Clay County reports first coronavirus case; reopening guides posted

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A case in Clay County, the county’s first, is among the 176 new cases confirmed Thursday in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said during his daily briefing.

The governor also announced guidelines have been posted at www.kycovid19.ky.gov for many of the business and community segments that are beginning to open during the next two weeks.’

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The new numbers also included another large group of young people, including 19 who are 20 or under. A 1-year-old and an 8-year-old are among them.

The new cases pushed the state total to 6,288.

“The numbers continue to show we think we have plateaued,” Beshear said, noting the state now has tested a minimum of 86, 428 people.

Of the total cases, 2,266 — 36 percent — have recovered, but 210 people, up 20 from Thursday, remain in ICU and 329 remain hospitalized.

“We are watching that,” Beshear said of the ICU numbers which have ticked up this week.

Beshear also announced four new deaths, one each in Edmonson, Hopkins, Jefferson, and Bullocks counties.

The deaths bring to 298 in the state.

And long-term care facilities, where the state is launching a complete statewide testing program and providing additional PPEs with the help of the federal government, continue to be hit hard.

Those facilities have recorded 862 confirmed cases and 176 deaths. Of the cases, 356 are among staff. The deaths include 174 patients and two staff members.

Of the new cases, 35 are in Jefferson, 14 are in Fayette, 13 are in Kenton, two are in Floyd and one each are in Clay, Laurel, Jessamine, Lyon, Mercer and Rowan counties, among others.

According to the Cumberland Valley District Health Department, which covers Clay, Jackson and Rockcastle counties, the Clay County case is a 45-year-old man who is self-isolating and monitoring for symptoms at home.

Clay County Health Department nurses are carrying out contact investigation to identify anyone who may be at risk of exposure.

If an individual who tests positive has few close contacts, health department nurses will reach out to them individually. In cases where a larger number of people may have been exposed, the health department can release information to the public to help inform them of the risk.

The health region reported no new cases in Jackson or Rockcastle counties. The three-county region has had 74 cases, with 14 in Rockcastle, one in Clay, and 59 in Jackson. All but one has recovered in Rockcastle and only 19 cases remain active in Jackson.

Jackson County has had 12 deaths.

Some of the new health and safety guidelines for reopening include government for May 18, except for museums and libraries. Guidelines for churches and retail for May 20 opening also are posted and funerals have been added.

In the last two months, the state has paid more than 690,000 unemployment claims totaling $1.2 billion, but still is playing catch up in some cases, Beshear said.