Beshear reports 5th death, 198 cases of coronavirus in Ky.

Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 21:06:46-04

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FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Andy Beshear reported the fifth coronavirus-related death in Kentucky on Wednesday. Beshear said the person was a 75-year-old man from Jefferson County.

At his daily press conference Wednesday, Beshear also confirmed there are 198 positive COVID-19 cases statewide, 35 more cases since Tuesday.

“The next two to three weeks are going to be absolutely critical in our battle against the coronavirus,” Beshear said. “What you are doing is working. Your sacrifice is helpful. What we have done and the steps we are taking are helping. I am proud of what we are doing, but in these next two weeks we have to do even better.”

Earlier this week, Beshear also ordered non-essential retail stores closed effective Monday night to stop the spread of the virus. You can read the full order here.

On Wednesday, Northern Kentucky Health announced there are 15 positive cases of coronavirus in the region, including 11 cases in Kenton County, three in Boone County and one in Campbell County.

Beshear also extended unemployment benefits for Kentucky residents who do not usually qualify, including including self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits. He encouraged all residents to file regardless of the severity of the need.

The state of Kentucky is also going to experiment with drive-thru coronavirus testing centers starting Monday. If that testing is successful, Beshear said they would look at expanding the testing program if it proves to be successful.

Beshear also said the National Guard and additional law enforcement officers would be deployed at hospitals beginning this week. He said they would only be on the premises to keep those inside the hospitals safe and those coming into the hospitals safe.