Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear outlined the commonwealth’s plan to reopen the economy in his update on the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, and he also gave an update on COVID-19 cases in the state.
Beshear said the reopening plan comes after President Donald Trump briefed all 50 governors Thursday over how the reopening will look. For a state to enter phase one of reopening, The White House requires a state to see a decrease in new cases over 14 days.
“We have to have proof that we’re going down,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to be flexible — we’ve got to be fluid.”
According to phase one instructions, Americans are urged to continue minimizing non-essential travel and keep practicing social distancing. Additionally, under phase one elective medical procedures can resume “as medically appropriate.”
Beshear said even as the economy reopens, Kentuckians will still have to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
“We’re going to have to be really good neighbors,” Beshear said.
Beshear urged businesses in the commonwealth to continue providing personal protective equipment to employers and to keep teleconferencing if they can.
Additionally, Beshear said he’s joined a cooperative along with the governors of Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin to coordinate measures to reopen the state economy.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, the coordination will prevent future outbreaks of the virus and will help to provide stability for business owners.
“This is making sure that we are working with our neighbors and doing the right thing by our neighbors,” Beshear said. “While I always say we are in this together as Kentucky, we are now in this with some other states to make sure we are working together in our steps to phase in different parts of our economy.”
Beshear also announced 134 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, along with eight new deaths. This brings Kentucky’s total cases to 2,522 and total deaths to 137.
As of Friday, 30,596 total tests have been conducted in Kentucky, with a total of 979 recoveries. Beshear said the average age for patients in Kentucky is 52 years old.
Additionally, Beshear said an 11-day-old child that contracted the coronavirus is currently at home and is “doing okay.”
“Anyone and everybody can get the coronavirus,” Beshear said.
Beshear also praised Kentucky’s school districts for handing out food to students in many countries. Beshear said over 4.6 million meals have been delivered to 230,000 kids.
“To those school systems, thank you,” Beshear said. “Our kids thank you, you are amazing — we appreciate you.”
News reporter Jack Dobbs can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @jackrdobbs.