FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear announced during his Thursday press conference that Kentucky is up to 770 cases of COVID-19. Beshear also added there are 11 new coronavirus-related deaths in Kentucky, bringing the state's total to 31 coronavirus-related deaths.
"Where we are in the coronavirus, we will probably be lighting our houses up green mostly every night at least for the foreseeable future," Beshear said. "We know that is how this virus works. We've been ready for it and we've been preparing for it. It comes for the most vulnerable amongst us. Every time you see a green house, city or a university, I hope it reminds you that our actions have consequences. But if we all do our part, we will minimize the number of nights or the number of people this green represent."
Beshear also issued multiple executive orders and made other important announcements.
Travel restrictions expanded
Those traveling from outside Kentucky and into Kentucky that aren't just passing through must quarantine for 14 days.
"We have to make sure that we don't have folks that are traveling in, staying two days and leaving," Beshear explained. "If somebody has a family member from out of state and they want to come and ride it out with their family members, that is fine. But once you get here, you quarantine for 14 days."
State, county and city governments can hire back retirees
State, county and city governments can hire back retirees if needed.
"We previously did this for first responders and others," Beshear said. "We're now expanding it because we can see an entire part of state, city or county government ultimately in self-quarantine. With this, we need to make sure we have critical people in place."
No overnight stays in state parks
Starting Friday, there will be no overnight stays in Kentucky's state parks. This includes both the campgrounds and the lodges.
"This is to make sure that we are all healthy at home," Beshear explained. "It is making sure we are not creating opportunities for people to create a crowd and we're not presenting a haven for those coming from other places."
Fairgrounds in Louisville being converted into hospital
Beshear announced that the state is moving ahead to convert the Fairgrounds in Louisville into at least a 2,000 bed hospital. The National Guard will assist in the conversion.
"Our goal is to be ready when the surge comes," Beshear said. "That doesn't mean that we wait until we don't have enough space and try to put it together. We want to learn lessons from watching other states and what they're experiencing."
Select inmates to be released
The sentences of 186 inmates in the state of Kentucky will be shortened to try to slow down the infection among those most at-risk.
The 186 inmates were screened based on CDC guidelines for those most susceptible to the virus. Every inmate will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus before being released. Each inmate must also have a residence they can move into and will have to quarantine there for 14 days.
All inmates 186 of those inmates are serving sentences for Class C or D felonies.
Secretary of Beshear's executive cabinet Michael Brown says the executive order serves two purposes.
"One is to protect those who are and have been incarcerated," Brown said. "And the other is to help protect those men and women who are serving on behalf of the state as our correctional officers and other workers in our institutions."
It will likely be the first of two waves of early releases, with the second wave involving 743 inmates.
The demographics of the 11 new coronavirus-related deaths in Kentucky are listed below
65-year-old male from Fayette County
62-year-old male from Pulaski County
49-year-old male from Boyd County
70-year-old male from Jefferson County
78-year-old female from Jefferson County
89-year-old female from Jefferson County
88-year-old female from Fayette County
77-year-old male from Fayette County
75-year-old male from Grant County
89-year-old female from Kenton County
65-year-old male from Jefferson County