Ky. Reports Highest One Day Increase In New Coronavirus Cases

Apr 19, 2020

During his Sunday briefing, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that the state has experienced the highest one day increase in new coronavirus cases "that we’ve ever had."

He reported 273 new cases, bringing the state's total to 2,960.

The governor also announced four new deaths, which put Kentucky's total death toll at 148.

"And while that's significantly less than what we've had in other days, again four individuals, four families that are, oh so important," Beshear said, encouraging people to light up their homes and buildings green to honor those who have died.

"Let's ring our bells tomorrow at 10 a.m. so people out there know they are not alone."

He also noted that the virus continues to be a major threat to the state’s long-term care facilities. He reported that 33 more residents and eight more staff have tested positive at the 46 facilities around the state dealing with the outbreak. There have been four more deaths.

Reopening Kentucky

The governor also addressed reopening sectors of the economy in Kentucky and said it will be done "gradual and phased. We've gotta be fluid and flexible."

He reviewed his benchmarks for easing restrictions, the first being that there needs to be a decrease in the number of new cases for two weeks. He said the state would need to meet other criteria including increased testing and contact tracing; making more PPE available as industries open up; being prepared for the possibility of another spike in cases and keeping an eye on the status of a vaccine and treatments. 

"We are still in the midst of this fight against a deadly and a highly contagious virus," Beshear said. "So, let's make sure that as much as we're looking at those benchmarks and we're looking at the future, that we are acting in the present and we are doing the things that it takes to protect one another."  

The governor said the total number of Kentuckians who have been tested so far is 32,319.

Threats Against The Governor

Beshear answered a question about violent threats made against him online. He expressed his confidence in the Kentucky State Police, calling it "an incredible organization filled with great people."

"They provide security for me on a daily basis," he said, though not saying whether they've increased his security in any way.

"I fully trust them and I couldn't be in better hands."

This story first appeared on WFPL. For more stories like this, visit wfpl.org now.