Beshear pushes the link between coronavirus compliance and death estimates


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – In a report mixed with emotion and harsh numbers, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said today the state has 90 new coronavirus cases and six deaths.

But those numbers and stark death estimates should be reason for people to work “even harder” to follow social distancing and other isolation rules.

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And the state is beginning to crack down, “busting” two gyms in Louisville this week that were letting customers come in the back door.

He also applauded residents and businesses who have made PPE donations in the last two days but urged them to do even more. And encouraged people to call 833-448-3773 to give or coordinate donations.

The new cases, which included some new counties, pushed the official state total to 831. Of that number, at least 228 have fully recovered, Beshear said.

Of the current active cases, six involve residents of nursing homes and three involve three staffs of nursing homes.

The number of deaths, four of which were in Jefferson County, pushed the state total to 37.

He said churches were getting better at canceling or finding alternative ways to provide services, but the numbers need to get to 100 percent.

“Do they want to return at Christmas and see the members who are missing,” Beshear said.

“This is a test of our commitment to humanity,” he noted.

The governor said the state can confirm 15,572 tests in the state but think the “actual number is much higher.”

He said he hopes to have an announcement about the next step in the drive-through testing plan this weekend.Using a variety of different sources on potential deaths from the coronavirus by the time it runs its course, Beshear repeated a previous estimate of as many as 29,000 deaths with little compliance to health standards and between 1,300 and 3,200 with 100 percent compliance.

He said he thought those estimates were optimistic and turned to some alternate numbers which estimate 13,000 deaths with moderate compliance. But with serious, “widespread compliance,” he said estimates drop to as low as 2,000 deaths.

“That’s 11,000 people, 11,000 lives we can save,” he stated.