A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear announces 45 new cases of coronavirus in Ky.; Trump extends shutdown through April 30


Staff report

As of Sunday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear announced there are a total of 45 newly-confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.

Beshear also reiterated Sunday that everyone must remain vigilant about social distancing amid reports of crowding at golf courses, basketball courts, and home improvement stores to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and reduce the risk to others.

Concurrently, President Donald Trump has extended the voluntary national shutdown for a month, until April 30, as sickness and death continues to rise across the country.

Gov. Beshear said people and businesses must do better to stop the spread of COVID-19 or risk undoing the sacrifices and efforts of everyone else.

“We can’t allow any crowds in Kentucky right now,” Gov. Beshear said. “Where social distancing cannot be followed, we are going to have to shut golf courses and other places down.”

People must maintain social distancing at state parks, at basketball courts, in grocery stores and home improvement stores, Gov. Beshear said.

“When we go to places, we have to make sure we do it in a responsible way,” the Governor said.

“We’re at crunch time. The next two to three weeks are pivotal,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. He advised people to follow the guidance from Gov. Beshear and public health officials.

“Assume everybody you see has the coronavirus,” Dr. Stack said. “If you keep the six to ten feet between and keep the social distance, you’ll be OK.”

Gov. Beshear and Dr. Stack said following the guidance is key to stopping the spread and reducing the risk to others, which will save lives. They said a small number of irresponsible people could cost others their lives. COVID-19 has been a contributing factor in the death of nine Kentuckians and more than 400 have tested positive.

While he and his staff are working every day to secure more equipment, Gov. Beshear said the state’s health care resources – 18,500 hospital beds, 1,300 ICU beds and 1,352 ventilators – will be further stretched if people do not do their part to control the spread and cause a more severe outbreak.

From the start, Gov. Beshear has urged social distancing for everyone as key to stopping the spread of the virus. He issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings and has encouraged businesses to allow employees to work from home when possible.

To combat guideline noncompliance, Gov. Beshear set up the COVID-19 Reporting Hotline (833-597-2337) as well as an online portal for Kentuckians to report problems.

In Northern Kentucky, cases will continue to be identified through testing, but more often people with symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever, coughing and difficulty breathing) are being evaluated by their health care provider through telehealth visits.

Even without testing, a health care provider can tell a patient if they think they have COVID-19, and will give the same instructions for care: Those with milder symptoms must stay home, avoid others, take fever-reducing medications, and practice infection control at home. If symptoms become more serious, they should seek emergency care.

“Right now, staying healthy at home is one of the most important tools we have in the fight against COVID-19,” says Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health. “By staying at home, we are able to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and call your health care provider. If it is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. If you are ill and in isolation at home, learn how to prevent the spread of the virus in your home here.

For more information, visit our COVID-19 page on www.nkyhealth.org or www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

You can also call Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725. The Governor’s press releases are available here.


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