Number of Ky. COVID-19 cases jumps to 1,149, 65 total deaths
Gov. Andy Beshear held his daily press conference to give updates on the COVID-19 situation in Kentucky.
According to the governor, the
are 1,149 cases and 65 deaths. Monday, the totals were 1008 cases and 59 deaths.
Tuesday's deaths are four from Jefferson County, two from Lyon County and one from Adair County. One of the deaths is a 42-year-old. That may be the youngest yet in Kentucky.
The new cases are in Jefferson, Fayette, Muhlenberg, Calloway, Daviess, Hopkins, Boyd, Boyle, Bullitt, Campbell, Lyon, Monroe, Adair, Allen, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Christian, Franklin, Graves, Green, Harrison, Kenton, Laurel, Letcher, Marshall, McCreary, Montgomery, Nelson, Ohio, Pulaski, Russell, Shelby, Simpson, Spencer and Warren counties.
Governor Beshear says he's concerned about where we're seeing some of our cases, including nursing homes. From long-term care facilities in Kentucky, there have been 55 positive cases in residents, 22 in staff and 11 deaths. At the Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County, there are 14 total cases, nine inmates and five staff.
"I know the staff in these facilities are scared," the governor said. "We're going to do everything we can to protect them."
Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack says new test kits arrived Monday at 32 partner hospitals outside the Lexington-Louisville-Northern Kentucky area, but it's still limited. He says the first 12 specimens arrived Tuesday morning. Dr. Stack says they are ramping up to a max of 2,000 tests per day, subject to availability of swabs and testing materials.
"We want to make testing available to everyone who needs it, and we don't have enough testing for everyone who needs it," Dr. Stack said.
These tests are for people who have active symptoms and are: health care workers and first responders, people over 60 years of age, people who live in a congregate setting or people with chronic medical problems.
Dr. Stack also went over several of the potential treatment options for COVID-19: chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, Z-pack, steroids and convalescent serum (plasma from recovered patients). Dr. Stack said all of those are experimental and people should seek advice from their doctors.
Josh Benton, with the state's Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, also spoke at Tuesday's press conference to give updates on Kentucky's unemployment payments. Benton says he knows there's a backlog on the phones for unemployment.
He says the are actively training and adding staff daily with a goal to be around 1,000-1200 people working at the call center. That's up from 12 employees two weeks ago.
"We know this is taking the longest, and we wish it wasn't," Benton said. "But we're doing what we can to add capacity."
Benton also said some denial letters mistakenly went out, but you may end up getting your first payment before you get an approval letter.