Beshear confirms 2 new coronavirus cases in Kentucky, urges long-term care facilities to limit visitors

Seniors sit together at a Louisville nursing home.
Seniors sit together at a Louisville nursing home.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 11:19 PM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed Tuesday that the state has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus.

That brings the total to eight patients currently in Kentucky. Both of them -- a 60-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman -- live in Harrison County, where five patients are now being treated.

“It’s important to note that they are all linked,” Beshear said, adding that he cannot disclose how those patients are connected.

Two patients are in Fayette County, and one patient is in Jefferson County.

“It’s critical to know that we will have more positive tests as we move forward,” he said. “That’s to be expected.”

A total of 20 people were tested in Kentucky on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Beshear urged state long-term facilities to limit visitors or stop taking visitors altogether. It’s unclear how long the restrictions will be in place.

Gov. Beshear
Gov. Beshear

Facilities are limiting who they let inside to only immediate family members of someone receiving end-of-life care.

Mary Boyd hasn’t been able to see her mom this week. Her only contact has been by phone. Tuesday, she called her mom around dinner time to explain why she couldn’t stop by the facility.

“I don’t know how long this is going to last,” she told her mom by phone. “It’s sort of like a flu-type problem. It’s called coronavirus, and they’re not letting nobody come in and see loved ones. They’re afraid people bringing in stuff that might spread it.”

Her 88-year-old mom is at Friendship Health and Rehab in Pewee Valley. Like many other families, Mary visits her mom every day, helping change her, feed her and clean her dentures.

“They’re frail, fragile vulnerable and they depend on family and loved ones come in on a daily basis and to help and assist,” Boyd said.

Friendship Health and Rehab said they put restrictions in place Monday to try to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

"It's good that they're being proactive and preventing people coming in just to say hi and visiting, bringing in pets, etc. trying to protect the residents.," Boyd said. "But on the other hand, it's very stressful and creating a lot more anxiety in the family members that go in not as a social visit but as a caregiver and a guardian."

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services released their guidance regarding who should and should not visit loved ones in long-term care facilities.

Beshear said he’ll provide another update regarding the coronavirus outbreak Wednesday at 9 a.m.

UPDATE: Beshear confirms 2 new coronavirus cases in Kentucky >> More coronavirus news here:

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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