A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky records single-day record of 204 new confirmed coronavirus cases; eight new deaths

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky had its largest single-day total of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday and eight more people have died.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 204 new cases, bringing the state’s official total to 1,346, during his daily briefing at the Capitol.

Of the new deaths, four were in Jefferson County, three in Christian County and the other in Calloway County.

The State Capitol is lit up in green as a show of compassion for the coronavirus victims. Eight more reportedly died in the latest report. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

“These are eight Kentuckians that we have lost,” Beshear said. “It’s a loss for all of us. It’s a loss for those families, it’s a loss for those communities and their friends. So, let’s light our houses, our places of business, and our institutions up green tonight. Green is the color of compassion, and it’s also the color of renewal, as their spirit moves from their body to a better place. Let’s light up more green lights than we’ve had any night thus far.”

La Tasha Buckner, his chief of staff, announced new restrictions due to an executive order Beshear issued on Wednesday.

“It limits in-store visits to the life-sustaining businesses that we’ve left open to one person per household,” she said. “It’s going to help you and the business practice better social distancing if there are less people in there. It’s also going to help your family stay safer, because of less people going into the store and potentially becoming exposed. This will help you and the employees of the business.”

It applies to all life-sustaining businesses, such as grocery and hardware stores and pharmacies. There are exceptions on the limit, such as small children or other adults who have physical or mental impairments and can’t be left alone.

Door-to-door sales are also banned under the order.

It also renews the order issued almost a month ago, regarding prescriptions, Buckner said. “It allows pharmacists to employ telehealth and renew prescriptions for another 30 days without having to visit a physician.”

Beshear also announced an update on the field hospital they are preparing at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.

“We’ve ordered the beds and other supplies,” he said. “Our hope is to have 250 active beds, if needed, in about two weeks, and to be able to scale up from there.”

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is preparing to house health care workers, albeit on a small scale, according to State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

“I put out a call a few weeks ago for volunteers. We have over 700 students in medical school, nursing school, pharmacy school and other health care profession schools, who have volunteered. We have a facility that is need of help, where they have a number of individuals who have become infected with the coronavirus, so we have called out the first cohort of four volunteers.”

They come from the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky College of Medicine. All of them are third-year medical students and will be deployed on Thursday.

Stack told every other volunteer in their database to check their emails as he will be holding a webinar on Thursday and they all need to be on standby.

Beshear also announced other measures being instituted by local leaders that are stricter than state actions. “The Hopkins County judge-executive, Madisonville mayor and others have instituted a curfew, as has Muhlenburg County Judge-Executive Curtis McGehee.”

He also stated he and his staff had a meeting on Wednesday to discuss conducting the primary election, which has already been delayed to June 23, by mail. “This doesn’t mean that is what will happen in November, though if it is necessary if we have a fall spike, it would be good to have a test run in a primary.”

Beshear noted most of the poll workers are older, which places them in a higher risk category for the coronavirus.

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