Kentucky pools to reopen for summer as state keeps ‘crushing’ the curve

Gov. Beshear updates Kentucky’s reopening plan

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky’s pools have a reopening date, as does one of its largest amusement parks.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday the state’s pools will be able to open the week of June 29. Guidance for pools reopening will be released sometime before then.

Beshear also said Kentucky Kingdom, one of the state’s largest amusement parks, will reopen the same week. The reopening proposal submitted by the park, which Beshear called “very extensive,” envisions significant changes to the park experience.

As with all of Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidelines, social distancing will be required.

Additionally, all of Kentucky’s state parks will reopen on June 1, including those used as temporary housing for non-acute COVID patients: Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, Blue Licks Battlefield and Buckhorn Lake.

Kentucky’s full reopening schedule can be found here.

Beshear’s full Thursday media briefing is embedded above. He begins talking about case data and the reopening announcements beginning at 17:30.

‘Crushed the curve’

Beshear credited the state’s improving virus numbers for each of Thursday’s reopening announcements.

Previously the governor has offered qualified statements about COVID-19 being on the decline in Kentucky.

Thursday he removed the qualifications and took a victory lap, if not to celebrate the state’s gains, then to warn against trying to "rewrite history about what we faced.”

Beshear first spoke to the pandemic’s early weeks and the initial sense of alarm as cases began doubling every few days.

“We were looking at models that had some of the heaviest losses of human life I could possibly imagine,” he said. “But Kentuckians came together. We sacrificed. We did what it took. We put our dreams on hold, and we stopped that pandemic curve.

“We took drastic and significant steps. It worked.”

After Kentucky’s ‘Safe at Home’ restrictions were put in place, cases began to plateau, according to case data.

Kentucky's virus cases are on the decline
Kentucky's virus cases are on the decline (Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky)

The last 14 days, Beshear says the numbers have been declining.

He cited a Vox article that says Kentucky is just one of three states ready to reopen.

“Because of the people of Kentucky, we are in a better place after having not just stopped, not just flattened, but crushed the curve,” the governor said.

Beshear continued: “Now that we have enough testing, now that we have the contact tracing, now that we are reopening, I want to make sure that we don’t try to rewrite history about what we faced: an international, worldwide health pandemic that is deadly, devastating and aggressive. I want to make sure we remember what our sacrifices are for and that people do not try to negate them for political gain or anything else.

“Where we were going is so much scarier than where we’ve been," he said. "Thank goodness that people were willing to do the right thing at the right time, even with the financial trauma that it’s caused.”

Case update

Thursday Beshear announced 113 new cases of the virus for a total of 9,184 on 221,118 tests.

The state’s positive testing rate, now 4.1 percent, continues to decline as its number of tests performed surges, representing one of the most significant, if unheralded, success stories in the country’s battle with the virus.

Currently 494 Kentuckians are hospitalized with the virus and 88 are in the ICU.

Beshear reported nine new deaths Thursday, including five in long-term care facilities.

Some 3,181 Kentuckians are confirmed to have recovered from the virus.

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