Gov. Beshear reports 38 new COVID-19 cases, continues to emphasize social distancing

Gov. Beshear said social media has been filled with positivity and mentioned this Facebook post showing Louisville artist Jaylin Stewart posing next to her chalk art depicting a healthcare worker, with the sentence “We will get through this together.”

Cassady Lamb

In Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily coronavirus update Sunday, he reported 38 new COVID-19 cases and five new deaths, making the total reported cases in Kentucky 955 with 306 recovered.

More than 18,000 people have been tested in the state, but fewer labs were reporting test results on Sunday.

Beshear urged the public to continue social distancing measures, showing graphs providing evidence that the precautions are working.

One piece of evidence was a graph depicting the amount of influenza cases Kentucky has seen in the past months, which has decreased exponentially recently. 

“Cases of the flu are going down,” Beshear said. “This shows we have taken aggressive action. It shows we’re still making an impact.”

A prerecorded video of Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and her newborn baby Evelyn was shown during the update, where she thanked Beshear and ASL translator Virginia Moore for their hard work during this international pandemic.

She said she will try to provide videos a couple of times a week for updates.

Coleman told Kentucky residents to apply online for unemployment benefits and Medicare if needed at Kentucky’s Career Center website, KCC.KY.gov. The website is mobile-friendly.

More than 300 volunteers are assisting those applying for unemployment insurance and benefits.

“We need everyone to have healthcare coverage,” Beshear said.

Beshear also said this current census count is important. It will help sort the state’s rankings and will help to relocate funds when Kentucky begins to rebuild after the COVID-19 outbreak is contained.

He also announced there are 334 National Guardsmen and women at hospitals and food banks in the state as of Sunday.

The purpose of cloth masks was questioned in the update by Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Stack said although people are wearing these masks, they still have to social distance. 

“I think overall they’re a distraction,” Stack said. “You have to do social distancing. You have to stay away from each other six to 10 feet.”

Beshear said a private lab in northern Kentucky is going to be sending out up to 2,000 coronavirus tests daily, depending on how many swabs are available.

Gravity Diagnostics is going to be transporting tests to places outside of the ‘golden triangle,’ which includes Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati.

During Beshear’s question and answer session, he said two staff members and two residents of a Jeffersonville, Indiana retirement community have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

80 tests have been provided to those living in the Riverbend Retirement Community as well as the staff members.

Over 40 employees of local coffee business Heine Bros. Coffee are staging a ‘sick-out,’  Beshear said.

The employees partaking in the protest believe the coffee shops should not be labeled as ‘essential businesses,’ which requires the stores to be open.

Again, Beshear advised the public to not hold a stigma against those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two gyms located in Frankfort that were letting members in after Beshear announced a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses were given citations.

Beshear said if businesses still continue to ignore the statewide shutdown they will be shut down.

Ending the daily press conference, Beshear said that everyone should stay committed to stopping this virus every single day, and he expressed his pride in being a citizen of the state.

“I have never been happier to be a resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Beshear said.

News reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @lambp0p.