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Memorial event held on anniversary of first COVID-19 case in Kentucky

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Posted at 8:02 PM, Mar 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-06 20:02:44-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — To honor those lost to COVID-19, Governor Andy Beshear held a memorial Saturday afternoon at the State Capitol, on the one-year anniversary of the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

It’s been a year that first responders, healthcare workers and anyone impacted by the pandemic won't forget.

“I've taken care of over 700 COVID-19 patients and 50 of those flags [on the lawn] are my patients,” said Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor of UofL Health.

At the end of the event, families of lost loved ones placed American flags on the South Terrace lawn, joining thousands of others. Each flag represents a person who has died in the state from COVID-19.

Their memory will soon live on at the Capitol in a more permanent way. Governor Beshear announced the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund to help develop a monument for victims of the virus.

“This monument will stand for Kentuckians we lost and commemorate the sacrifices that we have experienced during this once-in-a-century pandemic,” said Governor Beshear.

Even on a somber anniversary, the governor says he feels a sense of hope and optimism about the future and overcoming the pandemic.

“We have over 800,000 Kentuckians that have received at least their first shot of hope and we're going to vaccinate every single adult, everybody who qualifies that wants a shot, by the end of May,” said Governor Beshear.

The governor said the state plans to open a donation website for the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund soon.