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Gov. Beshear announces highest single-day cases reported at 1,163

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 3:42 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Beshear began his press briefing saying he, his wife, and their children have tested negative for COVID-19 after canceling a briefing meant to be held Tuesday. The governor says he feels like he’s at 80%.

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Beshear holds Wednesday briefing on COVID-19

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Posted by WKYT on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The governor then spoke of good news for the state. He says $6 million from the CARES act will go towards economic development planning and recovery. The assistance can help communities bounce back after the impact of COVID-19.

The governor then announced the highest single-day number of positive cases reported since the pandemic began, at 1,163 cases. That brings the state total to 36,945. The governor says Wednesday’s new case numbers include cases from the past few days that had been unable to be processed because of a glitch in the IT system. “We’ve set a record that we didn’t want to set,” said the governor. The positivity rate is lower than it has been at 5.62% but still higher than health officials would like.

49 children under five were among the positive cases.

The governor also announced 7 new deaths in the state, bringing Kentucky’s total to 790.

Gov. Beshear also offered an update on his administration’s travel advisory, which recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%.

The current areas meeting this threshold include Washington State, Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama and Arizona.

Governor Beshear then turned to discuss schools reopening in the state. He says he understands concerns of parents on both sides of the issue, saying his Monday recommendation to back off in-person teaching is based on the COVID-19 risk in the state. He says backing off in-person instruction would allow Kentuckians to see how re-openings in other parts of the country work out and give educators a chance to readjust their strategies for keeping students and faculty safe from the virus.

“This is not just some parent choice issue to accept the risk for their kids. And by the way, this isn’t like letting your kids go out and get in the rain. You know there’s a risk they can get a cold, but you choose to take it. This is sending your kids out in the height of a lightning storm at the moment. That’s where we are with COVID. But that decision isn’t just that individual family’s decision. It’s a decision that impacts teachers, that impacts janitors, that impacts bus drivers, and can impact the entire community around them,” said the governor.

When asked about Catholic schools in Lexington and Louisville re-opening for in-person instruction, the governor responded, saying he feels like the decision is irresponsible. He said he hopes the schools have a plan in place to make sure teachers and students are tested regularly. “We’re asking for one month to help us better protect the lives of their kids and their teachers.”

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