GLASGOW — Gov. Andy Beshear again said Tuesday that increases in new cases of the coronavirus should be expected.
A few moments later, he announced that Kentucky saw its biggest single-day increase in people testing positive for COVID-19.
Kentucky had 163 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday evening, an increase of 39 cases from Monday. Barren County still doesn’t have a confirmed case, but Warren County had another person test positive for the virus and Beshear said 12 people had tested positive in Fayette County.
He said the public should “expect more cases every day” as the nation continues to battle the pandemic.
Beshear said one individual apparently contracted the virus by attending a party in violation of the social distancing regulations ordered by the governor.
He emphasized that people should not be callous in how they live their lives as the coronavirus continues to cause businesses to shut down, events to be postponed and school buildings to be closed.
Though details of the order weren’t completely clear Tuesday evening, Beshear said he’s requiring all non-life sustaining businesses to close to in-person traffic as of 8 p.m. Thursday.
Groceries, pharmacies and gas stations were among the businesses Beshear said won’t be affected by the order. He added that his office will release a full order Wednesday providing complete details of the latest regulations. Manufacturing will be exempted from the order.
“Please know it’s just the next step we need to take,” Beshear said.
Those businesses allowed to stay open still should follow social distancing mandates, Beshear said. He warned that as people and businesses disobey those directives, more regulations will be added in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In response to a question about President Donald Trump’s statement Tuesday that he would like to see social distancing regulations eased by Easter, Beshear said it’s too early to predict a timeline for when life can return back to normal.
“There will be a light at the end of the tunnel even though we don’t know exactly how far it is away,” Beshear said. “We’ve got to be ready to do what it takes to defeat the coronavirus on the very first try.”
Funding for medical supplies secured for KentuckyU.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that Kentucky will receive $1.6 million through the Health Resources and Services Administration for the purchase of additional medical supplies and to help increase telehealth services.
“Community health centers are an essential resource for quality, primary care in many rural areas of Kentucky,” McConnell said. “Bolstered with additional federal support for telehealth, testing and protective equipment, these healthcare professionals will continue to serve Kentuckians in need as we respond to the national health crisis.”
K-PREP testing cancelled for school year The Kentucky Department of Education notified public schools Tuesday that K-PREP testing for this school year is cancelled.
The U.S. Department of Education decided last week that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus could bypass the standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year.
The test is given annually within the last 14 instructional days at each public school.
Public school buildings are closed until at least April 20 with systems providing non-traditional instruction.
In a news release, KDE stated that most public school students took the ACT test on March 10, but that the department is working with residents from the ACT to provide additional options for students who were unable to take the test.
“I want our teachers and schools to concentrate on providing a great education to their students through the NTI Program rather than worry about standardized testing,” Interim Kentucky Education Commissioner Kevin Brown said in the news release.
“Let’s end this year strong despite the extra stress COVID-19 has placed on all of us.”