Beshear Gives Update on COVID-19 Testing, Funding
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT - In his update on Wednesday, Governor Andy Beshear highlighted new CARES Act funding for local governments, efforts to care for residents in long term care facilities, and tips for staying safe over the Memorial Day weekend.

Beshear announced a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

"Local governments have been instrumental in this public health response," said Gov. Beshear. "Their leadership has been incredible and it's required everybody.  They've sacrificed to protect others by supplying PPE, enforcing guidelines and keeping the public informed, and I could not be prouder of their work."

Beshear and Department for Public Health Director Dr. Steven Stack also spoke about the strides the state is making in testing and care at long-term care facilities.

According to Dr. Stack, the state sent out a significant amount of personal protective equipment to long-term care facilities on Wednesday. Dr. Stack also stated that the state is continuing increased testing at these facilities. Testing is taking place at 23 facilities this week and the state is trying to reach 280 facilities as rapidly as possible.

"We have an aggressive and brisk testing program, so we're going to do this over the next month or so," said Dr. Stack. "I would emphasize it's not just the testing.  We have a comprehensive program where we work with facilities to help them with how they use PPE, how they manage their staff and they manage the patients to try to keep everybody safe and reduce the risk of spread of infection."

As restaurants are able to reopen on Friday, and gatherings of 10 people or less are allowed, Beshear stressed the importance of keeping safe while celebrating the Memorial Day weekend, and asked people to remember three words:

1) Hands - Wash/sanitize hands frequently, and keep your hands to yourself.
2) Face - Wear a mask. Try not to touch your face.
3) Space - Stay six feet apart. Gather outdoors if possible.

Beshear announced 166 new cases of the virus in the Commonwealth, bringing the total number of cases to 8,167. There are currently 474 Kentuckians hospitalized with the virus, with 98 of those in the ICU. Ten new deaths were announced, including a 79-year-old woman from Graves County. As of Wednesday, 2,919 Kentuckians have recovered.

You can see Beshear's full update below.

Published 04:03 PM, Wednesday May. 20, 2020
Updated 08:38 AM, Thursday May. 21, 2020



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