Coronavirus cases up again, schools need to change, NASCAR coming

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state had another high number of new coronavirus cases Thursday, but state leaders still say while worth watching, the numbers aren’t cause for panic yet.

“We don’t have enough data yet to say I am concerned. We have a lot of tests, we are testing a lot of people,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during his daily briefing.

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“We are having more contact, we are going to have more cases,” the governor continued, noting the upside is by catching people with the disease who otherwise appear health allows the state to isolate them and further limit the spread.

But Beshear also said he is worried about “testing fatique.”

“People have to continue to get tested,” he said, stressing the Kroger, Walgreens and other partnerships across the state. “If we continue to open up our economy, I would think everyone would want to be tested.”

Beshear announced 295 new cases and eight deaths Thursday. The numbers pushed the total of cases to 10,705. Of those, 3,303 have recovered.

The governor said his priority remains getting schools open in the fall, but he emphasized schools are going to have to be prepared to be different.

“If we open and a school has an outbreak, that school will be shut down,” Beshear said of what can be expected.

“School systems that push back against things that prevent the spread will face a shutdown,” the governor continued.

“We are still working on guidelines,” he said, noting that “really importabt data” still is being accumulated and that “any number of things can change” in the coming weeks.

He also announced NASCAR will run in the state in July without fans and the HHR – Historic Horse Racing — also will be able to open June 8 by limiting itself to 33 percent capacity, practicing social distancing, stressing hand washing and other steps.

The governor said more details on NASCAR would come Monday but the dates are July 9-12. (Read announcement here.)

Races have been on hold at the Kentucky Speedway due to COVID-19, but they will return for the annual July weekend, which includes the 10th anniversary of the NASCAR Cup Series, Quaker State 400. The full schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 9 – NASCAR Xfinity Series, Kentucky 300
  • Friday, July 10 – NASCAR Xfinity Series, Alsco 300
  • Saturday, July 11 – NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 (Sponsored by Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highway Safety to encourage seatbelt usage, especially in trucks)
  • Sunday, July 12 – NASCAR Cup Series, Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart
  • All four races will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1

A total of 262,714 tests have been administered. The number of people in the hospital is up slightly to 518 while the number in ICU still is low at 67.

The new cases included 149 in Jefferson, 14 in Kenton, 13 in Boone, nine in Clark, five in Fayette and Grayson, among others, four each in Franklin and Harrison, among others, three in Madison among others, two each in Boyle, Scott and Woodford among others, and one each in Bourbon and Lincoln counties, among other.

The eight deaths pushed the state’s total to 458, with three of those in Jefferson and one each in Franklin, Boone, Grayson, Kenton and Metcalfe counties.