Gov. Andy Beshear

GLASGOW — In his daily press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 265 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky and eight new deaths since Tuesday, which includes the passing of a 9-month-old child.

The governor was quick to say that the young child’s lead cause of death was not COVID-19, but that the virus was a contributing factor.

“Today, we’ve got to announce that we have on our list of deaths a 9-month-old child from Hopkins County,” Gov. Beshear said. “We grieve for everybody we have lost from COVID-19. This is a reminder of how deadly this virus can be, how precious all of our lives are.

“As a father of two kids, one of which I was scared at birth might not make it, I want this family to know – and it’s a family I have never met even in my dad’s hometown county – that we, regardless of what will ultimately be listed as the cause of death, we are grieving for you, we care about you, and I cannot imagine how you are feeling right now.”

The 265 new cases and eight deaths now puts the state’s totals at 10,410 positive cases and 450 deaths. At least 3,283 Kentuckians have recovered.

The Barren River District Health Department has confirmed 1,655 cases of COVID-19 in the Barren River District, 957 of which have recovered. The district has 41 deaths reported from COVID-19.

Barren County has seen two new cases since Tuesday, which brings the county total to 44 confirmed cases, 30 of which have recovered. Monroe County has announced four new cases and Allen County has reported one new case.

While Wednesday’s total is still a high number, the governor insisted that the state’s numbers have still plateaued.

Gov. Beshear urged that as a result of this hard work, Kentucky is nationally recognized as among a few states that are meeting the White House and CDC guidance for reopening the economy while the state’s testing program remains “robust.”

Beshear also announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement with legislative leaders to avoid the need for the general assembly to return in a special session to resolve budget matters.

Previously, the governor had said he had expected to call a “short, targeted” special session to allow lawmakers to pass a reduced budget proposal to account for revenue lost due to the global pandemic and response.

“All we are looking at is the Transportation Cabinet budget. There is zero discretion in what needs to be done. It is a revision of a number,” Beshear said. “This is an agreement between all of the legislative leaders and the governor’s office. So we do not believe at this time that there will be a need and there is agreement on the actions that have to be taken.”

J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, spoke at the press conference about the state of an investigation into the death of David McAtee in Louisville.

“Yesterday, I reported that we believed from the preliminary autopsy that he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. We still are of that belief. We have not recovered a whole bullet, but we have recovered, I understand from today, some fragments,” Secretary Brown said. “We are now in the process of trying to identify the very nature of those fragments to determine if they indeed came from one bullet or might have come from more than one bullet and, hopefully, be able to determine the caliber of the bullet.”

Gov. Beshear closed the press conference with encouraging voters to use a new absentee ballot application.

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