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Beshear reports 625 new virus cases as Ky. prepares to reopen some businesses May 11

309 of those cases out of Green River Correctional
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Posted at 4:12 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 19:34:31-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 625 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, including 309 from Green River Correctional Complex, which has been especially hard-hit by the virus.

Beshear said the spike is the "highest number of new cases by a significant number" but added that, on average, Kentucky's coronavirus numbers remain "pretty stable."

Beshear announced 14 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, including six people from Northern Kentucky. So far, there have been 275 virus-related deaths statewide and 5,822 total positive COVID-19 cases.

More than 61,000 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 Tuesday, more than 2,000 people have recovered from the virus.

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

On Monday, 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. Though obtaining swabs has been the "greatest limiting factor," the federal government is sending more and swab manufacturing is expected to increase to further expand testing.

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.

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Last week, Beshear outlined the types of businesses that can begin reopening as early as May 11 provided they meet "industry-specific guidance" listed above.

The types of businesses that can reopen on May 11 include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Vehicle/vessel dealerships
  • Professional services (50%)
  • Horse racing (without fans)
  • Pet grooming and boarding

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 said at this time, restaurants, gyms, campgrounds and youth sports would be in Phase 2 depending on how coronavirus "reacts to changing temperatures." Restaurants may be able to open sometime in June, Beshear said Monday.

Summer camps and daycares will not reopen in Phase 1, and public pools will not reopen in Phase 1 or Phase 2.

WCPO will update this story.