FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 18, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday updated Kentuckians on steps the state is taking to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
“Take care of each other. Wear facial coverings. Stay six feet apart. Do all of the things we need to do. We know how to beat COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let’s come together. I know we’re going to get through this. I’m counting on you and I’m proud of you. It’s go time and let’s get it done right now.”
As of 4 p.m. July 18, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 22,184 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 583 of which were newly reported Saturday. This is the second-highest number of cases reported in a single day in Kentucky.
“That means this is a dangerous time and it can’t be explained away by our increase in tests,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to make sure that we are wearing our facial coverings, because today’s cases are a reflection of 14 days ago before we mandated those. This is what it’s going to take if we want to save our economy and save lives and get our kids back in school, it’s really that simple.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported nine new deaths Saturday, raising the total to 667 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Saturday include a 93-year-old woman from Jefferson County; three women, ages 78, 80 and 81, and two men, ages 83 and 96, from Logan County; an 88-year-old woman from Shelby County; a 64-year-old man from Simpson County; and a 76-year-old woman from Warren County.
As of Saturday, there have been at least 529,481 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.66%. At least 6,824 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
“Consistency is incredibly important as we strive to avoid straining our health system,” said Steven Stack, M.D., commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “Weekends offer additional opportunities to socialize and go out in public. If you do, practice Healthy at Home and Healthy at Work guidelines. Wear a face covering. Maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people outside your household. Wash your hands. And, if a contact tracer calls, please answer. These steps get us back to work, school and play.”
For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.
Kentucky Supreme Court Keeps Executive Orders Protecting Kentuckians in Place
Gov. Beshear on Friday announced that the Kentucky Supreme Court has kept in place all executive orders related to the fight against COVID-19, including the mask order, until the court can hear full arguments from the Beshear administration and the attorney general’s office and issue a final ruling.
Early yesterday morning, a Boone Circuit Court judge was expected to sign an injunction nullifying many of the Governor’s executive orders on COVID-19. The attorney general challenged the orders Gov. Beshear put in place to protect Kentucky lives, to keep Kentucky from losing more than $10 billion in the economy and to help schools safely reopen this fall.
In an order issued yesterday afternoon by unanimous decision, the Supreme Court stated, “Given the need for a clear and consistent statewide public health policy and recognizing that the Kentucky legislature has expressly given the Governor broad executive powers in a public health emergency, the court orders a stay of all orders of injunctive relief until such time as the various orders are properly before the court with a full record of any evidence and pleadings considered by the lower courts.”
To learn more, read yesterday’s full release.
Retailers, Elected Officials Support Statewide Face Coverings Mandate
Yesterday, the Governor highlighted many national retailers and small businesses that are now requiring customers to wear masks while shopping in order to protect the health and safety of all customers and staff members.
Local elected officials like Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley have also shared their support.
“Masks disappeared like melted snow prior to this week. I’ve been encouraged to see near 100% compliance since Gov. Beshear implemented what was needed to protect our people,” Judge-Executive Mosley said. “With 85 new cases in one week in our county, compared to 40 over the last four months, we owe it to our loved ones to try even harder. Just like many of us own a weapon to protect our families from intruders into our homes, a mask is our weapon to keep the coronavirus from intruding into our lives as well. I appreciate the Governor giving us this tool to protect the people we love.”
Safety Reporting Hotline
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians that the COVID-19 reporting hotline is available to help keep everyone safe.
People who witness dangerous non-compliance with coronavirus mandates, including requirements for mask wearing, social distancing and sanitation, at Kentucky businesses are encouraged to call the COVID-19 reporting hotline at 833-KY SAFER (833-597-2337). Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the line from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. To file a complaint online, click here.
Responding to some reports that some seeking coronavirus testing still are being asked to provide a doctor’s order, administration officials reiterated Thursday that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health (DPH) issued an order removing any such requirement to receive a COVID-19 test.
Kentuckians can sign up for molecular diagnostic testing at more than 200 locations throughout the state, listed by county at kycovid19.ky.gov.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).