FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A low number of new cases of the coronavirus was reported on Monday and, for the first time in a number of days, no new deaths.
During a press briefing held in the House Chamber of the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were 90 cases reported to state health officials on Monday. “This is one of the lowest Mondays we’ve had in a while. We’re announcing only 90 new cases of COVID-19. One of the first times in at least a little while that we have been under triple digits.”
The 90 new cases bring the pandemic total to 13, 839, and the number of deaths remains at 526. “At least in the last two months, I only remember two of these days,” he said. “For somebody who has read ages and genders and counties, knowing that each one of them is a loss of now 526 Kentuckians, to have no reportable deaths, is special.”
New guidance has been posted on the state website, kycovid19.ky.gov, for the next phase of reopenings in Kentucky, which will take place June 29, according to Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.
“We have guidance for gatherings up to 50 people,” said Dr. Kenneth Stack. “We also have guidance for professionally organized venues and event spaces. You can think of hotels, arenas, and other events that are generally professionally done.”
This also includes restaurants and bars, up to 50 percent of capacity, as long as they maintain social distancing and other requirements found online.
“June 29 marks the beginning of Phase 3 as described in President Trump’s Opening Up of America Again plan,” Stack said. “These plans all require the steps you should all be well familiar with right now.”
Although Kentucky seems to have plateaued, Stack reminds Kentuckians, “This is a dangerous disease. We are seeing in other states dramatic surges. In Arizona, it’s a vertical climb. When I talk to people in some of these other states who are in similar positions of responsibility, they have concerns about what they are seeing.
“These are the things we have to do, until we get a vaccine or a treatment.”
Beshear said he is taking three steps to help clear up the backlog of unemployment claims.
--As part of moving the unemployment office to the Labor Cabinet, Labor Secretary Larry Roberts will oversee the program directly, as Commissioner of Unemployment Insurance.
--He is working to finalize a contract with an outside vendor to help in processing, communications, and training.
--By the end of the week he hopes to have additional in-person services, and by next week will be out in different areas of the state.
Beshear’s next briefing is scheduled for Wednesday. “We are going to outline our plan to reopen schools,” he said. “It’s a comprehensive plan where there are some expectations, and some very strong suggestions. Some things schools will be able to do easily, some things will be harder. But from a public health standpoint, it’s important that we put out there what the very safest practices and procedures are.”