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Bowling Green becomes Kentucky’s new hotspot in coronavirus fight as state surpasses 7,000 cases

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The number of positive cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky has now topped 7,000, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday during his daily press briefing at the state Capitol.

A total of 227 new cases were reported to state public health officials, making the total at least 7,080. The Bowling Green area has become the new hot spot in Kentucky as Warren County had 72 of Wednesday’s cases as well as 708 since March. Thirteen of Wednesday’s cases involved children 12 and under, according to Beshear.

“Let’s make sure that we don’t just take the steps we need to keep us healthy at home, but also our children,” he said. “Remember that our children can pass it to us and other people, and we can pass it to our children as well.”

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack addressed the Warren County situation.

“We are providing additional support to them,” Dr. Stack said. “And we will continue our dialogue and discussions with them to try to help them. I just want to emphasize: The disease is still out there. This is not the common cold; this is a bad actor. When it sets up in a community and starts to take hold, hospitals can get overrun.”

There were also five more deaths reported Wednesday, bringing the pandemic total to 326. Three of the deaths were in Boone County, while Adair and Marshall Counties had one each.

Long-term care centers such as nursing homes continue to see increases in the coronavirus, with 20 cases reported Wednesday among residents, three staff members, and four deaths. That brings the overall number of cases to 921 residents, 374 staff and 187 resident deaths, along with two staff members. So, 58 percent of the deaths in Kentucky are related to long term care centers.

More testing is being done in those centers, as the number of kits available continues to rise. “In the last week or week and a half we’ve done 2,209 tests with one partnership in long term care facilities. We have another 351 over the next couple days, and then I think we are going to be doing close to 3,000 next week.”

He remains upbeat on the situation at those facilities. “What we’re going to see in the short-term is probably an increase in the number of cases, although I will tell you, we’re not getting as many positives as we expected, with a few exceptions. That’s a real blessing and it is good to see. It suggests that we have a good plan going forward.”

The governor also reported a positive number as 2,649 Kentuckians have now recovered after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Wednesday also marked the start of phase 3 in the reopening of the state’s health care sector. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued directives governing the opening of hospitals and other health care facilities. Hospitals and care facilities can begin doing non-emergency surgeries and procedures at 50% of their pre-COVID-19-era patient volume. Facilities will determine their own patient capacities starting May 27, as long as progress continues.

Gov. Beshear said in partnership with Kroger, new testing locations would open in Richmond, Mayfield, Louisville, and Hartford next week. Information on how to register at more than 70 sites throughout Kentucky, as well as all other information on the coronavirus, can be found at the state’s official website, kycovid19.ky.gov.

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