FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - On Wednesday, Governor Andy Beshear held his daily briefing on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton
The governer reported 166 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, making 8,167 cases in Kentucky. He also reported 10 new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the state's total to 376.
Wednesday's numbers, per Gov. Beshear:— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) May 20, 2020
New COVID-19 cases: 166
Total cases: 8,167 (including 108 probable)
Total tests: 158,672
Ever hospitalized: 2,016
Ever in ICU: 879
Total recovered: 2,919
New coronavirus-related deaths: 10
Total deaths: 376
Governor Beshear began his press conference by reviewing the 10 rules of #HealthyatWork.
In particular, the governor discussed the use of masks, asking the public to submit videos to social media to explain why they wear the mask. Governor Beshear says the argument over wearing a mask “is not a battle between political parties or ideologies, it's plain, basic public health guidance. And it's just smart."
The governor then briefly revisited the need for Kentuckians to fill out their census.
Continuing on, the governor addressed retail businesses that reopened today, and have worked hard to do things safely. "We have one shot at reopening the economy the right way," he says.
As Memorial Day approaches, the governor is recommending three steps to stay safe - wash hands frequently, maintain space between people, and don't touch your face.
According to the governor, long-term care facilities are reporting 6 new resident and 6 new staff infections. No new deaths were reported on Wednesday. Totals in those facilities are 1,022 residents, 461 staff; 207 deaths (2 staff; 205 residents.) These numbers are from 103 Kentucky facilities. “Today is the lowest number in long term care facilities we have had in a while,” said the governor.
Dr. Stack then took the podium to announce the shipment of supplies to help long-term facilities until more federal resources arrive.
Supplies shipped out today to help long-term facilities until more federal resources arrive, Dr. Stack says: pic.twitter.com/Uq0QdMmYOt— Garrett Wymer (@GarrettWKYT) May 20, 2020
Back at the podium, the governor reported no new known cases of PMIS, the COVID-related syndrome in children. The governor says 109 minors have tested positive previously and after talking with public health leaders are doing OK.
The governor then moved on to speak about CARES Act funding in the state. He says Thursday, at 8 a.m., $300 million in CARES Act funding will be going to local governments.
The funds will help reimburse city and county governments for COVID related expenses, including the purchase of PPE for health and safety workers, expenses for food delivery to nursing homes and vulnerable populations, and improvements for public employees to telework.
Testing is continuing apace, according to Governor Beshear. Those wishing to get tested for the virus will be able to set up an appointment at the following four Kroger drive-thru testing sites:
Lexington (BCTC Newtown Pike)
Louisville (Louisville Southern H.S.)
Henderson (Henderson Community College)
Bowling Green (Basil Griffin Park)
You can sign up starting now at this link: http://krogerhealth.com/covidtesting.
Governor Beshear is also encouraging all Kentuckians to engage in contact tracing protocols. He says contact tracing is very important and is pushed from the White House to every Governor. He urges everyone in the state to "answer the call."
Beshear says tomorrow Secretary Friedlander will walk through the guidance on childcare reopenings and pandemic food assistance through the SNAP program.
Moving into the Q&A portion of the presser, the governor was asked if Kentucky's healthcare systems are prepared for a potential second spike of COVID-19 cases. Beshear replied, "I believe we are ready," but also said that data would have to continue to be monitored. He also says he expects to see regional outbreaks instead of one large spike, but "we have to be ready for all of it."
When asked about the NCAA lifting the moratorium for voluntary activities in June, the governor replied, "It's still a little early to tell" about fall sports.
On college sports this fall: “I think it is going to be a real challenge to have 20,000 to 30,000 fans in the stands.” Gov said he sees a possibility for sports without fans.— Phil Pendleton (@philtvnews) May 20, 2020
The low contact sports he talked about resuming in mid-June are youth baseball, tennis, and swimming.