Beshear announces 88 new cases of COVID-19, addresses calls to reopen the state

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Katelyn Latture

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 88 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky during his daily update, bringing the state total to 2,291 cases. He said there are at least 50 positive cases that have not yet been added to this number. Of the 88 reported new cases, two were in Warren County.

Beshear also reported seven new deaths today: two 93-year old females, an 89-year-old female and an 88-year-old female from Jefferson, a 65-year-old male whose county was unknown, a 48-year-old male from Simpson and a 94-year-old female from Hopkins counties.

During the update, protests could be heard from outside the capitol building. Beshear said some people believe Kentucky should be reopened, including businesses. 

“Folks, that would kill people,” Beshear said about opening the state economy now. “So my job isn’t to make the popular decision but the right decision, and the decision that saves people’s lives.”

Beshear acknowledged the struggles Eastern Kentuckians have faced, in addition to the coronavirus. According to Beshear, more than 42,000 Kentuckians were still without power and water after severe storms hit the area. Various local electricity and water providers have responded.

Beshear also made two new announcements. The first was a continued partnership and discussion with Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio and Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana to “eventually ease restrictions and open up the economy.” Beshear said he will announce on Friday the metrics of how and when some restrictions will be eased and guidelines.

The second was a partnership with Louisville metropolitan government, the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute and the University of Louisville. 

“The U of L hospital is going to be in the first stage of a unique testing regimen,” Beshear said.

This is called the co-immunity project, which is broken down into three elements. The first is focused on antibody testing for those who previously had the virus and may now be immune. The second is a lab that allows lab workers to identify those who are immune that can potentially donate plasma to those who are “our sickest patients.” The third element is creating a pool of donor plasma to give to those patients.

Beshear reviewed the totals for the new Kroger testing partnership in Frankfort. On day one there were 100 people tested, 183 people tested on day two and, at the time the update began, there were about 155 people who had been tested. Beshear said the four new testing sites will be announced tomorrow.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced the five co-chairs that will serve the Team Kentucky Fund: Jerry Abramson, Steve Henry, Crit Luallen, Steve Pence and Daniel Mongiardo. Coleman said the fund will be partnering with Community Action of Kentucky, and they plan to have an application process released in the coming days.

According to Beshear, $1.9 million has been donated to the Team Kentucky Fund from more than 7,000 donors.

Features reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]