Nine new cases, including infant

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – In what health experts call an “extraordinarily rare” case, an 8-month-old child in Jefferson County is being treated at home for the coronavirus, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced in his Wednesday afternoon briefing.

He also announced all charitable gaming sites, such as bingo, must close. He also assured the public banks are in good financial condition but are being encouraged to limit lobby access and make more use of drive-through and online banking.

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The baby is one of nine new cases in the state, bringing to 35 in the state plus one case in New York. That woman has a Lexington address.

Among the new cases are an 88-year-old woman in Bourbon County and a woman in Jefferson County, Beshear said. Others are first time cases in Warren, Canton, Franklin, and one of the WestCo. counties, the governor said, along with cases in Fayette and Clark counties.

In addition, the governor announced the state is extending eligibility for state services such as SNAP, Medicaid and similar programs for three months.

“That means if your eligibility runs out in May, it will be extended to August,” Beshear said, noting people won’t have to apply or come in to get the extension.

The state also is reopening Medicaid eligibility to make sure people have access to health care.

“We want to make sure people have the care they need,” the governor said.

He encouraged people to apply now. He recognized people may need to be patient to make sure they get their application done. He recommended going to www.benefind.ky.com for assistance and to find groups who can assist with the application.

He is ending charitable gaming licenses, such as bingo because they encourage large gatherings and often attract older adults who are the most vulnerable to the disease.

As for banks and financial installations, they are being urged to limit lobby access and encourage people to use drive-through and online services to “try to reduce the amount of contacts that are there.”

Beshear said he has a working group studying ways to possibly use the National Guard, if necessary, such as setting up drive-through testing stations or helping out in medical facilities.

“They are ready and good at their job,” Beshear said.

He recommended physical and occupational therapy places to close down.

“Those are just an additional step we have to take as a people.”

Beshear said the state is working on ways to help independent contractors get unemployment and other benefits.

“We understand the challenge they face and the sacrifice they are making,” Beshear said.

The governor acknowledged “as much as he hated it,” his ban on close-contact businesses even applies to hairstylists who have only one chair and see only one person at a time.

“That’s still the kind of contact we have to avoid,” he said.