FRANKFORT, Ky. — On Sunday, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentuckians must stay vigilant in the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth, even as we begin the first small step toward reopening on Monday.
“We will get through this; we will get through this together,” Beshear said. “The first step was sacrifice. Now we have to plan and be patient. Last, we’ll need to persevere. This is going to be a challenge until a vaccine comes around, but I know our people are up for it.”
The governor said those who applied for unemployment in March should expect to hear from somebody this week. He said this is his administration and everyone is working hard to respond to the claims, which are greater than at any time in our history.
“I want to see significant progress on this this week and we will be providing updates,” Beshear said.
Testing sites and eligibility
In addition to some health care facilities, yesterday the Governor said that Kentuckians can now be tested free of charge for COVID-19 at many sites across the commonwealth. For more information on drive-through testing visit kycovid19.ky.gov. The Governor said that the Bowling Green location, which is in partnership with Kroger, is expanding through this Friday and an extra week of testing would be added.
Update on voting in primary election
Friday, Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced new voting guidelines for the June primary. Click here for more information.
Reopening for health care providers and facilities
Thursday, Beshear announced that Monday, April 27, the state will begin the gradual restart and reopening of our Phase 1 health care services and facilities, although they will operate very differently than they did before the outbreak of COVID-19. For full guidance on criteria for reopening and new best practices, click here.
“The virus sets the timing,” Gov. Beshear said. “While I think we have plateaued, we just have to make sure we take the next best right step. We need each and everyone’s best every single day. We must win. Every decision we make, lives are on the line. We could set ourselves back days or weeks without following guidance.”
Healthy at Work
The administration is continuing to update the state’s website, HealthyAtWork.ky.gov, to make the Phase 2 process for reopening businesses clear. Healthy at Work is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts. Phase 1 is a state-readiness evaluation. Phase 2 is business-readiness evaluation. This phased approach will ensure the commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.
Kentucky moved up to 15th place for response rates across the nation, with 55.9% completion. Kentuckians can fill out their Census at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).
As of 5 p.m. April 26, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 4,074 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 202 of which were newly confirmed.
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear also reported three new deaths Sunday, raising the state’s toll to 208 deaths related to the virus.
The deaths include two women, both age 88, from Adair County and an 88-year-old woman from Jackson County.
“They are people that are truly missed by their friends and by their family,” the Governor said. “Let’s make sure we give them just as much effort tonight, lighting our homes up green and our places of business. Let’s make sure that we ring bells tomorrow at 10 a.m. These are three Kentuckians we’ve lost, and we need to show that color of compassion.”
At least 1,511 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.