By TOM LATEK | Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky has topped 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, with more than 100 deaths, it was announced at Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily press conference on Monday.
Eighty-seven new cases were reported, bringing the total to 2,048. The seven deaths mean 104 Kentuckians have now lost their lives due to the disease, also known as COVID-19.
Of the seven deaths, five of them occurred in Jefferson County, with one each in Laurel and Muhlenburg counties.
In addition to asking people to light their homes, businesses and other buildings green to honor the victims, Beshear said, “Now that we have lost 100 people here in the Commonwealth, starting Tuesday morning, we will be flying our flags at the Capitol at half-staff. It’s to recognize that first hundred, and we are going to do it for the next week.”
The governor said the first day of free drive-thru testing Monday at Lakeview Park in Frankfort, which is being conducted by Kroger, went well. “We tested 97 people, and because of how it went, we are going to be able to test more people. If you are in Franklin County or any of the contiguous counties, you can sign up. So, what we learned is, Kroger can test the number of people they were saying they could test.”
Register online at thelittleclinic.com/drivethru-testing.
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said you must have symptoms to qualify for the free testing, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or diarrhea, and be in the top three priorities as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Priority one consists of hospitalized patients and healthcare facility workers. Priority two is people in the high-risk categories, such as those over 65, chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, kidney failure or diabetes. Priority three are those who are not in a high-risk category, but who have symptoms.
A second Kroger drive-thru testing facility will open on Wednesday in Kenton County for local residents and those of contiguous counties. Beshear says their goal will be 250 tests per day.
The General Assembly returns to Frankfort on Tuesday for their veto override session and Beshear says they should only do what is necessary and do it as quickly as possible.
“Their actions are going to impact the lives of others around them, so they ought to only consider the veto overrides,” he said. “Anything else, they shouldn’t be doing. I’m going to have a pretty high bar for anything else that they pass, when just being here puts them as risk, puts their families when they come home at risk, puts the community around them at risk.”
With high school graduations scheduled to take place next month, Beshear said he will wait another week before deciding how to proceed.
“I talk first to the Commissioner of Education. He gives me guidance on where our superintendents are and what his suggestions are, then we do a full call with the superintendents. I would say to every school out there, make those plans too. We have to be at least prepared if we don’t come back to school.”
Glasgow High School, for example, is holding its graduation on May 16 and has announced three plans that they are considering: A virtual graduation, a small group only, and a normal one.