Governor: Coronavirus battle is 'calling of our generation,' cases reach 394

Published: Mar. 28, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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Gov. Andy Beshear reported 92 additional coronavirus cases in Kentucky bringing the state's total to 394.

The governor said Saturday that Kentucky had its largest single-day increase in cases since the global pandemic hit. The previous largest singly-day increase was the day before.

“This is our calling of our generation,” Gov. Beshear told viewers in his latest daily briefing that included increases of 23 new cases in both Fayette and Jefferson counties. One of the new Fayette County cases of someone testing positive for COVID-19 included a 1 year old, according to the governor.

On Saturday evening, the Northern Kentucky Health Department announced its first death which was a Kenton County resident over the age of 60. The latest death brought the state’s total to 9.

“This is why we have social distancing. This is a virus that spreads like wildfire,” Gov. Beshear said. “So, yes we are going to see more cases in Kentucky.”

Gov. Beshear said 64 people infected with coronavirus in Kentucky are believed to have recovered.

During his briefing, Beshear called President Donald Trump’s decision to approve Kentucky’s request for a Federal Major Disaster Declaration “good news” as it will allow FEMA to reimburse the state for up to 75 percent of costs associated with combating the coronavirus. Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.

When asked about people crowding parks and stores that remain open, Beshear said hopes Kentuckians follow social distance guidelines. He said current protocols for law enforcement to simply ask people not to gather in large groups could become more stringent.

“The coronavirus makes us anxious, afraid, uncertain and isolated, but I hope you think we are connected more than ever,” Gov. Beshear said. “This requires us to be a commonwealth for the common good. In fact, it is a calling that our individual actions impact the safety and health of others.”

The federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, which was just signed into law, provides wide-ranging benefits to all Kentuckians.

In particular, it provides a variety of assistance and hope to Kentuckians whose livelihoods have been harmed by the coronavirus outbreak and response.

“I signed an agreement with the Department of Labor that provides for us to raise the maximum weekly benefit by $600, increase benefits weeks by 13 additional weeks, fund unemployment insurance for individuals not typically eligible and finally allows states to expand workshare programs,” Gov. Beshear said.

"We are in this together,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s so important right now. I need you to believe you are part of Team Kentucky.”