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Beshear reports 205 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths; urges wearing masks for best protection

As of Monday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were at least 12,647 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The Governor provided updated information about coronavirus cases newly confirmed Sunday and Monday in Kentucky.

On Sunday, 85 new cases of coronavirus were reported. On Monday, 120 new cases were reported.

Beshear also announced one new death Sunday and five new deaths Monday. The total number of reported deaths attributed to coronavirus stands at 505 Kentuckians.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians to light their homes, places of business and places of worship green for compassion.

“That’s six people we’ve lost in the past two days, six too many,” said Beshear.

“Let’s remember, let’s keep those green lights on to show compassion to everybody who needs it. It’s an emotion that all of these families, 505 of them now, need. It lets people know they are not alone in a time that is incredibly difficult.”

At least 3,416 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus. For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity: for Sunday’s information, click here; for Monday’s information, click here.

Masks Prevent Outbreaks

Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the Department for Public Health, stressed the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect Kentucky from experiencing the surges and spikes that are being seen in other states.

“The one most important thing we can do to prevent a spike, to make our reopening go the way we want it to, is to wear a mask. I know this has become part of what some people call a cultural war. Folks, this is not. This is key to keeping each other alive. It’s the key to keeping our reopening,” the Governor said. “You want our kids to be back in school as soon as possible and you’re not wearing a mask? You could be preventing what it is you want to see. I know it’s not comfortable. But when every single health official – those working for President Trump, those working for me – say this is the very shot we have, shouldn’t we be willing to do it?”

Beshear noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the renowned infectious disease expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, both say wearing a mask is the best way to halt the spread of the virus.

The Governor said he wears a mask to keep his family safe and told about the mask he wore Monday to the news conference.

“Today, I wear the mask sent to me by David Turner Jr. David is an 8-year-old boy fighting brain cancer. I met with David before COVID hit, on Jan. 23. He had come in for a rally at the Capitol that day. He came into my office. He sat in a chair, pulled up to my desk. I said, ‘Come on, you’re governor for at least 15 seconds – what are you going to do with it?’ He declared that day National Ice Cream Day in Kentucky. This is something I’ll never forget. It’s one of the best moments I’ve had as governor,” said the Governor. “I am willing to wear this mask for my kids. I most certainly am willing to wear it for David. I think we can all do the same.”

The renewed emphasis on wearing masks comes as several states are starting to see troubling growth in the number of coronavirus cases. Stack showed graphs showing recent increases in Arizona, South Carolina and Florida.

“If you look at all three of these other states, you see a sudden increase. That sudden increase is roughly 30 days ago. That’s about the middle of May,” Dr. Stack said. “That corresponds roughly with when social distancing restrictions were lifted in many of these states.”

He noted that in Houston, officials there are considering reopening NRG Stadium as a field hospital as cases in the state have soared to an average of more than 1,700 daily last week. He pointed out Arizona’s increase is happening despite a heatwave.

“If you’re hoping that the coronavirus will take a nap in the summer, it’s 106 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona, today,” Stack said. “It kind of suggests that if that kind of heat doesn’t slow it down, I’m not sure what kind will.”

Supreme Court Ruling

Beshear hailed a ruling handed down today by the U.S. Supreme Court that extended protections from Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 to gay, lesbian and transsexual people. The ruling means it is illegal to fire or refuse housing based on someone’s sexual orientation.

“The Supreme Court has ruled, I think rightfully so, that you can’t fire someone or deny them housing simply because they are gay or transgender,” said Gov. Beshear. “I believe discrimination in all of its forms is wrong. We should all be judged by our merit. They did the right thing.”

Major PPE Donation

Beshear praised a company with a warehouse in Louisville that made a significant donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help the Commonwealth.

Solutions 2 Go LLC is based in Ontario, Canada, but has operations in Louisville. Company officials have donated 52,800 KN95 masks that will be distributed to Kentucky health care providers.

“This is a major donation,” the Governor said. “It’s one of the hardest PPE pieces to find and it’s really going to help us.”

Census Update

Beshear reminded Kentuckians of the critical importance of filling out their U.S. Census forms. Those who have not can fill out the Census at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

From Governor’s Office

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