Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 163 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Monday, which brings Kentucky’s total number of cases to 5,245.
Additionally, Beshear announced eight new deaths, bringing the state total of coronavirus related deaths to 261.
The majority of the new cases came out of Warren County, with 39 new cases reported in today’s update.
Beshear said 23,078 unemployment claims remain, and 22,356 have separation issues, meaning about 900 claims have issues to work through.
“I need you to recommit as we go back to work,” Beshear said. “Follow the guidelines that are in place so that way we don’t have to go back to what we were already doing.”
Beshear said he was excited about the amount of testing that will happen this week. He announced there would be 17 testing locations opened May 4-8.
The governor encouraged as many Kentuckians as possible to sign up and check on their eligibility for getting tested. Additionally, the governor announced a new partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
On May 11-15 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Kentuckians can go to testing sites in northern Kentucky communities that are partnering with St. Elizabeth Healthcare. These are drive-thru and physician consult testing centers. Kentuckians must call ahead to make an appointment.
“We believe we’ll hit at least 3% of testing the population,” Beshear said.
Beshear then announced the second phase of healthcare starts on Wednesday. Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack addressed what is included in the next phase.
“This now means that elective, outpatient and ambulatory surgeries and procedures can occur starting this Wednesday,” Stack said.
Stack revealed the dates of phases three and four, May 13 and May 27 respectively.
“My job isn’t to make the popular decisions; it’s to make the best decisions based on the science, based on health and looking at the economic impacts,” Beshear said. “And at the end of the day, that’s on me to make those decisions with the best advice we have.”
News reporter Nick Kieser can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KieserNick.