Four new virus cases Monday; primary extended to June 23; job help discussed

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – As of Monday night Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says 25 people in total have tested positive for coronavirus, one person has died, and one person has recovered.

The state will postpone its Democratic and Republican primaries from May 19 to June 23. The 35 day delay is the latest allowed by law.

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Secretary of State Michael Adams made the recommendation to the governor.

“This will give us time to assess any changes we need to make to insure a smooth election,” Adams said.

Beshear also said the state is asking child care centers to be closed by the end of business Friday.

“I know it’s going to be hard, but it’s all necessary,” Beshear stated following up on the move he said Monday morning would be coming.

The order will have an exception for day care provided to the children of health care workers.

“We must have every health care worker we can available. We have to make some critical exceptions. If you are not in the health care industry, we hope you understand,” Beshear said.

Beshear also had state leaders at his briefing to explain steps the state is taking in light of likely job losses, especially with the closing of in-person dining at restaurants and bars. Information also is available at the www.kycovid19.ky.gov Web site.

He urged Kentuckians to order out to support local businesses. He repeated waiving the work requirement and waiting period for unemployment benefits.

Food trucks will not be shut down, but the state will ask them to practice proper social distancing if lines start to develop.

The state also will grant three-month extensions for driver’s license renewals.

He could make further recommendations for movie theaters and similar locations as early as Tuesday.

“We’ll talk about that tomorrow,” he said when asked about those restrictions.

The state also is applying for federal Small Business Association loans to help small businesses.

He said wage garnishments and similar legal moves by state government may be delayed. “I don’t want the state causing any more harm than necessary,” he said.

In addition, the Nelson County man who had refused to self-isolate has now agreed to do so, Beshear said.

The state also is adding new features, including test results from counties, to the state web site – www.kycovid19.ky.gov. The site is seeing increasing usage, so much so it crashed for a brief time Monday, but those issues have been resolved, Gov. Andy Beshear said during is daily 5 p.m. briefing Monday.

He also continued to urge all groups to cancel meetings and gatherings.

He stressed coronavirus testing will be free for everyone when it becomes widely available.

“We will be ready to go as soon as it is available,” he stated.

He said asking hospitals to stop elective surgeries is a way to make sure health care beds and facilities are available.

Beshear he is talking to neighboring governors about regional planning, especially the Ohio governor who has been a friend since college.

As for teachers and students, he urged them not to stress about current requirements.

“We will deal with those in time,” he said.