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VIRUS OUTBREAK-KENTUCKY

Kentucky gov pleads with joggers, golfers to keep distances

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is pleading with Kentucky residents who are enjoying the warmer weather to avoid crowds, including people who are golfing or exercising. Beshear says the state had 45 more confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, pushing the state’s total to 439 cases. Nine people have died from the virus in Kentucky. Beshear said while golf courses are allowed to be open, he threatened to shut down those where large groups repeatedly gather. He also asked joggers to only go out with members of their family and not jog in groups. And he says his administration is looking into numerous reports about crowded stores. He says those stores will be asked to enforce social distancing.

GROCERY-FIRST RESPONDERS

Union seeks 'first responder' status for food workers

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Louisville-based United Food & Commercial Workers Local 227 is trying to get “first responder” status for Kentucky and Indiana workers in the retail grocery, meat packing and food processing industries. Union spokeswoman Caitlin Blair tells the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that these workers are facing an increased risk of exposure to the new coronovirus. Being recognized as first responders would provide them with greater access to masks and gloves, better access to testing and quicker results, as well as other services like child care. The designation would put Kentucky and Indiana in the company of states like Minnesota, Michigan and Vermont that have already extended the designation.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-KENTUCKY

Kentucky reports 3 additional coronavirus-related deaths

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear has reported three more deaths related to the new coronavirus in Kentucky. The governor said Friday that Kentucky had its largest single-day increase in cases since the global pandemic hit. He says the 54 new cases were up slightly from the previous days. Beshear says the latest virus-connected deaths involved a 75-year-old woman in Fayette County, a 77-year-old man in Hopkins County and a 73-year-old woman in Jefferson County. He says it's the first time Kentucky reported multiple deaths in one day from the virus.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-KENTUCKY-ABORTION

Kentucky AG: Abortions should cease during virus pandemic

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's attorney general says abortions should cease as part of the governor's order halting elective medical procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the request Friday to the state's acting health and family services secretary. Cameron is asking the official to certify that abortion providers are violating the ban by continuing to perform abortions. Cameron says such certification would “trigger action” by his office to stop elective procedures during the pandemic. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky says Cameron is trying to take advantage of a public health crisis to push an anti-abortion agenda.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MASSIE

GOP's Massie outrages House, Trump by seeking to stall vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky has united Democrat and Republicans in Congress and even President Donald Trump. He did it by pushing to force a roll call vote on a sweeping $2.2 trillion coronavirus package. Massie was the only member of Congress willing to stall, if not block, the historic legislation. His efforts failed, but Massie's actions forced hundreds of lawmakers to return to the Capitol for a possible roll call. The move potentially exposed them to the coronavirus and contradicted the wishes of public health experts. Trump called Massie a “third-rate Grandstander" and urged GOP leaders to "throw Massie out of Republican Party!''

AP-US-2020-CENSUS-BEST-LAID-PLANS

Texts, not door-knocks: Census outreach shifts amid virus

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The coronavirus has waylaid efforts to get as many people as possible to take part in the census. The outbreak and subsequent orders by states and cities to stay home and avoid other people came just as the census ramped up for most Americans two weeks ago. Nonprofits and civic organizations leading census outreach efforts are now pivoting from in-person activities to digital strategies. Texting campaigns and social media are replacing knocking on doors and rallies. The coronavirus has pushed back the deadline to wrap up the once-a-decade count, which determines how much federal money goes to communities.