Beshear announces new hotline to report social distancing violations as COVID-19 claims another Kentucky life

Beshear presser 3/21/20

Matt Stahl

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced another COVID-19 death in the state during his Monday address at the state capitol in Frankfurt, this one an 82-year-old woman in Lexington. The cases of COVID-19 in the state climbed to 124, including a new case in Warren County.

Beshear said he will be lighting the governor’s mansion and the capitol green tonight, as he has previously and will continue to do every time he announces a COVID-19 death, due to green being the color of compassion.

“Tonight I am going to light my house up green and for everybody else out there who has that ability, I’d ask you to do it too,” Beshear said. “It’s just a moment of solidarity where we are showing a color of compassion and of renewal.”

Beshear also announced he is creating a hotline for callers to report businesses and people who do not follow the pandemic protocols, which have closed many Kentucky businesses. The hotline, which can be reached at 1-833-KYSAFER, will be staffed by Labor Cabinet staffers and will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, after which time callers can leave messages.

Beshear encouraged Kentuckians not to lose hope, saying they should aim to stay in contact with one another through digital means, while still maintaining social distancing.

“Social distancing is not social isolation,” Beshear said. “All these steps we take are aggressive and necessary to protect our people.”

For the state, one of those aggressive steps will be paying for medical masks and other supplies, which have been in short enough supply so as to cause bidding wars between states. Beshear said that he would do “whatever it takes,” to protect Kentuckians, regardless of the cost.

Projects Editor Matt Stahl can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattstahl97.