Gov. Beshear announces 283 new cases, 9 new deaths on Friday
Governor Andy Beshear announced 283 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky and 9 new deaths attributable to the virus on Friday.
There are now a total of 418 deaths in the state and 9,464 total cases. The governor says that while the numbers are higher today, the state's average of new cases is still declining. 3,231 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Governor Andy Beshear began Friday’s briefing saying, “We are resilient and we are strong. We're going to get through this. We're going to get through this together."
He followed, again urging Kentuckians to fill out the 2020 Census and to register to vote via absentee balloting. He says 190,000 absentee ballot requests have gone out. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 15.
The governor then commented on protests in Louisville Thursday night during which seven people were shot. Demonstrators were protesting the shooting death of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers. He says last night’s protests started peacefully and said participants were safe and in compliance with CDC guidelines. Hours later, however, a contingent of demonstrators changed the narrative of the protest.
The governor then read a statement from Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Taylor.
In her statement, Tamika Palmer said her daughter — an emergency medical technician — devoted her life to others, and the “last thing she’d want right now is any more violence."
“Please keep saying her name," her statement said. “Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let’s do it the right way without hurting each other. We can and we will make some real change here. Now is the time. Let’s make it happen, but safely.”
Governor Beshear then announced that the daily COVID-19 briefings will move from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, beginning next week. No briefings are scheduled for this upcoming weekend.
Secretary Friedlander then took the podium to discuss testing in senior care facilities. He says some 15,000 residents and staff in long-term facilities have been tested. Another 5,000 to 10,000 are expected to be tested next week. They hope to have tested 100 facilities by the end of next week. Secretary Friedlander says the virus “is an aggressive disease in long-term care.”
Back at the podium, Beshear touched on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and African-American communities. He says 14.68% of cases are in the black/African-American community, and 17.82% of deaths are in the black/African-American community. Kentucky's population is only about 8% black/African-American.
The governor then made an announcement that a recent order from his office will allow people whose driver's license has been lost or expired during the coronavirus pandemic will be able to have a renewal or replacement processed remotely, without having to go in the office.
During the Q & A portion of the briefing, the governor was asked if the National Guard has been requested to help in Louisville. The governor says the guard has not been requested, but Kentucky State Police will be “offering significant assistance” Friday night.
"It's just to make sure that we can keep the peace, that people can be heard who need to be heard, but that we don't let a rogue element turn a protest calling for justice into something violent," said Governor Beshear.
Beshear also answered a question on cases of the COVID-19-related Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS.) The governor says there are no new known cases of PMI, and says all previous children known to have had it are out of the hospital.