the election to protect voters from COVID-19, but there will be in-person voting on Tuesday. To read the news release from earlier today, click here.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear said Wednesday that the state’s partnership with Kroger is bringing testing for coronavirus to several new locations.

Kroger will provide testing next week in Louisville, Lexington, Shelby County and Warren.

“Let’s make sure we fill every spot. Let’s not have any no-shows,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let’s make sure that we get as much testing as possible. We have the capacity, now we’ve got to have the will.”

Updated Guidance on Pools, Larger Gatherings
Gov. Beshear’s administration has offered updated guidance covering public pools and gatherings of up to 50 people.

More Information
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations​ (more than 20 additional languages).
 

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