Gov. announces 17 new Ky. COVID-19 deaths

Governor Andy Beshear announced the deaths of 17 Kentuckians to COVID-19 during his afternoon briefing Tuesday and he believes the commonwealth has plateaued in number of new cases.

The 17 deaths included John Doug Woods of Hopkins County, whose wife died the day before—also of the coronavirus. They would have celebrated their 65th anniversary on Sunday. Thirteen of the new deaths were residents of long-term care facilities.

That number also included an 86-year old female from Lyon County. A total of 171 Kentuckians have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

Governor Beshear announced 177 new cases from Monday to Tuesday and he says the long-term trend shows the number of new cases has plateaued.

The governor reiterated the need to see a 14 day decline in rate of new cases before the state can begin reopening the economy.

He says the planning is underway for when the day comes to reopen businesses and they’ll be looking to those industries and associations to form plans on how they can operate with social distancing measures in place.

The Madisonville drive-thru testing site that’s in partnership with Kroger had 226 patients tested Tuesday and the governor also highlighted the drive thru testing site at Tie Breaker Park in Hopkinsville.

Western State Hospital did not gain any new cases from Monday to Tuesday and one additional inmate has tested positive at the Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County.

Asked about Tennessee reopening its economy May 1, the governor says Kentucky is committed to reopening its economy in a safe and careful way. He says previous bans on traveling out of state with a few exceptions for medical treatment, court orders and to care for loved ones—remains in place.

Tennessee now has 7,394 total cases and 157 deaths. Montgomery County has 124 cases, Robertson is up to 117 and Stewart County has six confirmed coronavirus cases.