Virus Outbreak Florida

A health care worker prepares to collect a sample to test for COVID-19 at a drive-thru testing site Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Doris Ison Health Center in Miami.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced at least 93 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, raising the state’s total to at least 687.

“While 93 is a lot of cases, this is less than yesterday’s (114 case increase),” Beshear said during his daily briefing in Frankfort. “Our rate of increase is lower at the moment than anticipated, and that’s a good thing overall for our health care capacity.”

Beshear also reported at least two more people died from COVID-19: a 60-year-old man from Daviess County and a 76-year-old woman from Hopkins County.

A third coronavirus-related death was confirmed after Beshear’s news conference by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, bringing the statewide death toll to at least 21. Fischer did not provide further details on the person.

The Barren River District Health Department reported seven additional confirmed cases of the virus in its eight-county district Wednesday, including one new case in Warren County and three new cases in both Edmonson and Simpson counties, according to its website.

The 39 total cases in the Barren River district area include one in Barren County, one in Butler County, five in Edmonson County, three in Logan County, 12 in Simpson County and 17 in Warren County. Officials said six of those 39 people have recovered from the virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

Beshear mentioned four new cases in Warren County during his news conference, but the BRDHD only acknowledged one.

During his news conference, Beshear showed a graph of the estimated number of coronavirus-related deaths in Kentucky adapted from a model provided by the White House on Tuesday. The Kentucky graph projected 21,000 to 29,500 deaths without intervention and 1,300 to 3,200 deaths with intervention.

Since the first reported case of the coronavirus in the commonwealth March 6, Beshear has ordered all schools and non-life-sustaining businesses to close. He also called for the cancellation of most public events, including church services.

He said the White House death estimates “might be an optimistic scenario” and that when the state’s own modeling is complete, the numbers “will be tough for people to see.” Still, he reiterated that is just a prediction.

While Beshear could not provide an exact total of available personal protection equipment in Kentucky, he said the state is working on a way to index it.

He also said he is frustrated about having to “compete” with other states and the federal government for personal protective equipment and noted that “it is harder than ever” to purchase right now.

“Test kits, swabs, masks, gloves, gowns – they’re all difficult to procure right now. And most everything that we see coming into the country is going directly to” the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Beshear said.

On Wednesday, Beshear also called upon 3M to release its N95 respirator patent “to the nation under a license for this period of time,” saying it is “their patriotic duty.”

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