FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – White House Coronavirus Task Force member, Dr. Deborah Birx, met with Governor Andy Beshear and other community health leaders in Frankfort on Sunday.
The closed-door meeting comes as Gov. Beshear reported 316 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Sunday.
Dr. Birx, the Response Coordinator for the task force, said her visit is to make specific recommendations on fighting the spread of the virus in Kentucky, “mandating masks, increasing the call for social distancing, closing bars, restricting indoor dining and really ensuring that the citizens of Kentucky do not socially gather in basements, living rooms and outdoors.”
The recommendations come as Dr. Birx continues a cross-country tour outlining recommendations for states.
“Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia tomorrow are the next set of states where we have significant concerns about the rising test positivity rate and the rising number of cases,” said Dr. Birx, who was in Ohio Saturday making similar observations ad recommendations.
Dr. Birx says it’s an effort to curb a surge in cases like the South is currently seeing.
“What happens first with this new movement of cases is young people are often infected first, particularly in the under 30 age group. They go on to infect their parents who then infect the grandparents,” added Birx.
The good news? Dr. Birx says, “We believe a state that has test positivity somewhere between 5-7% like Kentucky has a real opportunity to get ahead of this.”
“Now, our numbers still are going up. And so, tomorrow you can expect us to take some additional steps,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.
While Gov. Beshear didn’t identify those specific steps, he did say it wouldn’t be a surprise. He also shared an example.
“I saw a picture of a couple bars last night in Lexington that had hundreds of people in them and none of them are wearing masks. Now that’s a problem right? And that’s going to require us to take some steps that we don’t want to take,” said Beshear.
Despite a lower case number Sunday, the governor says ultimately it comes down to people doing their civic duty.
“We’ve all must get to the point where if we show up and we see something that doesn’t look right, we go home. That should be a bar, that should be a restaurant, that should be a retail facility,” said Beshear, noting he expects to release specific recommendations Monday, along with an update on public schools.