Beshear: ‘We’ve got to be the smartest’ state in reopening plan

Beshear: ‘We’ve got to be the smartest’ state in reopening plan
Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday said he will not “be the fastest” governor to try to steer his state back to normal operations.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday confirmed 163 new cases of the coronavirus around the commonwealth, and eight more deaths.

The updates push the state totals to 5,245 and 261, respectively.

Thirty-four of the new cases were reported in Jefferson County.

Beshear opened his daily briefing Monday by addressing the need to be strategic and patient when considering how to reopen the state. Last week, he laid out a multi-phase plan to slowly allow for certain businesses and other entities to reopen, some starting at partial capacity. Beshear said he will not “be the fastest” governor to try to steer his state back to normal operations.

“I’m just not going to do that,” Beshear said during his daily briefing in Frankfort, not long after Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued a similar statement during his own daily update in Louisville, both likely aimed at Indiana’s recent easing of its stay-at-home orders.

“We’ve got to be the smartest, based on public health, based on a gradual phasing-in where we can protect our population,” the governor said. “Let’s not be first. Let’s be the smartest. Let’s be the best.”

During his daily slideshow presentation, Beshear showed screengrabs of several online news stories about Mississippi, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee reporting increased coronavirus cases following the easing of stay-at-home restrictions in those states.

“That concept that just cuz somebody else is doing it that you should do it, in a worldwide health pandemic, I’m not buying that,” he said.

Beshear said 17 drive-thru testing sites will be open across the state this week. The locations in Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green are already fully booked, but there are openings in Ashland still available for later in the week.

He also said drive-thru testing sites are open this week in Boyd, Bracken, Calloway, Christian, Jessamine, Laurel, Mason, Montgomery, Oldham, Pendleton, Perry, Rowan, Trigg and Warren counties.

The governor gave an update on coronavirus cases in the state’s longterm-care facilities, including 812 positive cases among residents and 321 staff members. One-hundred thirty-nine deaths have been reported in such facilities.

As he does daily, Beshear again shared some noteworthy statistics:

+ 60,046 Kentuckians have been tested

+ 1,529 have been hospitalized; 333 are currently hospitalized

+ 659 have been in an ICU; 174 are currently in an ICU

+ 1,921 residents have recovered

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Posted by WAVE 3 News on Monday, May 4, 2020

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