FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear warned Wednesday the next two weeks will be “critical” in terms of social distancing and isolation as the coronavirus begins to spread.
He also announced “great” news about the expansion of unemployment benefits. He also said the state hopes to have at least a single location for “drive-through” testing on Monday with a few more opening after that.
The state had its fifth death, a 75-year-old man from Jefferson County, Beshear said, noting the Capitol and other state buildings will be lit up green as a tribute.
He also noted the state has its first case of a student who caught the virus on spring break in Florida.
“Don’t do it,” he stated flatly.
Of those, the state had 198 total cases, which is 35 more than Tuesday. But that is fewer than the new cases Tuesday.
“We are one of the few states in the country that can report fewer new cases today than it did yesterday,” he stated.
“We must do everything we can to continue to flatten the curve. I’d love to be able to tell you in the next two or three weeks we will be out of it, I can’t, but I know this is the difference. But this is it, it is our time, we must pass this test,” he stated.
“In the next two to three weeks are going to be absolutely critical,” Beshear said, comparing how Kentucky’s numbers are comparing to the dramatic increases in some other states such as Tennessee and Virginia.
“It is because so many of you have bought in. Those sacrifices will save lives. But in these next two weeks we have to do even better,” he continued.
“I need you to ratchet it up even more,” he stated, urging the public to cut 75 percent “of our contacts.” “I need you to be as diligent as you possibly can. It’s already paid dividends, but now is that crunch time.”
State Health Coordinator Steven Stack warned college students to self-isolate, especially if they went on spring break.
“You probably have it…it is the buckshot model,” Slack stated.
He told young kids to not do group play dates. Those, too, are the buckshot model, he warned.
On unemployment, workers in the gig economy, cosmetologists, small business owners, independent contractors and “so many of you who were out there” are now eligible for unemployment, the Governor stated.
He also said the suspension of evictions has been expanded and he hopes to have more clarification Thursday on the “non-life-saving” businesses.
He also warned even more security will be seen at health care facilities.