KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday was the single biggest one-day increase in cases in Kentucky, with 39 new.
As of 5 p.m. on March 24, the state’s COVID-19 patient information includes 163 who have tested positive. The governor said that four Kentuckians have fully recovered. Additional cases and demographics of some cases mentioned were not known by 5 p.m., so not all cases are listed.
The Kentucky Department of Health’s website lists 157 confirmed positive cases in the state.
Governor Andy Beshear spoke around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 to update Kentuckians on the COVID-19 response.
The governor said one of the positive cases in Kentucky came from someone who attended a so-called “coronavirus party.”
“This makes me mad, and it should make you mad,” he said. “There is the power of forgiveness and we will move on and forgive, but there should not be any more of these parties - for any reason.”
With health officials urging social distancing to stop the spread, the governor strongly recommended against that kind of behavior.
“Anyone who goes to something like this may think they are indestructible, but it is someone else’s loved one they are going to hurt,” Gov. Beshear said. “We ought to be much better than that.”
The governor said he hoped Tuesday was the last time he had to report something like that.
New actions and updates he announced at Tuesday’s news conference include:
Non-life-sustaining business to close to in-person service
“With the rise in cases and knowing that these next probably two weeks are going to be some of the most important, we are going to take the next step; so effective Thursday at 8 p.m. we are going to be asking all non-life-sustaining businesses to close to in-person traffic,” Gov. Beshear said. “Even for those who are going to be excepted under this order, we are going to mandate that type of social distance that we have to see out there to protect our people.”
Gov. Beshear said the order will be out on Wednesday to give businesses more guidance. He said many businesses provide life-sustaining services and will be allowed to stay open, even though they must maintain social distancing.
The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.
The governor said most professional services, including attorneys, accountants and those in real estate, can be performed at home.
As he said previously, restaurants can remain open for delivery, curbside pickup and even carry out if they follow guidelines on social distancing.
K-PREP tests canceled
The Kentucky Department of Education canceled plans to administer the K-PREP assessment for the 2019-2020 school year. The move comes after a waiver was granted by the U.S. Department of Education. K-PREP testing will resume in spring 2021 and current assessments will be in effect until then.
Senior meals being delivered
Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky is significantly ahead of other Southern states in preparedness, volunteer coordination and meal delivery programs for seniors. On Monday, March 23, 11,825 meals were served statewide, an increase of 3,825 meals (150%), according to the Department of Health and Family Services.
The governor said he knows that Trigg, Graves, Mason, Taylor, Lawrence and Christian Counties need help preparing more meals for seniors. It is no failure of leadership, but these counties need help making meals for seniors and Kentuckians should reach out to their local elected officials if they can help. The governor also said many Kentuckians, groups and food banks are doing so much to help and he appreciates it.
Hand sanitizer production
The governor said many businesses, including food and beverage industries, are making barrels of hand sanitizers for hospitals and first responders.
State workers to food banks
Gov. Beshear said state workers would begin helping at food banks because of the lack of help there during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Provided it is a safe environment, we will be there,” Gov. Beshear said of helping food banks that help Kentuckians in need.
The Governor thanked many people, including an anonymous person who dropped off 4,000 swabs.
“I want to thank whoever it is that dropped off 4,000 swabs today and didn’t even walk in to talk about it,” Gov. Beshear said. “Swabs are necessary to do kits and tests. Without swabs, you can’t do a test. This is running low all over the country and someone came in and just dropped off 4,000 today. I want to thank that individual. Amazing people do amazing things when it’s needed the most. So thank you very much.”
Gov. Beshear also announced a hotline to report guideline non-compliance.