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Beshear: Kentucky State Fair proposal approved, will be a 'very different' event in 2020

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Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 20:39:17-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear said a Kentucky State Fair proposal for 2020 has been approved and promised a "very different" event from years past.

"The main thing is we are ensuring that we are keeping the agricultural competitions and so many of the things that make the fair so great," Beshear said during his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday. The fair is set for Aug. 20-30.

Beshear also said that all plans were contingent on the state continuing to "have a handle" on the coronavirus.

He said that the fair would not use the portion of the Kentucky Expo Center that has the field hospital in it. Beshear said other states are seeing surges in the numbers of COVID-19 patients, and he wants to make sure that medical facility is kept ready in case it's needed.

Kentucky COVID-19 cases

On Tuesday, Beshear reported 477 total coronavirus-related deaths out of 11,476 virus cases, five more than Monday. He said 3,365 people have recovered from the virus, and the state has tested 287,597 people.

He emphasized the importance of getting tested and complying with contract tracing procedures if a positive test is received.

NKY Health reported that 1,349 people in Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Grant counties have tested positive for coronavirus since March and 69 people have died of the virus.

To find a free coronavirus testing location near you, click here.

Racial disparities in healthcare in the Commonwealth

Beshear announced he is putting plans into place to address the gap in healthcare along racial lines in Kentucky.

“I believe that health care is a basic human right. I made a pledge that we would work to sign up every Kentuckian for some form of health coverage,” Beshear said.

He talked about the budget proposal that would have included overall health coverage for children, which the legislature did not include in the final budget.

“COVID-19 has shown us where our healthcare priorities need to be, in terms of where we begin providing this type of coverage,” Beshear said. “Our African-American population is dying at twice the rate than is forecast by population.”

Nearly 20,000 black Kentuckians don't have health insurance, the governor said.

“We have an obligation to make sure that members of our African-American communities are able to sign up for healthcare coverage right away,” Beshear said. “There is long history of racial inequality in healthcare. The coronavirus is making that more clear than ever.”

Beshear said his goal is to make sure that everybody has coverage either through Medicare, expanded Medicaid or the private market.

New law enforcement training 'a start'

Tuesday, J. Michael Brown, secretary for the Governor's Executive Cabinet, spoke about the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of Louisville resident David McAtee.

“The Kentucky State Police is going to do a frame-by-frame review; that’s going to be more than 3,000 frames. Previously, I reported that David McAtee appears to have succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the chest, and that remains our conclusion,” Brown said. “Tonight I’m providing some further details on our findings.

"First, we have been conclusively able to identify the type of weapon that fired the fatal shot; second, we have identified that the 9 millimeter pistol seen in the videos with Mr. McAtee and found at the scene had fired at least two shots that evening; lastly, I’ll report to you that David McAtee had gunshot residue on his person from that evening.”

Brown said the bullet that killed McAtee matched the caliber and type of ammunition used by the Kentucky National Guard. The shots were fired in response to Louisville Metro Police officers and Ky. National Guardsmen coming under fire.

Forensic evidence showed that the gun that reportedly belonged to McAtee had been fired at least twice that evening.

“We have no doubt about that. Mr. McAtee’s weapon was tested and the shell casings we found outside the door came from that weapon,” he said, adding that McAtee was tested for gunshot residue and those reports came back positive.

“One of the particles found was consistent with a firearms discharge,” Brown said. “Five other particles were consistent with him either handling or being around a weapon that had been discharged.”

On Monday, Beshear said the National Guard and Kentucky State Police would no longer be stationed in Louisville during the protests.

Brown announced Monday that all law enforcement officers in Kentucky would undergo eight hours of online training before the end of the calendar year.

The training would cover implicit bias, use of force, civil rights laws, ethics, emotional intelligence and more. Brown said the goal is to increase this training to 40 hours per year in addition to other "long-term" programming for officers.

Beshear said the only similar program available last year was a one-hour cultural awareness training for police dispatchers.

"Is an eight-hour course enough to solve every issue we see out there? No, it's not. But it's a start," Beshear said.

What's reopening in Kentucky?

Historical horse racing facilities reopened Monday with social distancing and sanitation precautions.

In-home childcare was also allowed to resume Monday along with horse shows, museums, outdoor attractions, libraries, aquariums and distilleries.

It was announced last week that Kentucky Speedway in Sparta would host the Quaker State 400 without fans next month, with NASCAR adding the Xfinity Series double-header to the weekend lineup.

On Thursday, camping will be allowed to resume with social distancing. Childcare centers can reopen on Monday, June 15, and low-touch, outdoor youth sports can resume as well.

Find Kentucky's complete reopening plans here.