By TOM LATEK | Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Eleven more deaths, including the first Kentucky health-care worker, was reported during Gov. Andy Beshear’s press briefing on Tuesday. He also said there were 177 new coronavirus cases.
The totals are 2,210 cases and 115 deaths, Beshear said from the Capitol.
The deaths included three people in Jefferson County, two in Campbell and Kenton counties and one each in Adair, Jackson, Laurel and Lincoln counties.
The Adair County death was the first for a healthcare worker in Kentucky, a 50-year-old female who who was a med tech at Summit Manor Nursing Home.
“We have lost her, based on her service to others around her,” Beshear said. “We ought to not only honor her, but think about everybody else in her situation that is going into facilities right now to care about people.”
He said long-term care facilities continue to see a lot of coronavirus cases. “The most vulnerable is where it hits the hardest. We’ve had 35 additional residents of long-term care facilities test positive. We’ve had 10 new staff members test positive. We have had three additional resident deaths as well as our first staff member.”
The totals at long-term care facilities are now 217 residents and 127 staff, with 34 deaths, 33 of which were residents.
“The amount of tests being run in our long-term care facilities has increased dramatically,” the governor said. “The amount of resources being put toward them, which is the correct use of resources, has increased significantly and we’re looking at ways that we can do even more as well as ways that we can help the staff at these facilities.”
He noted both residents and staff are incredibly important and wants to address both moving forward. “We don’t want to see what happened at one California nursing home facility where nobody showed up one day. That cannot happen. That harms so many people.”
Beshear addressed a question saying some lawmakers want to decide themselves how and when things reopen.
“We’ve been at this flattening the curve, so who do you trust on how and when we reopen things? Do you trust the governor, led by the Department of Public Health and all of our medical officials? Or do you trust the legislature and lobbyists that are talking to them each day, based on monetary interests that are out there? I don’t think that’s a hard decision.”
He added, “We’ll see if any bill comes to us, but I can guarantee you that public health officials are going to provide the guidance on when we open up and what we open up. That decision will not be driven by lobbyists.”
A larger number of drive-thru coronavirus tests were held during the second day at Frankfort’s Lakeview Park and Beshear said a second location will open Wednesday in Kenton County, both of which can handle 200 to 250 tests per day.
For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky, guidance from state and federal health officials, and restrictions Gov. Beshear has in place, go to the website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.
Those without internet access or who may need more information and guidance can call the hotline at (800) 722-5725.