Kentucky Health News
“You can think there’s some liberty component, but that ends when you put the health and safety of someone else at risk,” Beshear said near the end of a Capitol-rotunda briefing at which he announced and explained his decision.
The governor said enforcement would start with warnings, but businesses that fail to enforce the rule could be fined or shut down. He said the latter option would apply to an unnamed Western Kentucky restaurant where he said employees did not wear masks last weekend.
Restaurant customers will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking. He said that rule in bars would “go a long way,” but he will meet with bar owners Friday to talk about “what other steps they could take to prevent congregation. . . . I want to give them the opportunity to stay open if they’re willing to do the things they need to.”
Beshear said he had hoped to avoid issuing the order, “but it’s time to get serious. It’s time to stop our escalation now. It’s time to push these numbers back down to a reasonable plateau.”
The order is effective for 30 days, during which “I want to see how well we can do,” Beshear said, adding that he would based future acts on numbers of cases, the positive-test rate and hospital capacity. “I believe if we all embrace this, we could even eventually see a decline,” he said.
At another point, he said perhaps 20 percent of Kentuckians resist masks due to “personal pride or some belief that we have liberty to spread this thing to others and therefore shouldn’t have wear something like this.” He said the test would be whether “we truly care about each other and our economy . . . put those feelings aside, and serve the greater good.”
Privett issued the order in a lawsuit filed by Evans Orchard & Cider Mill of Georgetown, seeking relief from Beshear’s limits on attendance at the agri-tourism facility. The injunction bars Beshear from enforcing any emergency order against the business “or any of the 547 other such registered facilities.
- Beshear reported four more deaths from covid-19, raising the state’s death toll to 612. The
fatalities were a 93-year-old woman from Clark County; a 79-year-old man from Edmonson County; a 94-year-old man from Knox County; and a 61-year-old man from Pike County.
- Counties with more than 10 new cases were Jefferson, 86; Fayette, 42; Daviess, 15; Warren, 13; Bell, 12, and Boone, 11. Beshear said people in Bell County “will tell you how quickly you can got from having just a handful of cases to a significant number just in the last three or four days.”
- The U.S. reported more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, the biggest increase ever reported by any country in a single day. Tennessee and West Virginia both had record daily increases, and infections are rising in 42 out of 50 states, Reuters reports.
- Beshear warned against vacationing on a beach in Florida, which is a covid-19 hotspot: “You’re likely to bring covid back, and it will hurt your community.”
- He urged Kentuckians to get tested for the virus: “If you are regularly in contact with other people it’s time to get tested.”
- Some test providers and insurers have required an order from a clinician for a test, but Stack said the state has issued an order banning such requirements.
- The Atlantic explores why daily covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are a fourth of their April peak, even as cases rise: There can be lags between the date a person dies and when that death is reported; expanded testing also helps find more cases, which tend to be milder; the average patient is now younger and less likely to die; hospitals are more prepared and less overrun; and some studies show summer temperatures might be helping.
- A horse named Fauci won a race at Keeneland Race Course. The 2-year-old colt’s owner, a fellow Italian American, named him for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist.