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Governor believes cases have plateaued, but nursing homes are still being hit hard

Posted at 2:13 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 16:24:13-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — During his Tuesday coronavirus update, Gov. Andy Beshear said it appears the positive cases in Kentucky have plateaued.

"That means we're not on the increase and we're not yet on the decrease," said Beshear. "But especially given that we're a month into this, it at least lets us know where we think we are, subject to what we learn every day."

However, some places in Kentucky continue to be hit hard by the virus.

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have seen many positive coronavirus cases - both in residents and employees. As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 650 cases have been reported out of 54 long term care facilities in Kentucky. That makes up about 20% of state's total coronavirus cases, which currently stands at 3,192 cases.

Out of the 650 nursing home cases, 454 are residents and 196 are staff members.

The governor said 13 of the state's 17 deaths on Tuesday were out of nursing homes. In total, 72 coronavirus deaths have been reported out of long term care centers. 71 of them were residents and one was a staff member.

"It is still really deadly, especially for those in our senior living facilities," said Beshear. "And while we are all ready to get to some type of new normal, these are people's family. We got to do this safely. We've got to move forward safely."

To ensure that businesses follow proper guidelines when Kentucky re-opens its economy, the governor is asking for proposals to be submitted.

"What we're going to be asking for are industries, association groups, and some of our individual businesses to submit plans, directly to us, on how they believe they can follow the CDC guidelines and the changes that they're going to make in their operations," said Beshear. "Our new normal is not the old normal. Every plan has to be really different than what regular operations looked like before."

Proposals can be submitted to healthyatwork.ky.gov.

The governor says there are a couple of things businesses will need to consider.

"How will you socially distance? What will it look like? There are no waiting rooms anymore. That just brings people together, as one example," said Beshear. "Tele-work should continue with everybody that can tele-work. Temperature checks - how you handle symptomatic employees. Testing and contact tracing - what your ability to do that is - supplementing the state's ability. Sanitation, closing of common areas, limitation of travel, phase return, and accommodations for at-risk populations."