A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor reports 562 new COVID cases, 8 deaths; Mayor Gorton announces new testing sites

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 562 new COVID cases and 8 deaths, bringing Kentucky’s totals to 35,793 cases and 783 deaths. Eighteen of the cases were children 5 and under, including an 18-day-old from Hardin County, a 1-month-old from Rowan County and a 3-month-old from Lincoln County.

“This thing is real, it’s out there. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to fight it,” the Governor said. “While my family ended up negative today, I know there are a lot of families out there that are positive. We send you our love, we want you to get better. We want to make sure we’re not spreading this to any other family that has to endure any of that hardship.”

Fayette County had 33 new cases.

As of Tuesday, there have been at least 711,017 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.87%.

“That is a number that is just too high to do a number of things we want to do,” Gov. Beshear said. “It means it’s just not safe at this moment to do a number of things that we’re working toward. But I’m committed, I’m committed to getting our kids back in school in a safe manner.”

The deaths reported Tuesday include an 86-year-old man from Grant County; a 79-year-old woman from Hopkins County; three women, ages 54, 65 and 84, and two men, ages 75 and 93, from Jefferson County; and a 60-year-old man from Ohio County.

At least 8,819 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, click here. To see all recent daily reports, click here.

Governor and First Lady tested

Earlier Tuesday, the Governor and First Lady Britainy Beshear were not feeling well and, out of an abundance of caution, were tested for COVID-19 to protect themselves and those around them. The test results for Gov. Beshear and his family came back negative for the coronavirus.

“I wanted to start by letting you know that both my family and I are OK. We’ve tested negative for COVID-19 after a real scare. And I want to thank everybody out there who sent their thoughts and their prayers,” the Governor said.

“This morning, late in the morning, I started feeling bad with a lot of the symptoms that can suggest COVID-19. Because of that I immediately isolated and canceled events we had in the afternoon. A couple hours later, I was tested. And even the short wait that I had to endure gives me newfound empathy for those that are having to wait even a couple days to get their test results back, knowing that they may be separated from their family and wondering what their immediate future is going to be. So I’m going to continue to try to lead with this empathy and hopefully it makes me a better Governor in addressing this virus.”

Fayette COVID testing

Mayor Linda Gorton announced free COVID-19 tests for the general public will soon begin at Tates Creek High School. In addition, testing is returning to the Bluegrass Community & Technical College campus on Newtown Pike.

The Mayor’s Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program will be stationed outside Tates Creek High School, 1111 Centre Parkway.

All persons wishing to be tested at Tates Creek should enter the campus via Milano Road. Testing will be held from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, August 13; 12-8 p.m., Friday, August 14; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, August 15. No appointment is necessary.

Testing is also coming back to the Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 500 Newtown Pike, through Kroger Health. Starting next week, testing will be available from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Testing is available for anyone, 18 years or older, and an appointment is required. This location will be open for at least two weeks.

Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory, which administers testing at Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program locations, is offering tests at no cost to the patient. Health insurance information may be requested, but is not required, to receive testing. Tests are available to anyone. Results are generally available in 48-72 hours.

Free testing also continues at Consolidated Baptist Church and Southland Christian Church, both Bluewater sites.

Drive-up and walk-up testing is available at Consolidated Baptist Church, 1625 Russell Cave Road. Testing is available 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. No appointment is necessary, and testing is available for anyone.

Drive-thru testing is available at Southland Christian Church, 2349 Richmond Road. Testing is available 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.

Drive-thru testing is also available seven days a week at the Walgreen’s testing location at 2296 Executive Drive (the corner of Winchester Road and Executive Drive). Tests will continue until they run out of test kits. Online registration is required.

Finally, those looking to be tested can also contact their healthcare provider. Most are offering testing options for their patients. Urgent Care Centers are also offering COVID-19 testing.
For information on more testing sites go to: lexingtonky.gov/COVID-19.
School Opening Guidance

On Monday, Gov. Beshear and administration officials, in consultation with Kentucky teachers and school administrators, announced new guidance asking schools to wait until Sept. 28 to begin in-person classes.

The Governor said the decision was driven by four factors: Kentucky’s cases being near a peak, an increase in infection rates among children across the U.S., the experience of school districts in other states, and families continuing to travel to hotspots for vacations against the advice of health officials.

Restaurants and Bars Update

Also Monday, La Tasha Buckner, the Governor’s chief of staff and general counsel, offered an update on bars and restaurants operating in the Commonwealth.

Both bars and restaurants can operate at 50% of capacity, as long as other guidance requiring social distancing, facial coverings, and sanitation is followed.

Customers in both bars and restaurants will be required to remain in their seats, except when entering, leaving or using the restroom. In addition, bars and restaurants will be required to halt food and beverage service by 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. local time.

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