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COVID: NKY has 20 new cases, 4 deaths; KY has 177 cases, 17 deaths; ‘Healthy at Work’ initiative begins

As of Tuesday, 20 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Northern Kentucky by the Health Department, for 306 total cases. There are 153 cases in Kenton County, 56 cases in Campbell County, 82 cases in Boone County and 15 cases in Grant County.

This includes four new COVID-19 related deaths. The individuals were a Grant County resident in their 70s, two Kenton County residents in their 60s and 80s, and a Campbell County resident in their 70s. Our thoughts go out to their loved ones during this difficult time. There have been 27 total deaths related to COVID-19.

Kentucky State Police Honor Guard placed a wreath at Lincoln’s feet in the Capitol Rotunda to honor those lost to coronavirus.

“We continue to see cases of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky. While the Governor discusses plans for slowly reopening, we need to remember that we must continue social distancing. According to Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health, “There is evidence that we have been able to decrease the spread of COVID-19 by staying healthy at home, and we must continue. In the absence of an approved treatment and vaccine, it is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 in our community.”

In his daily report, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were 177 new cases confirmed in Kentucky and 17 new deaths, raising the state’s totals to 3,192 cases and 171 deaths.

“Seventeen is a hard number to take. These are 17 individuals to be missed; 17 families that will be grieving; 17 communities that will be grieving,” Gov. Beshear said. “They are more than just their ages, genders and home counties. Let’s make sure we are doing everything we can to not have days like today.”

The 17 newly reported deaths include an 81-year-old man from Butler County; two women, ages 90 and 94, and a 92-year-old man from Graves County; a 58-year-old woman from Grant County; three men, ages 80, 85 and 90, and two women, ages 80 and 81, from Hopkins County; a 52-year-old man from Jackson County; two men, ages 71 and 81, and an 81-year-old woman from Jefferson County; a 73-year-old man and a 93-year-old woman from Kenton County; and an 86-year-old woman from Lyon County.

The Governor also announced the launch of “Healthy at Work,” a new initiative to help Kentucky businesses reopen safely as we fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

He has urged all Kentuckians to remain Healthy at Home, following federal and state guidelines on social distancing and limiting contacts. But he said families and businesses also must prepare for the day when we begin to reopen our economy.

“We want to make sure that when we hit that mark, knowing that we may only know five days in, that we’re ready and that when it is safe to do something, we can immediately start doing it,” the Governor said.

But he warned against opening up too soon.

“When we look at the long-term reopening of the economy, we do it by not being foolish or making risky decisions,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s how we come out of this strong.”

Healthy at Work offers a phased approach to reopening Kentucky’s economy. It is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts.

“This is going to be a dialogue with your business, your trade associations, employee groups,” said La Tasha Buckner, the Governor’s chief of staff and general counsel. “We’re all going to be working on this. We want to make sure we’re doing this the best way and not the quickest way.”

Phase 1 is a state-readiness evaluation. Phase 2 is an individual business-readiness evaluation. This approach will ensure the Commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.

During Phase 1 of Healthy at Work, the Kentucky Department for Public Health will determine whether Kentucky has met certain public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy. These benchmarks closely follow the White House’s Guidelines for Reopening America.

During Phase 2 of Healthy at Work, the Department for Public Health will evaluate individual businesses’ ability to safely reopen.

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“Our new normal is not going to be the old normal,” Gov. Beshear said. “Every plan has to be really different from what regular operations looked like before.”

Among other things, each business proposal is required to explain its ability to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees, adequate access to hand sanitizer and disinfectant, and minimal direct contact between employees and the public.

“Doing this right is about safety. That’s our number one concern,” the Governor said. “It’s also the right thing for the economy. Avoiding a second spike will restore our economy faster.”

For more data on COVID-19 infections in Northern Kentucky, please visit https://nkyhealth.org/individual-or-family/health-alerts/coronavirus/

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