governor beshear

Governor Beshear says Kentuckians worked twice to stop an escalation of coronavirus cases.  During his briefing Thursday, the governor said it can be done a third time.  The Commonwealth is seeing some of its highest daily case numbers this week.

At Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing, Governor Beshear expressed concern that in the coming weeks and months the virus spread in the Commonwealth will get worse before it gets better.  The governor reported 1,487 cases and 21 deaths.  Both were the second highest numbers for COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Governor Beshear says he’s confident a coronavirus vaccine will be available in Kentucky in early 2021.  During his daily briefing, the governor said it could arrive even in mid-December.

Kentucky’s State Transportation Office announced Monday the opening of a regional driver licensing office in Richmond.  State officials still encourage mail-in or drop-in business when appropriate.

Governor Beshear said Friday afternoon the coronavirus cases reported add to an already tough week.  The number of new COVID-19 cases has once again exceeded 1000.

Governor Beshear reported 1319 cases Friday with the youngest only 7 days old.  The governor also announced four more deaths which brings the total number of lives lost to coronavirus to 1300.  Beshear said there is a virus outbreak at the Little Sandy Correctional Complex in Elliot County.  17 inmates and two staff members have tested positive.

Governor Beshear says Kentucky’s third escalation of coronavirus cases is the most serious.  During his briefing Thursday the governor announced 1260 new cases and 20 additional deaths.

Beshear noted the positivity rate for the state is now up to 4.9%.  He said that’s the highest rate in about a month. “This is not moving in the right direction and it’s up to us to stop these increases in cases, increases in positivity.  We continue to see increases in hospitalization,” said Beshear.

During his coronavirus briefing Wednesday Governor Beshear reported 1346 new cases, the largest one-day increase.  He also announced seven additional deaths including two veterans from the Thomson Hood Veterans Center near Wilmore. 

Beshear reiterated cases in long term care facilities don’t originate there. “The virus doesn’t arise in one of these centers.  It is brought in to one of these centers.  And none of the workers in the center would ever intentionally bring it in.  And it didn’t arise with them.  Somebody spread it to them,” said Beshear.

Governor Says Enforcement Can't Defeat COVID-19

Oct 12, 2020

Governor Beshear says the State of Kentucky and county governments can’t offer enough enforcement to defeat COVID-19.  The governor said Monday during his briefing self-enforcement has to play the biggest role.

But, Beshear did say local health departments are following up on complaints and other agencies are also offering enforcement measures. “We have several groups that are out and working on enforcement.  They include our ABC, which is bars and restaurants.  There have been fines there have been closure orders,” said Beshear.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander announced Wednesday additional financial assistance for child care providers.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack says coronavirus cases are escalating while hospitalization levels are not increasing at the same rate.  During Tuesday’s capitol briefing, Stack said that’s partly because more young people are testing positive, but not requiring hospital care.

Kentucky state government has turned the switch back on for kynect, the one stop online portal for access to health insurance coverage and other benefits.  First initiated by then Governor Steve Beshear in 2013, the Matt Bevin administration removed kynect, claiming it was a costly duplication of the federal health exchange.

Governor Beshear Wednesday night called NASCAR’S decision to pull its summertime racing at Kentucky’s track in Sparta a “great disappointment.”

Governor Beshear is urging Kentuckians with school children to think carefully about any fall traveling right now.  The governor reported 1018 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the second highest one day total since March sixth.

Governor Beshear used the word “urgency” Monday more than once to describe what he sees as a need for stepped up adherence to COVID-19 prevention. 

Saying he believes coronavirus cases are escalating for a third time since March, the governor still says a drop in virus spread is achievable. “If we can get people wearing masks, if we can get them social distancing, if we can get them following the very basics we can start decreasing our number of cases.  But we need everybody.  They talk about 80% of people wearing masks, we need a 100% of people wearing masks,” said Beshear.

The Kentucky State Supreme Court has ruled historical racing gambling machines found in three of the Commonwealth’s five gaming venues not to be pari-mutuel wagering.  Casino gambling is illegal in Kentucky.

Governor Beshear is asking Attorney General Daniel Cameron to post online all the information, evidence, and facts he can release regarding the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Governor Beshear says there are many decisions to make when it comes to the future distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. 

During his daily briefing Tuesday, Beshear said the first bit of needed information is what will the state get and when will it arrive. “But, then you got to think about storage, physical distribution.  The fact that it’s going to be two separate shots over I think 21 days that has to be from the same manufacturer when there might be three or four different vaccines,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear says there are going to be mistakes made in coronavirus testing, but he adds it’s not a serious concern.  The governor said when more than a million tests have been conducted false positives and false negatives will occur. 

First Woman Named To Head Kentucky Lottery

Sep 17, 2020
Stu Johnson

For the first time in the 31 year history of Kentucky’s lottery, a woman is heading the organization.  Governor Beshear Thursday announced his appointment of longtime lottery employee Mary Harville to serve as CEO.  She says the coronavirus pandemic has not adversely affected lottery sales.

Governor Beshear says he intends to get vaccinated when available during a daily update at the capitol to demonstrate that it’s safe.  The governor said that’s not likely to happen this year. 

Beshear said Kentucky could see a return to some semblance of normalcy by next summer with acceptance of vaccination. “We ought to expect to do a lot of these practices til the end of the year and then it will depend on how safe the vaccine is, how quickly it can be manufactured, the distribution network, and how many people are willing to do it,” said Beshear.

Governor Says Healthcare Costs Need To Be Addressed

Sep 15, 2020

Governor Beshear admits the health focus right now needs to be solely fixed on coronavirus.  But, during Tuesday’s briefing the governor said attention will eventually need to focus back on the cost of health care including pharmaceuticals. 

Beshear said the cost of insulin is, quote, “absolutely outrageous.” “Companies should get a profit when they make these things, but we cannot ask people to pay what they are being charged and I will welcome any help,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear is telling local school officials, as a general rule, he will not be making any more recommendations about in-class or virtual education come September 28th.  He asked school leaders to wait until that date before deciding about moving forward with in-person instruction.

Governor Beshear broke from his coronavirus briefing format Thursday to deliver about a 15 minute formal address to Kentuckians. 

In it he spoke of the challenges of the last six months, praised citizens for their efforts, and reiterated his actions.  Those included reducing social gatherings, restricting travel, and a statewide mask mandate. “All of these steps have generated criticism, but all of them are working,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear says to prepare for large coronavirus case numbers in the coming days.  Coming out of the Labor Day weekend, the governor reported 273 new cases and one death.  Beshear anticipates much higher numbers in subsequent days.  He said the COVID-19 positivity rate currently stands at 3.9%. 

The governor added maintaining that rate or even lower would be a good sign. “If we can get especially below four and stay below four, if we can be going down then we’re in a place where we have a lot more opportunity out there and it is a lot safer,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear and State Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack have both stressed the importance of widespread access to coronavirus testing. 

The vast majority of testing has been conducted with a nasal swab far into the nasal cavity.  While other testing techniques are being done, Dr. Stack said a saliva test has its own challenges. “You got to drool a lot of spit in that tube.  It’s pretty gross and it’s not so easy.  A lot of people actually struggle to do that as they drool all over the inside and the outside of the tube,” said Stack.

Stu Johnson

Governor Beshear is expressing confidence in state reporting of coronavirus positivity rates.  The governor reported a positivity rate of 4.7% for Wednesday.  John Hopkins has COVID-19 activity levels for all states.  It listed Kentucky at 8.4% as of early Wednesday. 

The governor said there are websites reporting different positivity rates.  Beshear said those organizations tend to use automated search engines to collect data while the state audits the data each week.

Governor Beshear says he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to a special legislative session to consider law enforcement related reforms.  During his daily briefing Tuesday, the governor was asked about interest by some legislators to see him convene lawmakers to Frankfort.

State Officials Modify Child Care Regulations

Aug 31, 2020

State officials are announcing new regulations designed to increase child care capacity but also better ensure compliance of coronavirus related guidelines.

Governor Beshear says public universities across Kentucky are expected to use various means to track coronavirus cases as the fall semester proceeds.

The governor said using a positivity percentage can’t be the sole measuring stick. “If you want to establish a campus positivity rate, you not only have to test a significant of that campus, but you got to keep doing it.  And then you can’t do a calculation based on something two weeks ago. We have a seven day rolling average,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear says work continues on a new state initiative regarding Kentucky child care facilities. 

During his coronavirus briefing Wednesday the governor indicated it would include some assistance, but he also said capacity limitations remain important. “I do believe that they will get some relief on Monday.  I believe it will be a plan that will help, but will it put 30 kids in every group, no.  No, that is not ok, it is not safe,” said Beshear.

Beshear noted the formal unveiling of the new child care program is expected early next week.