FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — At the State Capitol, where dozens of protesters gathered to voice their opinions about opening up businesses immediately, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that there are 2,291 COVID-19 cases, and 122 coronavirus-related deaths in the state of Kentucky.
He mentioned that these numbers are low because the state is in the middle of using a new system. He anticipates there are at least 50 more cases who haven't been included in Wednesday's numbers.
In relation to the protesters, Beshear said they had a right to voice their opinions but that it would be a disservice to begin opening up non-essential businesses immediately, saying it's 'not even halftime yet'.
However, he did mention that he, along with the governors of Ohio and Indiana, are partnering with one another to limit restrictions on the opening of businesses heading forward, and that one state can't sign off on something if the other states haven't checked or agreed with it.
"We do this thoughtfully so that we don't see a reemergence regionally," said Beshear. "We have to make sure we are working together. These two governors and I have been on calls with each other at least once a week. They care about their people and there has not been one political moment in it."
Governor Beshear also announced that the University of Louisville Hospital is in the midst of a new testing regimen with front line health care workers to come up with a test that will allow people to get back to worker sooner.
"The Co-Immunity Project" will focus on health care workers who have been infected in the past and may have developed immunity to the the virus. This allows them to get the green light to go back out and help in the community, and allows the state to know which people are safer once the economy starts to reopen.
Second, a lab will be able to look at the amount of antibodies, or how strong the antibodies are that a victim has. This will let the labs know which people are better to donate plasma to treat the sickest COVID-19 patients.
Third, the lab is working on a high-quality donor plasma that can also treat the sickest patients.
"This is a unique opportunity for us," said U of L President, Dr. Neeli Bendapudi. "We are very eager to try and work with the entire population. First of all, to protect our healthcare workers, and then everybody in the community."
Team Kentucky Fund is also partnering with Community action of Kentucky, which has a long history of impactful work and will serve as hands and feet of the mission $1.9 million dollars has been raised so far for the Team Kentucky Fund.