Kentucky up to 8,069 cases of COVID-19, 366 deaths

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 19, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear announced during his Tuesday press conference there are 164 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky and that the state's COVID-19 total case number currently sits at 8,069.

Of the 8,069 individuals to test positive for COVID-19, 2,826 have recovered.

Beshear also announced that there are 20 new coronavirus-related deaths in Kentucky, bringing the state's coronavirus-related death total to 366. The 20 new coronavirus-related deaths are the highest announced in one day.

Recommendations for Memorial Day Weekend

Starting this Friday, May 22, gatherings of 10 or fewer will be permitted in the state of Kentucky. Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack asked that groups follow specific recommendations ahead of Memorial Day Weekend. Those recommendations are listed below.

1. Hold gatherings outside
2. Continue social distancing
3. Wear face mask
4. Don't share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
5.Wash hands often
6. Don't touch eyes/nose/mouth

Stack also spoke specifically about a report released by the CDC that informed the country about a church gathering in Arkansas where COVID-19 was spread. The report states that two individuals that didn't know they were infected with COVID-19 attended a church gathering of 92 people. Thirty-five of the 92 individuals at the church gathering eventually tested positive for COVID-19. Three of the 35 individuals that tested positive for COVID-19 from that church gathering died.

"Our individual actions have direct implications and consequences for others," Stack said. "When we talk about what kinds of acts of love, caring and kindness we can do, even though it is inconvenient, I don't like wearing a mask any more than anyone else does. It is something we choose to do because we need to do to keep ourselves and the people we love and others around us safe. Its not just about church services, it is about any group gatherings."

More businesses allowed to open June 8

Museums, outdoor attractions, aquariums, libraries and distilleries will be allowed to open starting June 8.

"We're going to try to have as much guidance that is applicable to a lot of these because some of them are outdoors but also have individual tours or groups that can go through," Beshear said. "We're going to be working hard on this, but this gives these businesses some advance notice."

COVID-19 testing expanded

Starting this Friday, Kentucky's partnership with Wal-Mart will expand COVID-19 testing to Ashland, Bowling Green, Leitchfield, London, Paducah, Pikeville and Richmond. This now gives Kentucky eight testing sites under the partnership with Wal-Mart. The location at Bardstown opened on May 15.

"These are areas that we've had some service in but we can have multiple locations," Beshear noted. "They are areas where we needed additional testing. We really appreciate Wal-Mart and the partnership. So when we think about what we need to combat this virus, we need to continue our social distancing, we need the testing capacity which we now have and we need tracing which we are putting together that infrastructure as we went over yesterday."