Beshear announces 54 new cases of coronavirus in the state, urges those in southern counties to not visit Tennessee

Beshear press conference 3/27

Laurel Deppen

Gov. Andy Beshear announced fifty-four new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Kentucky, with one new case in Warren County.

Beshear also announced the death of two Kentucky residents who died as a result of the coronavirus. In addition to lighting the governor’s mansion in green to honor those lost, Beshear said the Kentucky state capitol would also be lit green.

“We haven’t lost two in a day until now,” Beshear said. “And I know it’s hard, and I will tell you it won’t be the last time we do until we are through this. Now the stakes are very serious and very personal.”

While today marked the highest amount of confirmed cases in the state, the number was close to the amount of new cases yesterday.

“It is really close, and that is a good sign,” Beshear said.

The governor also encouraged residents in southern Kentucky to refrain from traveling to Tennessee other than for work or helping a loved one. 

“I cannot control that Tennessee is not taking the steps that we have …” Beshear said. “If you’re living on that border I need you to be strong in your pride in this state.”

Beshear announced he instructed Kentucky county judges and mayors to close playgrounds, basketball courts and the like. 

“We need everybody to know in those most tempting situations we have to stay strong because again it’s the health and the lives of our people that we’re talking about,” Beshear said.

The state currently has 1,352 ventilators, and Beshear said he hopes to increase that amount by 75 a day.

Additionally, the governor announced the expansion of qualifications for unemployment benefits. The previous system, Beshear said, “was not fair in the time of the coronavirus.”

Managing Editor Laurel Deppen can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @laurel_deppen.