A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 229 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death; cases tied to Myrtle Beach; testing in Kenton County

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s actions to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). He reported that there were 229 new cases in Kentucky and one new death.

“We are going to get through this because we have shown, even with a worldwide health pandemic, we can come together, unite, know what it takes, and manage something as aggressive and deadly as COVID-19,” the Governor said. “The only way we can reopen safely is if we continue to test and people work with our contact tracers.”

Beshear and administration officials offered new guidance for Kentucky schools looking to open safely in the fall, new sites for in-person unemployment insurance claims service and new drive-through testing locations as part of the commonwealth’s partnership with Kroger. Information was also provided about a major settlement that will provide millions of dollars to Kentucky’s rural hospitals and major announcements aimed at making Kentucky’s Appalachian region the AgriTech center of America.

Case information

As of Wednesday afternoon, Beshear said there were at least 14,363 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 229 of which were newly reported.

Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s commissioner for public health, warned that health officials have tied many cases to travel outside of the state.

“We have now identified here in Kentucky numerous people that have returned from Myrtle Beach with COVID-19,” Stack said. “I have to continue to urge and beg folks to be careful. It is not the time to be cavalier because we have a scenario where a place that was just starting the reopening process went from being fine to a state of emergency in three weeks.”

Beshear reported one new death Wednesday, raising the total to 538 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The death reported Wednesday was an 89-year-old man from Laurel County.

“It sounds when we say, ‘Only one death,’ like it is a good day, but it’s not a good day for that family,” Beshear said. “Let’s remember that and continue to light our homes up green. Compassion is needed more in this world than ever for so many reasons.”

“Let’s make sure we keep showing it as Kentuckians,” the Governor added. “I hope that we learned that when we show compassion, when we talk to each other without initial judgment or anger, when we can put other people and their wellbeing ahead of ourselves, that’s a special place to be, and I think Kentucky is that place.”

Gov. Beshear opening his press conference.

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 368,152 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 3,706 Kentuckians had recovered from the virus.

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.

Unemployment claims

Beshear announced several in-person services to address those who have filed unemployment insurance claims. The Governor reiterated his pledge to address every claim that has been filed during this unprecedented time.

“We are working day in and day out to rebuild an unemployment office that through years of neglect, and then huge cuts in 2017, started this year with 12 individuals that could face-to-face communication with the public,” the Governor noted.

Beginning next week, in-person services will be offered five days a week in Frankfort.

In addition, officials will begin taking the services on the road. In-person services will be provided Monday and Tuesday, June 29 and 30, in Ashland and Owensboro. On July 7 and 8, in-person services will be held in Somerset and Hopkinsville.

Testing expansion includes Kenton County

Beshear reminded Kentuckians to take advantage of the state’s partnership with Kroger, which has brought free drive-through testing across the Commonwealth.

“So, our new testing sites for this week: We’re going to continue in Louisville and in Lexington, and we’re adding a site in Kenton County again – we are actually seeing some disturbing numbers in the Cincinnati area – and our last site for next week is going to be in Pikeville,” the Governor said. “We need to make sure we get people to these sites.”

Information on how to register at more than 200 sites throughout the Commonwealth can be found here.

Building America’s AgriTech Capital

Beshear took several actions to keep his administration’s promise to build America’s AgriTech capital in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

“Our future is the reason that I ran for this office. I wanted to create a brighter, better future for all Kentuckians,” the Governor said. “AgriTech: It is where our past meets our future, where a rich tradition of farming turns into one of innovation – of intellectual property, of scaling ideas to help a small family farm into the next multibillion-dollar industry.”

Among the moves taken Wednesday, Beshear signed an international agreement with 16 partner organizations, including the Dutch government, that are committed to the same goal. The international agreement group was brought together by AppHarvest, an innovative, certified B corporation that is creating one of the largest controlled environment agriculture facilities in the world.

“Why has everybody gravitated to this effort? Because of our state. That willingness to work, from an area of the country that has been known for powering the United States: Eastern Kentucky,” said AppHarvest founder and CEO Jonathan Webb. “We don’t believe that the future of farming in America is going to be in Boston, New York City or San Francisco. We believe the future of farming is going to be somewhere in the middle of the United States, and now it just takes leadership to determine who wants to grab it and go.”

The Governor also established an AgriTech Advisory Council to guide the Commonwealth’s increased focus on this industry that will expand the state’s economy and create jobs for Kentuckians. He announced the state has launched a new website highlighting AgriTech in Kentucky, agritech.ky.gov.

See the NKyTribune’s story about new Healthy@school guidelines in Education today.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment