Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday that the state has confirmed the third death related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a 67 year-old male from Anderson County.
To show a small, yet significant message of compassion, empathy and renewal, Gov. Beshear said the Governor’s Mansion would be lit green in honor of every Kentuckian who passes related to the virus.
Gov. Beshear continued by telling Kentuckians that he does not want to make these types of announcements, and urged everyone to continue to be a good teammate and help stop the spread of the virus.
Gov. Beshear said we are going to get through this and thanked everyone who is making sacrifices.
“We are being asked to step up and to pass the test of being our brother and sister’s keeper and a true neighbor,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are being asked to put the health and welfare of our people ahead of the bottom line and many times ahead of our own personal, financial security. Those are tough asks to make, but we are those types of people. In Kentucky, we are known for caring about each other I think more than anywhere else in the country and that is why I need everyone to continue to follow our guidance, to practice social distancing and to make sure you are the person that is doing your part to help us get through this.”
While many would often go to their houses of worship on Sunday, Gov. Beshear said those services should be done remotely through social media, livestreams, through radio stations or on television.
“We now have very specific examples in multiple parts of the state about where this coronavirus has been spread in a house of worship,” the Governor said. “My faith is one of the things that keeps me going in the job that I do and I absolutely know in my heart that God gives us wisdom and wouldn’t want us to be in a small, confined space where this coronavirus can spread.”
Gov. Beshear asked houses or worship to ring their bells at 10 a.m. Eastern time Sunday.
“We’d love for you to ring the bells. It’s been done at other times in America,” the Governor said. “It just reminds us that we’re all here, that our Creator, regardless of your faith, cares about us. We will make it through this and just because we can’t go to a building to gather where we talk about it, doesn’t mean that it is not there with us and helping to guide us. We’ll make sure that we come out of this together.”
“I do believe Team Kentucky is going to help us get through this,” said Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Dr. Stack mentioned people who have reached out to him offering assistance, including donating N95 masks. “This is an opportunity for all of us to come together as a community to get through this.”
Gov. Beshear and Dr. Stack implored people to do their part to help stop the spread, including following orders not to gather in public and to follow social distancing by staying at least six feet apart from others.
“Don’t be the people who don’t listen to this. If individuals keep finding ways to get around this, they are going to hurt people,” Dr. Stack said.
Gov. Beshear said, on a positive note, both of the children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Kentucky, one eight months old and one who is six years old, are recovering. The eight-month-old was never in the hospital, but is improving at home. While the 6-year-old needed hospitalization, the child has been discharged and is recovering at home. The Governor pointed out that, while children can be diagnosed with COVID-19, the cases of children becoming critically ill are rare.
As of 5 p.m. March 21, the state’s COVID-19 patient information includes 87 who have tested positive. Click here for the list with details. Additional cases and demographics of other cases mentioned were not known by 5 p.m. ET Saturday so not all cases are listed.
On March 7, Gov. Beshear issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging and asked Attorney General Daniel Cameron to enforce the price-gouging laws. Gov. Beshear has now extended the prohibitions on price gouging 15 more days, in accordance with state laws. The order can continue to be renewed as needed. If anyone has information regarding possible price gouging, contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257 or fill out the complaint form online.
On Friday, March 20, Gov. Beshear:
•Requested school superintendents cease in-person classes until at least April 20, which is an additional two weeks from his original request. All 172 districts have stopped in-person classes to stop the spread of the virus.
•Announced the state has qualified for U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance. With that certification now in place, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at http://www.sba.gov/disaster
The SBA is also mobilizing call centers to assist in the loan-application process. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com.
•Asked those who have started their unemployment insurance application this week to finish it by tonight, Saturday, March 21, at 11:59 p.m. to ensure data is saved for the week. Otherwise, the application process will have to be redone.
•Extended the tax filing deadline to mirror the federal government by delaying the tax filing deadline by three months from April 15 to July 15.
This week, Gov. Beshear thanked Kentucky’s bourbon distillers, who are working with the state to produce and distribute hand sanitizer and businesses who are helping the state meet the need for industrial grade respirators as the state tries to move to mobile testing. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce put out a call to businesses and many responded.
Kentuckians who want advice can call the state hotline at 1.800.722.5725 or call their local health care provider.
(provided by Office of the Governor)