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Beshear gives update after reporting record-high number of new cases Tuesday

Budget office announced low April collections Wed.
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Posted at 4:22 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 18:12:56-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear is giving an update Wednesday after reporting a record-high number of new coronavirus cases in Kentucky on Tuesday.

Watch the press conference in the player below at 5 p.m.:

Beshear said while Tuesday's spike is the "highest number of new cases by a significant number," on average, Kentucky's coronavirus numbers remain "stable" with 159 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

Beshear announced eight new virus-related deaths Wednesday, including two people from Northern Kentucky. So far, there have been 283 virus-related deaths statewide and 5,934 total positive COVID-19 cases.

More than 78,000 people statewide have been tested for COVID-19, and Beshear said Tuesday he believes more people than that have been tested as facilities send the state less information on negative tests.

As of Wednesday, more than 2,100 people have recovered from the virus.

On Wednesday, Kentucky moved into "Phase 2" for reopening health centers, allowing more diagnostic, radiology and outpatient procedures across the state, provided those centers can follow the guidelines outlined below.

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Kentucky's budget director reported earlier Wednesday that April’s general fund receipts "dropped precipitously" because of the impact of coronavirus and the movement of the income tax filing deadline to July 15.

Collections fell by 33.6%, or $432.9 million, last month compared to April 2019. Nearly 90% of the decline was from individual and corporate income taxes. Total revenues for the month were $857 million compared to nearly $1.3 billion received in April 2019.

At a press conference last week, Beshear had announced that the budget office predicts a revenue shortfall of between $319 million and $496 million for fiscal year 2020.

Earlier this week, Beshear announced a new partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare to start a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Erlanger opening May 11.

The free testing site on 25 Atlantic Ave will be open to anyone by appointment only until at least May 15. Starting Friday, you can call 1-800-737-7900 to make an appointment.

Beshear also announced 17 drive-thru testing sites across Kentucky provided by Kroger, including one at the Bracken County Health Department, 429 Frankfort St., on May 5-6. You can find more information on that and other drive-thru sites here.

Beshear says Kentucky's testing capacity has ramped up to 30,000 tests per week thanks to Gravity Diagnostics in Covington.

Starting May 11, all Kentucky workers and customers inside reopened businesses will be required to wear cloth masks. Beshear said Monday that businesses looking to buy $1 masks from the state can visit KyChamber.com/MaskOrderForm. For hand sanitizer, visit KyHandSanitizer.com.

Manufacturing, construction, vehicle/vessel dealerships, professional services (50%), horse racing (without fans), pet grooming and pet boarding businesses can reopen May 11.

On May 20, retailers can also reopen as part of Kentucky's "Phase 1" reopening. Houses of worship will also be able to hold in-person religious services "at reduced capacity" starting May 20. On May 25, social gatherings of 10 people can resume, and salons, barber shops and other cosmetology services can reopen as part of Phase 1.

Beshear has said childcare, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, youth sports and more will be able to open in Phase 2, but he could not give specific dates. On Monday, Beshear said restaurants may be able to open sometime in June.