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Update: Governor Beshear announces 2 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky

(WTAP)
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 9:03 AM EDT
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Update 5:00 p.m.

Governor Andy Beshear joined state health officials in Frankfort Tuesday at 5 p.m. to give the latest update on the spread of the coronavirus. Two more cases in Harrison County were confirmed in Kentucky.

The two new cases are a 60-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman. Both are in home isolation and are being treated.

As of Tuesday evening, there are eight confirmed coronavirus cases in Kentucky. Five in Harrison County, two in Fayette County and one in Jefferson County.

The governor said all five Harrison County are linked in various ways, clarifying that it is not a singular link, but could not give more details for privacy reasons.

"We are trying to make the best decisions we can with the information we have," Beshear said.

The governor also signed an executive order to allow pharmacists to fill prescriptions for 30 days without a doctor's permission. This is to make it easier for medical professionals to treat COVID-19 patients. It also allows pharmacists to set up mobile stations if need be.

Meanwhile, governors in other states asked people to not attend sporting events, and Beshear addressed those concerns too.

"As we learn more, our recommendations will evolve, but we're currently not making that same recommendation here," he said.

The governor reiterated his mandate to stay away from state-run nursing homes and long-term care facilities to protect those that are most vulnerable. He highly recommended the same policy for private facilities.

"it is critically important that it is followed. When we look around the country, the fatalities we are seeing are in large measure those that are vulnerable," the governor said. "If you look at Seattle, you see what happens."

Sayre Christian Village in Lexington is among the many places that have self-imposed visiting restrictions as soon as the first coronavirus case was announced.

"It may not be our resident that is symptomatic. It could be someone walking in off the street, because of the unknown, we can't risk having the exposure to our residents," said Karen Venis, who works at Sayre. "We knew it was not a matter of it, it was a matter of when it gets to Kentucky.

"We are asking people not to visit. If it's an end of life situation, obviously that is different," said Eric Friedlander, with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

"Our folks are medically compromised anyway," Venis added. "They are here because they are sick and they need us to take care of them.

You can watch Governor Beshear's announcement in the video below.

LIVE @ 5: Gov. Beshear to give more updates about coronavirus

LIVE @ 5: Gov. Beshear to give more updates about coronavirus Read more>>https://bit.ly/3aMaQ5k

Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Update 2:30 p.m.

Governor Andy Beshear and state health officials said people need to stay away from nursing homes and other facilities because of the coronavirus.

Beshear said the long-term care population is among the most at risk when it comes to COVID-19. That request for private homes and the mandate for state-run facilities came during a news briefing at the state Capitol Tuesday morning.

The number of confirmed cases is expected to go up daily. Health leaders said they are seeing fewer travel cases and more person-to-person contact causing the spread of the virus. That is why they do not want people visiting nursing homes.

Though the coronavirus is impacting various age groups, Beshear said people older than 60 should take special care.

“I understand there are Kentuckians who are not going to be able to see Mom or Dad, want to go there and make sure they are getting the best care, I understand that. But we are working to protect the lives of those same loved ones," said the governor.

The state also updated its paid sick leave policy and encouraged private employers to do the same. Governor Beshear said the confirmed cases in Kentucky are still in isolation and all are improving.

at the University of Kentucky as more people grow concerned about COVID-19, the new strain of coronavirus spreading across the states.

Health experts said people should not panic. Instead, people should just be prepared and focus on good hygiene.

"Testing appears to be more available nationwide, really starting last Friday, and we have a number of commercially available labs that are coming on the market here pretty soon through the FDA's emergency use authorization grant," said Dr. Derek Foster.

Tests should become more available in the next weeks and months.

Update 9:25 a.m.

As of Tuesday morning, there are still six confirmed coronavirus cases in Kentucky. Three in Harrison County, two in Fayette County and one in Jefferson County.

We learned those who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Harrison County are a 27-year-old woman, a 67-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man. The governor said officials believe those cases are connected.

In Fayette County, two men, a 49-year-old and a 46-year-old, are infected.

A 69-year-old man in Jefferson County is dealing with the illness there.

The governor said that's all the information they can release right now due to privacy concerns.

“We are responding aggressively and ask Kentuckians to partner with us in reducing the risk to themselves, their loved ones and especially to those at higher risk including those over 60 and with chronic health conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease,” said Gov. Beshear. “People need to remain calm, but take the simple and necessary steps to protect themselves and their communities, including practicing good hygiene.”

Officials are also encouraging people not to visit residents in nursing homes to limit their contact to the virus unless it is an end of life situation.

More than 200 are in self-imposed isolation right now. We're told most of them are not currently showing symptoms and are low risk for catching the virus.

“I’m confident, as a state and as a nation, we’re going to rise to the challenge,” said Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) commissioner. “I want you to know there’s a lot of people working hard on your behalf.”

A hotline has been set up to help Kentuckians who have questions or need help. That number is 1-800-722-5725.

Original Story 9:00 a.m.

Gov. Andy Beshear is updating the media about the status of the coronavirus in Kentucky.

You can watch a live stream of the news conference below.

Special Report

Gov. Andy Beshear is updating the media with the latest on the coronavirus cases in Kentucky.

Posted by WYMT on Tuesday, March 10, 2020