Beshear announces 51 new coronavirus cases, encourages public to avoid parks

Beshear presser 3/24

Max Chambers

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 51 new cases of the coronavirus in his afternoon press conference — the biggest single-day leap so far — bringing the state’s total to 249.

The new cases are in Boone, Calloway, Christian, Clark, Daviess, Fayette, Harrison, Hopkins, Jefferson, Jessamin, Madison, Mason, Mercer, Perry, Pulaski, Union and Webster counties, with 6 cases in unconfirmed locations. Perry County’s case involves a 90-year-old man who was in a nursing home when he contracted the virus.

“I believe we are one state, and at least while I’m governor we are gonna make sure that the whole state is operating under the very same game plan,” Beshear said.

Beshear announced he would give county judges, mayors and the heads of state parks the authority to shut down “public parks and public congregation areas.” This includes campgrounds, basketball courts and playgrounds. This measure would further enforce social distancing and help prevent the spread of the virus, Beshear said.

Beshear said the state is still working to establish drive-thru testing sites. A test site will be set up in Frankfort early next week “to prove the concept.” It will only be available to those in high-risk groups for coronavirus, such as healthcare workers and people at high risk for complications who are already exhibiting symptoms. 

Beshear also noted efforts are ongoing to turn hotels into hospitals to provide more beds for patients.

Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to use social distancing time to fill out the 2020 census. The census will allow the federal government to direct more money to Kentucky for future public health crises and rebuilding after the coronavirus crisis, said Beshear.

Beshear also directed Kentuckians to visit for more information about coronavirus in Kentucky and to donate to the Team Kentucky fund to help people financially impacted by this crisis.

“I need everybody to be as committed as you can,” Beshear said. “People we love and people we care about are counting on us, but I have never been more proud to be your governor.”

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