A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor’s daily message about coronavirus, cites new cases (including a child); upset with budget plan

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky now has 47 positive coronavirus cases, a second death and a second child tested positive for COVID-19, said Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday.

Announcing the death during a Capitol press conference, the governor struck a somber tone.

“This is an event that family never wants to face. A 64-year-old male from Jefferson County actually passed away on March 13, but the testing has now come back (to being positive). There are a lot of factors that contributed to the death.”

He said the child, also from Jefferson County, is a 6-year-old.

“I hope I’ve been clear that it isn’t that kids can’t get the coronavirus, but that they are exceedingly resilient,” Beshear said. “Their systems, from everything we’ve seen, take it on and show little or no symptoms. Even when they get sick, they have been very resilient toward it.”

He added, as of Wednesday, there hasn’t been anyone under the age of 19 who tested positive for the disease admitted into the ICU.

“But it should show you why we’ve taken the steps with schools and why we have to engage in social distancing, even with children.

“We are going to make it through this. We might go through harder times before we make it through this. But, in facing it, it is about us doing it together – as Team Kentucky. This is our challenge and as Kentuckians we can pass that test.”

Update on COVID-19 in Kentucky – 3.19.2020 PM

Posted by Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday, March 19, 2020

According to Beshear, the latest cases include:

–Female, 27, Clark County

–Male, 51, Daviess County

–Female, 26, Fayette County

–Female, 61, Franklin County

–Male, 50, Harrison County

–Female, age not available, Henderson County

–Female, 66, Kenton County

–Female, 59, Pulaski County

–Female, 61, Christian County

–Female, no age available, Fayette County

–Male, 73, Warren County

–Female, 45, Jefferson County

–Female, 46, Jefferson County

New restrictions announced

“We are clarifying one of our earlier orders to say that all social gatherings where people would come together are closed. That also includes all types of government gatherings, all types of festivals, and we need to be clear that it also includes all houses of worship and their services. I am a person of deep faith, I’m a deacon in my church. It’s not an easy decision, but it is an absolutely necessary decision.

He encouraged churches to livestream their services, contact their local radio station, especially for some of the rural congregations, or broadcast on television.

Beshear unhappy with Senate budget plan

Beshear noted he was disappointed in the Senate version of the budget, which was passed Thursday night. 

“We are in the middle of an international pandemic where people’s health is on the line,” he said. “And what I saw in that version of the budget was a cut to Medicaid, which we are going to have more people on than ever.  I saw a cut in dollars to make sure every child is signed up for Medicaid.”      

He also objected to what he termed, now that people can’t come into the Capitol, “to get back at political adversaries, specifically teachers.” That referred to defunding of teachers’ health care for the next two years in the Senate version.

Beshear summed it up by saying, “The idea that the legislature would put less money in health care at a time when we need to defeat the coronavirus is just tough to understand.”

Difficult days for hotel workers

One of the hardest-hit segments of the population in Kentucky is those who are employed at restaurants, bars, and hotels. 

In fact, the American Hotel and Lodging Association says 7,377 direct hotel jobs have been lost, with 37,025 total hotel industry-related workers furloughed, due to orders that forced the closing of bars and restaurants, except for drive-thru or carryout service.

For the latest information on positive cases of the Coronavirus in Kentucky, as well as services for displaced workers and other restrictions in place, go to the state’s website.

Those without internet access or who may need more information and guidance can call their hotline at (800) 722-5725. He says the hotline, which is operated by Norton Healthcare System, has been receiving more than 2,000 calls per day.

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