GLASGOW — Gov. Andy Beshear announced in his daily press conference on Friday that cases of COVID-19 are not only plateauing in Kentucky, but they are actually starting to decline.
A total of 141 new cases of the virus since Thursday were announced, which brings the statewide total to 8,426 positive cases. Also, a new number of 3,069 total people recovered from the virus were reported along with 171,338 tests administered in the state.
Gov. Beshear announced a total of five new deaths in the state since Thursday. That number includes a 74-year-old man from Barren County whose death was reported by the Barren River District Health Department on Thursday. This brings the number of total state deaths to 391.
The Barren River District Health Department has confirmed 1,399 cases of COVID-19 in the district, which is and increase of 43 new cases from Thursday. Warren County saw the biggest increase with 38 cases. No new deaths were reported by the district on Friday.
“We now think that we have not only plateaued but are in a decline on overall number of cases, especially when you look at the amount of testing that we’re doing. And that is really good news,” Beshear said. “It doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, but it’s really good news. It’s a place that I’m happy where we’re at.”
One point of major emphasis for Gov. Beshear in Friday’s press conference was the health of the public during the holiday weekend.
“This weekend, I do want to admit is a big weekend. It’s about being able to do more things than we have been able to do in a while and to make sure that we do them responsibly,” he said. “So much of how this recovery goes, how we’re able to be healthy at work, how we’re able to keep our cases down depends on how we’re able to do this weekend and every weekend thereafter.”
The online portal for Kentuckians to request an absentee ballot in order to vote for the upcoming June 23 primary election was opened on Friday.
Per Secretary of State Michael Adams, there are four ways to vote in the upcoming June 23 primary election: In-person at poll on election day, voting early at your county clerk’s office starting no later than June 8, absentee ballot by mail and absentee ballot to be dropped off at your county clerk’s office.
“I want to thank our Secretary of State and Jared (Dearing),” said the governor. “I would love to see us have a better primary response than we would have seen – so go online and request your ballot. We can do this. Thank you to everyone who has been involved.”
“I am very proud to announce this new online portal,” Secretary Adams added. “As I have said before, I promised to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and this system does that. The best thing you can do is go online at govoteky.com and apply for your ballot.”
According to Secretary Adams, citizens must request an absentee ballot if choosing to vote that way in the upcoming June 23 primary election in Kentucky.
Beshear also announced that the Governor’s Scholars Program will be a reduced, one-week, fewer student experience this summer. As the first Governor’s Scholar to become governor of Kentucky, Beshear was at first worried about the idea, but eventually approved the new plan.
The governor also mentioned Friday that new guidance will be made available regarding youth sports. He previously said some youth sports would be allowed to resume June 15.
“That guidance is now posted. This is going to tell you the kinds of activities and youth sports that you can do and when you can do them,” said La Tasha Buckner, general counsel and chief of staff to Gov. Beshear. “And the important health and safety requirements that go along with them.”
The guidance reflects advice from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, best practices from other states, as well as input from Kentucky youth sports leagues, professional teams and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.