Cases still show decline; ‘Survivor’ celebrates after 70 days (WATCH)

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – New cases continue to demonstrate a decline in coronavirus cases across the state, but residents must take simple steps to make sure it continues, Gov. Andy Beshear said in his daily update Wednesday.

And he showed an inspiring video of a Wayne County man who spent 70 days in the hospital, including 25 on a ventilator, before recovering from the virus.

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The governor also issued an executive order changing the way the five members of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. Going back to the way it was before 2016 when former Gov. Matt Bevin changed it, Beshear is restructuring the board to where he appoints three and the other two come from recommendations by the state auditor and state attorney general, who both happen to be Republicans currently.

The state confirmed 127 new cases by 5 p.m. Wednesday, which pushed the state’s total since early March across the 9,000 mark to 9,077.

So far, the state has tested 200,762 people. Of the total cases, 82 remain in ICU.

More importantly, 3,124 people have recovered.

Beshear reported six new deaths, which pushed the total to another sad mark; 400 people have died in the state from the illness.

Of the new cases, 35 are in Jefferson, seven are in Fayette, six are in Shelby, four are in Kenton, two each are in Graves, Menifee, and Nicholas, and one each in Bourbon, Boyle, Jessamine and Pulaski, among others.

Beshear and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack also pushed wearing masks, noting the practice has become a divisive, hot-button issue across the country.

Both said they hoped Kentuckians would get beyond fears and differences on wearing masks and if they don’t wear them will demonstrate tolerance and understanding to people who will.

“I hope we can continue to wear the masks and protect each other,” Stack said.

They also pushed testing, including the Kroger partnership which is available five days a week in Fayette County.

The state web site — www.kycovid19.ky.gov — has a complete list of testing sites, which are all over the state. Many require advanced registration but that can be done through the state Web site.

Also at today’s briefing, the lieutenant governor gave an update on the Team Kentucky Fund. Jacqueline Coleman says around 1,900 applications for financial help have been received and processed.

She says there has been a low number of applications from people in rural counties and is encouraging them to apply.

Coleman says there is $3.1 million in the fund.

Money from that fund is going to help people in the state impacted by the coronavirus either through job loss or a cut in wages or salary.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the fund, click here.

To apply for financial assistance from the fund, click here.

Meanwhile, the governor used a video from Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital showing the release of Gary Abbott, a former educator and court bailiff from Wayne County, from the hospital. He entered on March 18 and has been in some facility for 70 days, including 25 days on a ventilator.

“I’m here because God wants me to do something, to give other people encouragement. When it looks like it’s over, heavy duty prayer is what helps,” he said.

And he chose a popular song with meaning to play with his release. Listen below.

We are thrilled to bring you another story of COVID-19 recovery today! Gary Abbott, a former educator and court bailiff from Wayne County, entered the hospital on March 18 with symptoms of coronavirus. He tested positive for COVID-19 and within 48 hours was placed on a ventilator. After spending 70 days in the hospital, 25 of which were on a ventilator, Mr. Abbott was transferred today to our special care and rehabilitation unit. ???? This afternoon, Mr. Abbott said with a smile "I'm here because God wants me to do something, to give other people encouragement. When it looks like it’s over, heavy duty prayer is what helps." We hope you'll join us in cheering him on and celebrating another true FIGHTER. PS. He picked the song! ?#teamLCRH #teamKentucky #COVID19 #eyeofthetiger #fighter

Posted by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital on Tuesday, May 26, 2020