Gov. Beshear announces 413 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths on Thursday

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 3:33 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - On Thursday, the governor announced 413 new cases in the state, bringing the state total to 21,083. He also announced 5 new deaths in Kentucky, raising the total number of deaths in Kentucky to 650.

LIVE: Gov. Andy Beshear gives update on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.

LIVE: Gov. Andy Beshear gives update on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. More>>

Posted by WKYT on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Beshear says today’s new cases include 13 kids under five - including two two-month-olds. “These kids are counting on us, too, to do the right thing,” said the governor.

The governor started his press conference with a call for the state to come together to battle the spread of COVID-19. “We have to have faith that we will get through this, and we will get through this together.”

The governor then spoke about other states in the U.S. and their struggles to control the virus. He says what we’re seeing in other states across the country is “alarming.” He referenced Florida’s hospital ICU capacity, saying “This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed.”

He also spoke about Arizona and Texas, pointing out that Arizona is only 1.5x larger than Kentucky. “They’re bringing in refrigerator trucks because they don’t have room in their morgues,” says the governor.

Beshear also talked about Alabama’s governor, a Republican, issuing a mask mandate like he did. “This is not political,” Beshear says.

The governor moved on to speak about legal challenges to his executive orders brought by Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “It’s truly frightening,” what the attorney general is trying to do in preventing the governor’s executive orders, says the governor.

Expressing his frustration with a move to block all executive orders, Beshear said, “No rules. Companies wouldn’t even have to sanitize or use hand sanitizer. No masks. Just the wild west. That’s terrifying. In the middle of a worldwide health pandemic. And it would mean we would fail. And it means people would die.”

Read more here: Beshear: AG Cameron asks Boone Co. judge to void every COVID-19 rule, regulation

The governor then announced numbers for the day (information above,) before moving on to a more hopeful tone, talking about a video he made to wish a happy birthday to COVID-19 survivor Dorothy Krause, a Louisville woman celebrating her 100th birthday. “Thank you for giving us hope,” he says.

Gov. Beshear then moved to discuss more than $5.5 million in CARES Act reimbursements for 22 governments in eastern Kentucky to help with COVID-19 expenses like payroll expenses, PPE, sanitizing, and telecommuting supplies.

The governor also spoke on unemployment claims in the state, saying Ernst & Young, the outside firm hired to help process Kentucky claims, has processed 10,635 claims. UI workers have also increased production from 8- to 10-hour days, as well as working Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The governor says the expected pace going forward is 4,000 claims/day.

He says there are 5,060 remaining claims that were filed in March. This is the number you’ll see on your phone when the UI workers call: 502-333-9130. “Answer the call,” Gov. Beshear says.

During the Q & A portion of the briefing, Gov. Beshear commented on anger being taken out on some retail workers over mask mandate compliance. “Surely we’re better human beings than to walk into a store and yell at somebody who didn’t put the order in place,” said the governor. “We’re doing it because we care about each other’s lives.”

When asked about the possibility of a travel ban, the governor replied, “I’m watching, especially those big states very carefully. And so, let me say, we shouldn’t have to say you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day, including hot spots in the places you go. We all ought to care and love each other enough, to say I’m not putting myself, my family in that situation, and then I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kid to daycare, and going to church after we have exposed ourself in that way. Let’s be better than that.”

In closing, the governor offered these remarks in reference to AG Daniel Cameron’s legal filings to investigate Governor Beshear’s executive orders: “I’m sorry that we face the threat we do,” Beshear said. “I cannot imagine how we defeat this virus if we’re not able to have reasonable rules and restrictions in place that help everybody - our people, our businesses, our economy, our schools.”

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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