Worst day yet: 114 cases, 7 deaths; Beshear says Kentuckians are buying in, but cops say crowds still a problem in Louisville

Gov. Andy Beshear often compares responses of Philadelphia and St. Louis to the 1918 flu epidemic. Tuesday he added Louisville’s, which was not as strong as St. Louis’s but was more resilient, limiting the resurgence often seen after the initial peak. He said that shows Kentucky must remain vigilant.

As news develops in Kentucky about the coronavirus and its covid-19 disease, this item will be updated. Official state guidance is at https://kycovid19.ky.gov.

  • It is Kentucky’s worst day of the covid-19 pandemic: 114 new cases and seven deaths, word of the seventh arriving in the midst of Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily press conference.
  • “We knew this was coming, and we know there are gonna be more days where we have more than 114 new cases, and there are probably gonna be days when we have more than six new deaths,” Beshear said. The latest daily projection by the University of Washington is that deaths in Kentucky will peak in mid-May, with 23 deaths a day for several days and a total of 1,161 deaths by the time they taper out on Aug. 4.
  • The seventh death was an 80-year-old in Campbell County, gender unidentified. Beshear said the others were an 88-year-old woman in Fayette County, a 74-year-old man in Bullitt County, and four in Jefferson: women aged 87 and 81, and men 74 and 66. “To my knowledge all these individuals had other factors” than covid-19, Beshear said. “This is the group that it impacts the most.”
  • “Let’s commit we do the things that it takes to makes sure we don’t have a lot of days like this,” Beshear said. “Our numbers would be significantly worse if it wasn’t for what we are doing. . . . “If you’re not going to the grocery store or going to a job, don’t travel anywhere.”
  • Health Commissioner Steven Stack said at the press conference, “If you do the things we have already asked you to do, we’re gonna be OK. . . . If you don’t do these things, there’s a lot of folks who are gonna get hurt.”
  • Beshear said in a five-minute interview on CNN that limited data indicate his steps to create social distancing have helped “flatten the curve” of the contagion, reducing the threat to Kentuckians and their health-care system. Shown a graph comparing reported cases in Kentucky and Tennessee, he said, “I believe that how aggressive we’ve been is working.”
  • Beshear said “The people of Kentucky have bought in to what we’re asking,” but Louisville officials “continued to address community concerns about reports of large gatherings,” the Courier Journal reports. Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a Facebook Live session that his officers spend a “great deal of time responding to situations where people are gathering” but “We cannot arrest someone for standing too close to another person — nor do we want to do that. . . . We’re asking for cooperation and in some cases begging for cooperation. But at this point, we do not have the authority to make an arrest in regards to social distancing.”
  • CNN interviewer John King noted President Trump’s comment Monday that he hasn’t heard of any problems with coronavirus testing in weeks, and asked Beshear to comment. “In Kentucky and everywhere across the country there are critical shortages of PPE and of testing kits,” Beshear replied. “And I don’t want to place blame out there; we’re all fighting for these resources . . . but we’ve also be open and transparent about the fact that we don’t have enough.”
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