Virus Outbreak Printed Face Shields

A nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift April 2. 

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Warren County rose above 900 Friday, according to a news release from the Barren River District Health Department.

On the same day a permanent test site opened at Walmart on Morgantown Road, officials reported 917 total cases.

County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said Monday that over 6 percent of Warren residents had been tested, which is twice the statewide rate.

Overall cases in the department's eight-county region climbed to 1,399, including 209 in Butler, 114 in Logan, 56 in Edmonson, 44 in Simpson, 34 in Barren, 21 in Hart, and 4 in Metcalfe. There are 27 total virus-related deaths in the district, including nine confirmed deaths in Edmonson County, six in Butler, five in Warren, three in both Simpson and Logan and one in Barren.

Meanwhile, the Barren River Area Development District’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which uses data from the state Department of Public Health, showed 1,447 cases Friday in its 10-county region. Those include 906 in Warren, 219 in Butler, 113 in Logan, 53 in Edmonson, 44 in both Allen and Simpson, 40 in Barren, 17 in Hart, seven in Monroe and four in Metcalfe.

There are at least 48 cases in Allen County, according to an update Friday from the Allen County Health Department, which is not part of the Barren River district.

During Gov. Andy Beshear's briefing Friday, he confirmed 141 new coronavirus cases statewide, 121 of which are probable, bringing the statewide total to 8,426.

"We now think we have not just plateaued, but we are actually in a decline," he said.

The virus-related death toll rose to 391, with five newly confirmed and one probable.

At least 171,338 people statewide have been tested, and of the 8,426 total cases, at least 3,069 have recovered, 477 are currently hospitalized, and 90 are in intensive care. 

The governor also touted the importance of following the state's guidance going into Memorial Day weekend to ensure people's actions don't affect the ability to return to work or school.

"This weekend ... is a big weekend," he said. "It's about being able to do more things than we have in a while, and to make sure we do them responsibly."

The state's "recovery" is dependent on keeping the number of coronavirus cases low, and "how we're able to do this weekend and every weekend thereafter," Beshear said.

On Friday, groups of 10 or fewer could gather again and restaurants were able to reopen at 33 percent indoor capacity and unlimited outdoor capacity.

Under the state's Memorial Day guidance, people should wear masks, wash hands frequently, engage in social distancing, gather outdoors instead of indoors and individually wrap plates.

Beshear also said he will not hold a briefing this weekend or on Memorial Day, the next news conference will be Tuesday.

Secretary of State Michael Adams also discussed the four ways to vote in the upcoming June 23 primary election.

Registered voters may cast ballots early at a county clerk's office or vote absentee by mail or by dropping it off at a secure lock box. Limited in-person polling locations will be open on Election Day, he said.

"Election Day is gonna look a lot different, we're still working on what that looks like precisely" he said.

Adams said "the best thing you can do" is to request an absentee ballot through at, and the deadline to do so is June 15. For secure lock box locations, state Elections Board Executive Director Jared Dearing said to contact your local county clerk's office.

Adams said in an effort to combat voter fraud or cheating, absentee applications and ballots must be signed, and signatures will be compared. In a social media post Friday he said "voters whose signatures mismatch (will) have an opportunity to cure."

Ballot envelopes will also have bar codes that will be tracked and "large numbers of ballot requests" to addresses will be monitored.

Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Josh Benton also provided an update on unemployment insurance. He said the state still has 14,000 March claims and about 38,000 April claims that have to be processed "manually by staff" due to issues.

Benton also said the 15.4 percent statewide insured unemployment rate in April is "probably higher." According to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, the rate in April last year was 4.3 percent.

In addition, he said automatic benefit payments will no longer be made and must be requested starting Sunday.

A reporter asked Beshear if a worker who is told to quarantine by a contact tracer will qualify for unemployment benefits given their employer does not provide paid sick.

"If that issue arose ... we'd contact their employer because their employer should not want them coming back in sick," he said.

"That's why paid leave - especially if you have been called by a contact tracer, if you are likely to have it - should be there for everyone."

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


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