Beshear announces 100 new COVID-19 cases, mandatory quarantine for out of state visitors

Beshear and Virginia

Max Chambers

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday 100 new cases of the coronavirus in the state — a small jump from Wednesday’s number — bringing the total cases in Kentucky to 770. There were also 11 new coronavirus deaths, making the state total 33.

Beshear committed to lighting the governor’s mansion green tonight in memory of the lives lost and urged Kentuckians to do the same at their homes. He also said despite the increase in cases Kentucky is successfully flattening the curve compared to other states.

“We know that we are in the slope that is increasing,” Beshear said. “These are the types of numbers that we expect — in fact we expect bigger numbers.”

Beshear amended Wednesday’s total cases to 670 instead of 688 due to duplicate reports. Beshear said information on new cases comes from 61 local health departments, 32 state laboratories, news reports, hospitals and healthcare providers, meaning duplicate reports are common.

Beshear also announced a new executive order placing a mandatory 14 day quarantine on all out of state visitors to deter out of state visitors from bringing coronavirus into the state. Beshear said this ensures visitors don’t “frustrate sacrifices” Kentuckians have made to flatten the curve.

“It’s a precaution that all states oughta do and most states are doing,” Beshear said.

Beshear announced that he had recommended public schools in Kentucky not to resume in person classes this school year. Continuing to use non-traditional instruction will ensure that students maintain structure while staying “healthy at home,” Beshear said.

Beshear announced three other executive orders signed today. State parks will no longer permit overnight stays in campgrounds or cabins, which Beshear said will deter out of state visitors from coming to visit parks.

“It’s making sure that we are not creating opportunities for people to create a crowd and we’re not presenting a haven for those coming from other places to potentially bring their contacts,” Beshear said.

Another executive order announced today authorizes the release of 186 prisoners serving sentences for Class C or D felonies — the lowest classes involving non-violent offenders — who have been deemed by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention standards to be at risk for severe complications due to coronavirus.

Beshear also announced an executive order that will authorize the release of 743 non-violent offenders whose sentences were scheduled to end within six months. Secretary of the Cabinet Michael Brown said the order will be finalized next week after arrangements for safe release and probation of these prisoners have been finalized.

Plans to turn Louisville’s fairgrounds into a 2,000-bed field hospital are also in the works, Beshear said. Kentucky’s National Guard will be deployed to assist in building this hospital.

Beshear also said he encourages Kentuckians to keep practicing social distancing and staying away from other people whenever they can.

“We got to make sure that we are avoiding crowds and gatherings entirely,” Beshear said. “Don’t use the six feet rule in a way to try to get together and ultimately spread this virus.”

Copy Desk Chief Max Chambers can be reached at [email protected]. Follow them on Twitter at @chambers_max_e.