This blog will be updated daily with the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky. You can also see the newest stories in our Coronavirus section.
Friday, March 27
A second Louisville firefighter tests positive for COVID-19. The department said he began showing symptoms on March 18 and was tested on March 20. Those results did not come back, so he was tested again on March 27. Those results showed he had the virus. Three more firefighters have been asked to self-quarantine as precaution.
During Gov. Beshear’s daily coronavirus update he announced 54 new positive cases in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total to 302.
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.
Beshear emphasized the importance of sticking to the social distancing guidelines and Healthy At Home measures which have been taken, especially in the coming days and weeks. As cases ramp up in other parts of the country, he wants Kentuckians to remain diligent in efforts to flatten the curve.
“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.”
He warned Kentuckians against all travel, especially to neighboring states who have not taken the same precautions. He says doing so puts Kentuckians at risk and frustrates the efforts made by the state.
The unemployment website was reportedly telling some that they do not qualify for unemployment when they indeed do. They are working to fix the website. Those people will still be processed and no not need to reapply.
Beshear said he believes Kentucky has 1,352 ventilators and they are always working to get more.
Fort Knox confirmed a civilian employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is not a resident, and officials are working to contact individuals who may have been in contact with the patient.
The Oldham County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of coronavirus in the county. A male in his 40s and a female in her late teens tested positive. OCHD are contacting people who may have come in contact with those who have confirmed cases.
Mayor Greg Fischer said Louisville saw its biggest one-day increase in cases so far, with 43 cases in the past 24 hours. There are now 103 positive cases in Jefferson County.
Fisher also reported an additional death, though said he did not know the person’s demographics.
Kentucky Attorney General says abortions should cease as part of the governor’s order halting elective medical procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic. He made the request to the state’s acting health and family services secretary.
Cameron’s full statement:
“Today, I’m calling on CHFS Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander to certify, pursuant to KRS 15.241, that Kentucky’s abortion providers are violating his ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to perform abortions. Kentucky’s current ban on elective medical procedures exists to further the mandated policy of social distancing and to help conserve medical resources for use in fighting COVID-19.
Acting Secretary Friedlander is on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am confident that he understands, better than anyone, the necessity of ending abortion procedures during this health crisis. His certification will immediately trigger action by our office to stop elective procedures during the pandemic.
Abortion providers should join the thousands of other medical professionals across the state in ceasing elective procedures, unless the life of the mother is at risk, to protect the health of their patients and slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
Kroger has confirmed an employee at its Campbellsville Bypass store has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is receiving medical care and is recovering, and the store remains open.
Thursday, March 26
Kentucky lawmakers passed a coronavirus-relief bill. The goal is to help workers and employers suffering economic damage from the pandemic.
During the governor’s daily press conference he announced 50 new COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to 248. There have been no new deaths.
He said one patient who was believed to have the virus is a 90-year-old man in Perry Co., Ky. who was staying in a nursing home. The man was moved from the facility as a precaution. Following the announcement, the governor clarified that the man tested negative for the virus.
The governor urged county judges and mayors to closely monitor parks other areas where people tend to congregate and shut it down, if they see people not following social distancing guidelines. He mentioned Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s efforts as an example of what to do.
Beshear did not have an update on drive-thru testing as he had hoped. He said he needs a few more days.
As of 5 p.m. March 26, the Governor said that there are at least 248 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, with 50 of those being newly confirmed. There have been five deaths attributed to the virus. In very good news, after further review the 90-year-old Perry County nursing home resident has tested negative.
Team Kentucky Fund
Gov. Beshear, along with the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet (PPC), 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 challenged those who are able to help to make a tax-deductible donation to the 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.
Mayor Greg Fischer said there are 60 positive cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County, that number is double the amount of cases Louisville had on Tuesday, March 24.
Dr. Sarah Moyer with Department of Public Health said it has taken people longer to recover from coronavirus than other illnesses, but the average hospital length of stay in Kentucky is around two days. Louisville hospitals have plenty of capacity at this time, Moyer said.
An individual at Fort Campbell has tested positive for coronavirus, the Army installation confirmed.
The person who tested positive was a dependent of a military retiree at Fort Campbell and is in isolation away from the installation. Those who could be at-risk will be directly notified.
Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) has temporarily furloughed employees at certain properties including, Derby City Gaming, that has ceased operations following government-ordered closures amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
The closures will begin immediately, however, CDI is taking steps to limit the impact of its employees by continuing to provide health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits.
Salaried employees across the company will receive a salary reduction.
Jefferson County Public Schools are donating thousands of personal protection equipment to local health care workers.
The district said there is around 20,000 masks, eye protection and gloves that have been in storage since the 2009 H1N1 epidemic. JCPS will load all of the PPE and deliver it to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health to distribute to local health care providers.
Senator Rand Paul sent letter to President Trump urging support for Kentucky Disaster Declaration Request on March 16.
“I respectfully urge you to promptly consider this request by Governor Beshear. Additionally, I ask that you work to expedite delivery of the 100,000 test kits and 5,000 swabs that have been requested by the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Sen. Paul said in the letter.
You can see previous updates here.
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