FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Gov. Andy Beshear held his daily press conference to give updates on the COVID-19 situation in Kentucky.
According to the governor, the state's current official COVID-19 numbers are 1,149 cases and 65 deaths. Monday, the totals were 1008 cases and 59 deaths.
147 today total new cases. Most one day. “While it is a large number we don’t see the numbers going the same way in other states.” 7 new deaths.— Phil Pendleton (@philtvnews) April 7, 2020
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.
Racial demographics of Kentucky's coronavirus cases:— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020
79.25 percent caucasian
12 percent African-American
2.6 percent Asian
2 percent multi-racial
These are from 68 percent of positive tests. Gov. Beshear says he is working to get data for rest of cases.
Beshear acknowledges that IMHE adjusted its models downward for a more optimistic outlook. "I hope they're right." Shows https://t.co/EZYfjG5mX2 model showing the difference in strict compliance and poor compliance of these measures is 11,000 deaths.— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020
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.
At Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville:— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020
13 total cases: 9 patients, 4 staff
"I know the staff in these facilities are scared," the governor said. "We're going to do everything we can to protect them."
Gov. Beshear says he can confirm that 21,604 tests have been performed statewide.— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020
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.
Governor says Gravity Labs testing is on pause because of lack of PPE, mostly swabs.— Phil Pendleton (@philtvnews) April 7, 2020
"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.
“Everyone is waiting on the $600. So are we.” Josh Benton with workforce dev cabinet says more help is coming with unemployment. pic.twitter.com/3pclKuNP8w— Phil Pendleton (@philtvnews) April 7, 2020
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."
Sign up for unemployment on https://t.co/ZNGgJzCkc3. Beshear again says he knows it's frustrating right now, but to keep trying and bear with them.— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020
Benton also said some denial letters mistakenly went out, but you may end up getting your first payment before you get an approval letter.
Benton: State has been able to move back the date that individuals can get that extension. Folks will get notification about this soon.— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) April 7, 2020