Beshear reports 206 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, 96 in Jefferson County

Beshear projected this tweet during his daily update on April 18. Caelin Scott shares a picture of a young girl celebrating her 3rd birthday while social distancing. “We miss special days and special times with family because of this, it’s a sacrifice,” Beshear said in response to the tweet.

Cassady Lamb

Kentucky has seen 206 new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to Gov. Andy Beshear in his daily update on Saturday. Nearly one-half of these cases are coming out of Jefferson County.

Fifteen new cases were reported in Warren County.

Seven new deaths were reported, bringing the state’s death toll to 144.

Beshear mentioned the racial divide projected in the data of deaths in the state, referring to the numbers as “unacceptable.”

A 12-day-old infant is reported to have contracted COVID-19, Beshear said the infant is “doing well.”

“We will get through this,” Beshear said to start the update. 

Kenton County administered over 212 COVID-19 tests on Saturday, making the weekly total of tests coming out of the county 848. The drive-thru testing center has been the state’s most successful to date.

Beshear went over a previously released list of benchmarks announcing when and how the state will reopen:

  • Number and rate of new cases

  • Increased testing capacity and contact tracing

  • Personal protective equipment availability

  • Ability to protect at-risk populations

  • Ability to social distance and follow CDC guidelines on large gatherings

  • Preparedness for possible future spike

  • Status of a vaccine and treatment

The reopening of the state will occur gradually.

“Be a part of our unity, be a part of defeating this virus, don’t be that individual that will keep it around longer,” Beshear said.

He continued to preach the importance of social distancing, staying at least six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household, and most importantly, not attending any mass gatherings or physically interacting with those who have.

Beshear said unless you are going outside to exercise, grocery shop, take out or go to work, don’t go out.

“Any crowd can spread the coronavirus, practice social distancing,” Beshear said. 

Long-term care facilities are gathering a lot of attention due to the influx of reported cases coming in, including 353 residents and 164 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Forty-six people have died that either lived or worked in these Kentucky facilities. Beshear said cases would be much higher if visits to these facilities weren’t shut down.

Eric Friedlander with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services said one of his family friends who had lived in a long-term care facility died from the coronavirus.

“This is personal,” Friedlander said. “And it should be personal for us all.”

A ‘long-term care task force’ is being deployed to help combat these increasing infections in facilities around the state.

The task force will be primarily focused on:

  • Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are an important public health and safety issue

  • Taskforce is partnering with outside agencies to coordinate, maximize efficiency of prevention efforts across Kentucky

  • Developing guidelines for HAI protection

“These facilities take their responsibilities seriously,” Friedlander said. “This is a very important group for us.”

As of Saturday evening, 32,225 people have been testing for COVID-19. Beshear said 1,174 people have reportedly recovered out of the 2,707 cases statewide.

Beshear said 1,059 people are currently hospitalized, with 155 in the ICU.

Beshear denounced the claims that not all counties have cases. He said that even though people may be asymptomatic, every county has cases.

“It’s everywhere, it doesn’t stop at a county line,” Beshear said.

During the question and answer session, it became known that a Kentucky Baptist church who held a physical Easter Sunday service is suing Beshear.

“I’m not concerned about it, there were options for the congregation to come up for a drive-thru service, and I supported that all over the state,” Beshear said. “We have examples all over the country about how deadly mass gatherings can be.”

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