Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday said his administration is continuing strong efforts to stop the spread of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The Governor reiterated his call to Kentuckians to stay Healthy at Home and said that the state is continuing to working to prepare an initial drive-through testing center.
“We recommit ourselves each and every day to doing what it takes to defeat this adversary. We will get through this,” said Gov. Beshear. “We will get through this together. It may seem hokey, but in these next weeks or months, it’s going to take all the strength that we have. It is our collective strength. It is all of us coming together, unified as patriotic Americans and Kentuckians, that is going to protect the people around us.”
Eric Friedlander, acting secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said thank you to the many who are taking care of the state’s homeless population during this time and talked about steps the administration is taking to provide enough services to help folks obtain housing during this time.
“Many of the Governor’s actions, like stopping evictions, stopping more people going on the streets, expanding unemployment insurance is exactly the thing we need to do to prevent more homelessness,” said Friedlander. “What we’re asking is for local communities to work together – for local health departments, for comprehensive care centers, for local homeless services, for emergency services to come together and work on their plan for their homeless population. We must work together.”
Deputy Secretary for the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Josh Benton said some Kentuckians might be wrongly receiving information that says they do not qualify for unemployment insurance. Benton says Kentuckians’ claims are being processed and that updates will be provided next week.
Gov. Beshear today talked about the spread of COVID-19 related to Tennessee. Kentuckians can still go to Tennessee for work, to take care of a loved one or even buy groceries if it is closer, but the Governor asks that unnecessary travel to Tennessee end. He asked Kentuckians not to travel across the southern state-line to partake in activities that have been limited in Kentucky.
Gov. Beshear did thank Rose and Rosetta Jackson of Christian County, for their leadership in creating an adopt-a-grandparent program that connects people who can help provide groceries and services to those in need in the area.
As of 5 p.m. March 27, the Governor said that there are at least 302 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, with 54 of those being newly confirmed. There have been eight deaths attributed to the virus.
On Friday, Governor Beshear shared the tragic loss of three Kentuckians in one day including a 73-year-old female from Jefferson County (confirmed after the Friday briefing), a 75-year-old female from Fayette County and a 77-year-old male in Hopkins County.
“I want us to think about their families. I want us to pray for them and their loved ones,” Gov. Beshear said. “And tonight we’re not only going to be lighting up Governor’s Mansion, we’re going to light up the dome of the Capitol green to show our compassion for those families. And I’d like everyone out there to do the same if you can.”
Key updates this week
Counties monitoring public spaces
The Governor asked mayors and county judge-executives to monitor people gathering in public places such as parks and stop them if people are not practicing social distancing and risking the spread of COVID-19.
Healthy at Home
Since the first case was detected in the commonwealth, Gov. Beshear has taken decisive actions and encouraged all Kentuckians to remain Healthy at Home. All non-life-sustaining businesses now are closed to in-person services. Exempted businesses include grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, and media outlets, among many others. The sale of firearms and ammunition also is exempted.
Team Kentucky Fund
Gov. Beshear, along with the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet, took executive action to establish the Team Kentucky Fund, a GoFundMe-style online platform to provide financial help to Kentuckians whose employment is affected by the coronavirus. The Governor has challenged those who are able to help to make a tax-deductible donation to the fund. University of Kentucky basketball Coach John Calipari recorded a video encouraging people to help fellow Kentuckians and donate to the Team Kentucky Fund.
Gov. Beshear announced the COVID-19 Reporting Hotline (833-597-2337) that will investigate complaints about non-compliance with coronavirus mandates. Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. A new website where Kentuckians can visit to make online complaints is kysafer.ky.gov.
To read about other key updates from Gov. Beshear visit the news section on governor.ky.gov.
Gov. Beshear has taken decisive actions to protect all Kentuckians since the first case was confirmed in the commonwealth. To read the full list of actions Gov. Beshear has taken to protect Kentuckians and limit the spread of the coronavirus, visit governor.ky.gov/covid19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to follow these steps to prevent illness. Kentuckians who want advice can call the state hotline at 800-722-5725 or call their local health care provider. To read Gov. Beshear’s news releases and watch other news regarding COVID-19 visit governor.ky.gov.
Gov. Beshear continues to urge Kentuckians to be cautious of rumors and depend on proven and good sources of news, including governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov, and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Team Kentucky hashtags for social media
#TeamKentucky, #TogetherKY, #Patriot and #HealthyAtHome.