LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 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.
Thursday, April 9
Jefferson County Public Schools confirms an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27. That employee does not work in the nutritional services department and had limited contact with other employees.
Gov. Beshear announced 134 new cases in Kentucky. The state’s total is up to 1,452. They confirmed 28 cases which had been previously reported were duplicates or from other states. Six new deaths were reported today.
A new executive order on workers compensation will allow for temporary total disability payments for more categories of workers. This applies to people working on the front line such as child care, grocery, postal service, and more. Those who are asked to quarantine by their health care professionals will receive the benefits.
The Kentucky unemployment system is taking on 14,000 claims each day. People who started filing March 16 started getting payments in the last week. So far, 208,824 Kentuckians have been paid $107,771,083. They will start making additional $600 a week payments to those on unemployment tonight. Those payments will be retroactive back to March 29. It will be a separate payment and no one should refile.
The governor announced Natural Bridge State Park and Cumberland Falls State Park will close. He said they had hoped to keep all of the state parks open, but have had to make changes due to people congregating in those areas.
Mayor Greg Fischer said there are now 495 confirmed COVID-19 cases, an increase of 17 cases. Five more people have died, bringing Jefferson County’s death toll to 36.
Of these cases, Fischer said three LMPD officers, three Metro Corrections staff members, two Louisville firefighters, two EMS workers and two sheriff office staff members have tested positive. Corrections has tested 35 inmates, 34 tests came back negative while one was inconclusive.
In regards to the low amount of new cases, Fischer said test limitations could be the reason for the statistic, and said people should still behave as if they have the virus.
Fischer also discussed the COVID-19 outbreak at Treyton Oak Towers. To date, there are 29 cases at the senior living center: 21 residents and eight staff members. Five residents have died.
Wednesday, April 8
Kentucky saw its largest single day increase so far, with 204 new COVID-19 cases. The statewide total is now at 1,346.
Of those numbers, Beshear said 339 have fully recovered, 205 are currently hospitalized and 93 are in ICUs. There have been eight new deaths, including four from Jefferson County.
Beshear said the state knows 82% of COVID-19 death demographics. The breakdown is as follows:
- 86% Caucasian
- 12% African American
- 1.75% Asian
72 residents and 25 staff members at long-term care facilities have contracted coronavirus. There have been 13 deaths connected to long-term care facilities.
Green River Correctional Complex has 15 total cases, 9 inmates and 6 staff. Western State Hospital has 16 total cases, 9 patients and 7 staff. There have been two deaths from Western State Hospital.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced the largest single day increase so far in Louisville. There are 478 confirmed cases in Jefferson County, up 76 from the day before.
Fischer announced four more deaths, including a male in his 60s and three people over the age of 90.
Fischer announced the city will be making changes to allow more space in Louisville parks for social distancing. Starting April 9 at 7 a.m., loop roads in Iroquois, Cherokee and Chickasaw parks will be closed. The parks will remain open, but the roads closures will allow for park visitors to spread out.
The total confirmed cases in the United States as of 9 a.m. April 8 was 399,929, according to Johns Hopkins University. There were 12,911 deaths and 22,539 recoveries.
Worldwide, JHU reported 1.44 million COVID-19 cases with 83,471 deaths and 308,215 recoveries.
Tuesday, April 7
Beshear also revealed racial demographics for 68% percent of COVID-19 cases in the state. 79.25% (White) 12% (Black), 2.6% (Asian) and 2% (Multi-racial). He said they will be sure to get more accuracy once the numbers are in.
Gov. Beshear has confirmed 147 new cases, the largest number reported in a day. Today’s number brings the statewide total to 1,149. Seven new deaths were confirmed which total to 65.
Beshear says they think the last few days were artificially low. The the three-day average is 80.
Beshear says so far, 55 residents in 21 long-term care facilities have tested positive. Twenty-two staff members have tested positive while 11 residents of nursing homes have died.
Beshear confirmed 14 cases of coronavirus at Green River Correctional Complex. Nine inmates have tested positive and 5 staff members.
There are also 13 cases (9 patients and 4 staff) at Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville.
Beshear is urging medical personnel to stay and work in Kentucky because other states are recruiting them at high pay rates. He says if they left, they would have to quarantine when they return.
Josh Benton, the executive director of Workforce Development says they know there is a backlog on the phones. They are currently training and adding staff daily. Benton says by the end of the week; their goal is to have 1,000 to 1,200 people working the call center – up from 12 staffers three weeks ago.
Benton says if you get an unemployment denial letter, ignore it. It was automatic from their old system. He says those may receive payment before receiving an approval letter. You don’t need to claim your first payment because it’s automatic, unless the company has e-filed. Then you would need to request it.
Dr. Steven Stack says the state now has new criteria for those who will be tested since there’s a bigger test capacity.
Tier 1 Testing – Active Symptoms Plus
- Healthcare workers (including healthcare workers who have worked or volunteers in the last two weeks)
- First Responders (EMS, Fire, Police)
- Over 60 years of age
- Currently living in congregate setting (e.g. independent or assisted living center)
Tier 2 Testing – Active Symptom Plus:
Persons who have pre-existing medical conditions such as:
- Liver Disease
- Renal Failure
- Compromised immunity
Dr. Stack is urging the public not to get tests from anyone but qualified medical professionals. He said not to waste hard-earned and scarce cash during these times and to rely on health care professionals whether you need a test.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer confirmed there are 30 more positive cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County and four more people have died. That brings the total number of confirmed cases to 402 and total number of deaths related to the virus to 27.
According to the mayor, 31 inmates have been tested for the virus. Five results are pending and the rest were negative.
With religious holidays coming up this month, the mayor encouraged everyone to continue practicing social distancing. He said he understands many people like to gather to celebrate with family and friends, but we must maintain distance from others to slow the spread of the virus.
The North Central District Health Department say they have confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County, bringing their total to 15 cases overall.
Officials say an adult male and adult female are currently in self-isolation at home.
Officials also confirmed a new case in Spencer County and that adult male is also in self-isolation.
NCHD says they have a combined 22 cases for the counties of Henry (2), Shelby (15), and Spencer (5). Trimble County does not have any confirmed cases.
Monday, April 6
Beshear says 21 inmates statewide have been tested with two coming back positive. Forty-one corrections staff have been tested with 5 positive results. He says four of the positive cases are staff from the Green River Correctional Complex in Central City, Kentucky. The other case is a probation-parole officer.
Beshear says the state now has 54 cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total to 1,008. Beshear said one of Sunday’s cases turned out to a duplicate.
He also confirmed 14 deaths from the disease.
19,955 tests in have been given in Kentucky, 163 hospitalized and around 70 still hospitalized.
Beshear announced cabins in state parks will be used as quarantine sites for first responders. He says this will prevent them from taking the virus home to their families. The state also has plans in the works to use lodges for patients if necessary. This will add nearly 1,200 beds.
Beshear on social distancing: “We have direct proof that any crowd, anywhere, can spread this virus and cause harm to Kentuckians. You can’t have a party and everyone stands 6-feet away from each other. Social distancing is for when you absolutely have to leave home. It’s not an excuse to leave home.”
Gov. Beshear begins with press briefing saying governors across U.S. was on phone call with Vice President Mike Pence and he reminded them that it would be a heartbreaking week but “we control our own destiny.”
Red Cross says they have been able to meet patient needs with blood donations. There’s two more blood drives at the KFC Yum Center scheduled for “Wednesday and Thursday” by appointment only.
Those interested have to visit redcrossblood.org and type in KFCYum as the keyword.
Social distancing and safety will be in effect — no walk-ins accepted. Those blood drives are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mayor Fischer and Louisville Orchestra’s Teddy Abrams introduce the Louisville Artist Network in what they say to “heal, inspire, motivate and mobilize.” This comes as Louisville’s buzzing arts scene has gone dark due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The goal of the project is for artists to submit proposals for original virtual art. Those who are selected will receive $150 to $200 and three days to create the work. The art will air live on Facebook and other forms of social media.
“We need our artists as much as we’ve ever needed them,” Fischer said.
Mayor Fischer says people are still having house parties and warns that even though the person isn’t showing symptoms, doesn’t mean they’re not carrying the virus. “It is not worth it,” he said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has confirmed 59 more cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County, bringing the overall total to 372. Fischer also said three more people have died from the virus bringing that total to 23.
Sunday, April 5
Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 38 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 955. He also confirmed 5 additional death and that statewide total is 45. He did say in the vain of transparency and because it’s Sunday, fewer results came in so numbers could be higher.
Three of those deaths are from Jefferson County which include an 80-year-old, 66-year-old and 54-year-old — all women. The other two cases are an 85-year-old female from McLean County and a 90-year-old woman in Woodford County.
The governor also confirmed 306 people have recovered from the virus.
So far, 18,767 tests have been given.
Beshear says two Kentucky gyms were cited after letting people in the back door.
Beshear announced a new agreement with Covington-based Gravity Diagnostics in Northern Kentucky. The agreement will give the state up to 2,000 additional tests daily. These tests will be for those who are tier one symptomatic, high-risk patients who are symptomatic, medical workers, and first responders.
“Our number that we can confirm right now is about 18,000 so if you think about 2,000 a day, and we enough swabs to do that, we’ll almost double the number of tests that we can confirm in Kentucky in a full week,” Gov. Beshear said at Sunday’s press update.
While the tests will be done around the state, Beshear said they will primarily be administered outside of “the golden triangle,” which includes places outside of the area between Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky.
“This is a significant step for us. It means that if we can get the swabs that we need, we can make sure there isn’t any area of the state, that doesn’t have, at least compared to the rest of the country, a pretty significant ability to test,” he said.
The governor said the number of tests depends on the state’s available supply of swabs.
“Swabs are in critical demand and we are looking at options on the manufacturing side and any way that we can get them,” Gov. Beshear said.
Beshear said he expects the turnaround for the tests to only be one day to see results.
“It means, if you’ve got a group of healthcare workers that are self-quarantined and we really need them in the hospital, we can get that back and they can get back to work,” he said.
Tests will be shipped in Monday. The governor said actual testing will begin slowly starting Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says Jefferson County has a total of 313 cases of COVID-19. He also announced 6 additional deaths from the virus, bringing the overall total to 20.
Health officials in Shelby County have announced the county’s first death of COVID-19. Officials say the elderly woman had underlying health conditions.
They also confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County and one in Spencer County.
Saturday, April 4
Beshear recommends the CDC suggestion of everyone wearing a cloth mask in public. Stresses no one besides health care providers should be wearing surgical or N95 mask – the are needed for healthcare workers.
The governor also says that just because you’re wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can get within 6-feet of a person. He says to still practice social distancing and adds that if you’re in a place where you may be close to others – like a grocery store – it’s a perfect time to wear a cloth mask.
Beshear adds that Kentuckians need to be extra careful not to touch their faces when wearing masks. He said it’s tempting to mess with or adjust the mask because it’s something everyone is used to.
The new CDC guidance on masks can be found here.
Governor Andy Beshear has confirmed 917 cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, up 92 cases from Friday. Says 16,663 people have been tested despite not receiving all reports from facilities that have been doing the testing. He says three people have died bringing overall total to 40.
Of those deaths are a 56-year-old female from Fayette County, a 52-year-old female from Bullitt County and an 81-year-old man from Boone County.
Mayor Greg Fischer confirmed via social media that Jefferson County now has 300 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths.
He said officials knew the numbers would increase and been preparing for it.
“In past years, I would visit a dozen community events on a nice spring Saturday. I miss it, too! But what we’re doing — staying home & staying 6′ apart when we must go out — is absolutely necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Let’s stay home.”
Health officials in Shelby County have confirmed two new lab cases of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 10. The adult man and woman are self isolating.
Friday, April 3
Gov. Beshear said the state has seen 90 new cases, bringing the state total to 831 coronavirus cases. Beshear cited 26 new cases in Jefferson County, though Mayor Fischer has said there are 33 new cases in Louisville.
There were six additional deaths, though Beshear said the number may be higher as Mayor Greg Fischer has reported an additional death in Jefferson County. Beshear said the difference is because the state and city have different cut-offs.
Beshear also said 228 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 in the state. The governor also said they believe the number may be larger. 15,572 people have been tested statewide.
Mayor Greg Fischer said there are 274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, 33 more than yesterday.
Fischer also said there were 5 new deaths in Jefferson County, the single largest amount since the epidemic began. The total amount of deaths in Louisville is now at 14.
“If you have not changed your daily behavior…you are not helping the city, you are not helping yourself,” Fischer said.
Seven non-essential businesses were forced to close, and three businesses were given citations for social distancing, Dr. Sarah Moyer said.
The two Louisville firefighters who tested positive for COVID-19 are both healthy and back at work, Fischer said.
Fischer also said the Red Cross would hold blood drives Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Yum! Center.
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