Gov. Beshear reports 11 new COVID-19 deaths; total cases at 770
Gov. Andy Beshear held his daily news conference to give updates on the COVID-19 situation in Kentucky.
The governor reported 11 new COVID-19 related deaths. That brings the state's total number of deaths to 31. We're told the new deaths are from Fayette, Jefferson, Boyd, Pulaski, Grant and Kenton counties.
"Today is a tough day. A very tough day," Gov. Beshear said. "We just lost 11 people. Let's recommit to making sure we do everything we can so that we don't have too many more days like today."
Gov. Beshear said today may have marked the first coronavirus-related death without underlying health conditions. They're still trying to figure that out for sure.
, the official total number of confirmed cases in Kentucky is now at least 770.
The new cases are from Jefferson, Christian, Kenton, Fayette, Daviess, Edmonson, McCracken, Adair, Bath, Boyd, Boyle, Calloway, Campbell, Clark, Crittenden, Cumberland, Grant, Lincoln, Madison, Meade, Menifee, Montgomery, Pendleton, Pulaski, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Warren and Woodford.
Gov. Beshear says there are also at least three positive cases of people who are at or work at Western State Psychiatric Hospital. Two of those three are on ventilators, the governor says.
The governor spoke on the challenge of collecting and reporting coronavirus numbers. He says more than 32 labs have done at least one test in Kentucky, but only two of them report electronically. He said sometimes one positive case can look like two because of where information comes from, errors, missing data, etc.
Gov. Beshear says the state has confirmed 12,000 tests performed, but says he believes it is likely between 17,000 and 25,000 based on the rate of positives.
During Thursday's news conference, Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown announced the governor signed an executive order that resulted in sentencing commutations of 186 C and D-class felons that may be more vulnerable to the virus. Sec. Brown said 743 additional inmates within six months of completion of their sentences could also be released as soon as next week.
Beshear says inmates eligible for this are in prison for non-violent and non-sex related crimes.
"I know there's uncertainty, and we can't say exactly when it will be over," Gov. Beshear said. "But we know it's temporary." He said, at worst, it's a period of months, not nearly as long as the Greatest Generation sacrificed during World War II.
Beshear said announced the state is moving ahead with plans to convert the fairgrounds in Louisville into a 2,000-bed field hospital. He said the Kentucky National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers is working to help with this.
Governor Beshear also made the official announcement during his news conference that he has recommended that Kentucky schools remain closed to in-person classes through May 1. He said there is a real chance we don't go back to in-person classes this year, but we're not there yet.
The governor announced he has expanded his executive order regarding out of state travel. He said the new restrictions requiring out-of-state travelers (not including those just passing through) to quarantine for 14 days.
In addition, Gov. Beshear said there will be no overnight stays in state parks beginning Friday.