Virus Outbreak Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks in March alongside American Sign Language interpreter Virginia Moore during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort to provide an update on the novel coronavirus.

Amid an uptick in coronavirus cases, Gov. Andy Beshear issued a new executive order Monday reducing social, non-commercial group gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

“We are seeing too much spread from 50 people getting together in somebody’s backyard or in their neighborhood,” Beshear said in Frankfort.

Previously, groups of 50 or fewer were allowed to congregate again as of June 29. The new rule doesn’t apply to weddings, restaurants, retail or “other public venues.”

The governor also issued a travel advisory for people to quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Kentucky from states where the case positivity rate is 15% or greater. The recommendation currently applies to Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas, along with Mississippi and Puerto Rico.

Beshear said “the No. 1 cluster-causer” in the past month has been travel.

“We’ve got to make sure that (our cases) are under control. And so I need to see us start turning this tide around, or we’ll have to look at recommendations for schools because we can’t have our children and our teachers going into really difficult situations,” he said.

The new rules came after a week of increased numbers of daily cases, and one day after the state saw its highest day-to-day case increase yet, with 979 newly announced.

The nearly 1,000 new cases announced Sunday is about 151% more than the previous record of 645 new cases May 5.

“Sunday was a rude wake-up call,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said. “The larger the number of people we bring together, the more we increase the probability that one person with infection spreads it to multiple people.”

Stack also responded to a question about when the impact of the public mask mandate, which went into effect July 10, will be seen. He said if there is 80-90% compliance, a decrease in cases could be possible within two to three weeks.

To attain “the impact we wanted” from the mask rule, Stack said he would like to see another plateau in cases about two weeks after the initial implementation, followed by a decrease in cases a week after.

Beshear also gave an update on unemployment insurance claims and said there are 23,000 claims awaiting final approval.

Asked about the May 5 firing of Muncie McNamara, the former executive director of the Office of Unemployment Insurance, Beshear denied his hiring was related to a campaign contribution. WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting reported the firing, citing his personnel file.

“No contribution to a campaign ever resulted in any employment anywhere in state government,” Beshear said.

McNamara supported Beshear’s gubernatorial campaign and his wife, Audrey Haydon, considers Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman “a good friend,” according to an interview she gave to the Kentucky Standard. McNamara said Coleman called him personally to offer him the job.

At the end of McNamara’s employment, Beshear said it “didn’t work out,” and it got “very, very messy” and “very emotional.”

McNamara, 38, said his firing stemmed from raising concerns about the office cutting corners in its rush to fulfill an unprecedented number of unemployment claims, The Associated Press reported.

The Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development disputed that in an email, saying the concerns were not a factor in his termination, the AP said.

Beshear also answered a question about leaving his son’s baseball tournament Sunday. He said he decided it “wasn’t safe” because people weren’t abiding by mask and social distancing rules. The tournament director called Beshear afterward and “put some things in place that just haven’t been followed.”

Beshear also said a few weeks ago someone began “secretly and covertly” taking photos of his 9-year-old son, Will, at baseball games and posting them online.

“I know when people try to post pictures of my kids – what they’re really trying to tell me is ‘we know where you are and where we can get to you.’ But again, I am not going to be bullied by you,” he said.

In regard to reports of testing delays, Beshear said the state has purchased more capacity at in-state labs, but “we can’t control” national labs that are getting backed up by surges in “states like Florida and Texas.”

Asked about the federal government’s response to the pandemic, Beshear said “it’d be real helpful if the president wore a mask – I think a lot of other people would wear a mask.”

“But I do think that (the federal government) has been pushing really hard, and have been since early on – on a vaccine.”

Coronavirus

Beshear announced 258 new coronavirus cases statewide Monday, bringing the total to 23,414, of which 1,086 are probable.

At least 533,453 tests have been performed, 6,876 people have recovered and 542 are hospitalized, 114 of whom are in intensive care.

The state’s death toll rose to 671 with one newly confirmed virus-related death.

The Barren River District Health Department announced 2,906 total cases in its area, including 1,922 in Warren, 276 in Logan, 272 in Butler, 169 in Barren, 104 in Simpson, 85 in Edmonson, 62 in Hart and 16 in Metcalfe. Of the 2,906 cases, 2,270 have reportedly recovered. The department has reported 74 deaths to date, including 21 in Logan, 19 in Warren, 14 in Butler, 12 in Edmonson, four in Simpson and two in both Barren and Metcalfe.

There are at least 200 confirmed cases in Allen County, according to the Allen County Health Department, which is not part of the Barren River district.

Some daily totals may shift due to data being reported incorrectly. Additionally, numbers often differ between the state and local sources because of different reporting methods.

– Follow multimedia journalist Emily Zantow on Twitter @EmilyZantowNews or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow Multimedia Journalist Emily Zantow on Twitter @EmilyZantowNews or visit bgdailynews.com.

(9) comments

The_Shadow_Knows

The racist Beshears does not dictate my life. The racist Beshears allowed the thuggs of the Bigoted Lynch Mob also known as BLM gather in large numbers. Where was the racist Beshears then?

Dr. Strangelove

I dub thee Beto Beshear! Self proclaimed King of Kentucky with all the arrogance, ignorance, and submissions of the soul that the Democrat Marxist party requires.

And his minions in hiding, the Republican party of the state.

Dr. Strangelove

At 671 deaths reported as COVID state wide, divided by the population of KY at roughly 4,500,000, that comes out to a whopping 0.015% mortality since this Scam-demic started. What a croc of crap! Of course NO ONE DIES OF FLU, OR ANY OTHER health items. COVID 19 will disappear only after the Demoncrats win in November.

A Kindred Spirit

That's not how the mortality rate for an illness is calculated. The actual mortality rate for COVID in Kentucky is close to 3%, and that's significantly higher than the mortality rate for influenza, which is typically less than 1%. Of course, the flu vaccine does provide some protection from infection, and as you know, we don't have a vaccine for COVID yet. And viruses don't care about our elections, so regardless of who wins in November, the virus is going to do what viruses do.

And please stop with the name-calling. It solves no problems. Grandma said "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." You can make your point without being disagreeable.

Enough Already

I believe the point being made is if democrats win in November there will no longer be 24 hour panic coverage by the networks who are the propaganda arm of the democrat party. The coverage will just fade away and that will be the end of this "deadly" pandemic.

A Kindred Spirit

All (not just some, but all) of the cable news networks will spend a significant amount of time covering the election results regardless of the outcome. And when COVID case rates decline significantly, we can expect that the news networks will devote less time to coverage of the pandemic. That's how the 24 hour news cycle in cable news works - all the networks tend to devote a lot of time to breaking news. Unfortunately, right now bodies are being stacked like cord wood in refrigerated trucks because morgues are running out of room, and there is no consensus on how to reopen schools safely, or if it is even possible. That's definitely cause for panic, so that's why the pandemic is getting a lot of coverage currently.

If you tire of the constant coverage of the pandemic (and we all do sometimes need a break from it), but still want to be informed, there are plenty of good documentaries, print publications, and podcasts that deal with the many other issues facing the world today. There's a lot of propaganda (both Democrat and Republican) out there, particularly on social media. It's up to us to do our due diligence to know when we're being influenced, and to always be seeking the truth.

Koheleth

The two that you are addressing couldn't care less about the Truth.

A Kindred Spirit

Willful disregard of the truth is the source of many of the problems we face. If enough of us keep saying truth matters, perhaps at some point it will drown out the noise. At least, I think we have to try.

Koheleth

Agreed. Welcome to the trenches. You'll get lots of praxis here.

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