Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus in Kentucky: Correctional facility focused testing causes leap in state’s positive cases

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirms 625 new COVID-19 bringing the total to 5,822, and 14 additional deaths, bringing the total to 275. The governor again asks Kentuckians to light their homes green in honor of those who have died from the virus and to show their loved ones they are not grieving alone.

The governor says a total of 61,013 people have been tested across the state and 2,058 Kentuckians have recovered from their illness. He says the total number of people tested may be higher, as officials don’t believe all negative tests have been reported by all labs.

Beshear says while these numbers are the highest reported in the state, the numbers remain average and stable in the general public. The governor says 309 of these new cases were found in focused testing at Green River Correctional facility among it’s more than 1,000 inmates and staff. He says test results have been trending higher on Tuesdays as tests from the weekend are reported, allotting for the remaining 316 positive cases.

Dr. Steven Stack says positivity rates do tend to be higher in confined populations such as the correctional facility. He also says the state is preparing for an aggressive plan to test long-term care facilities.

State officials say the first positive case at Green River was reported in a staff member in March, and the first inmate tested positive April 5. He says the complex is working to maintain the spread and isolate those who are positive, as well as those who are negative but with exposure, from those who are negative and or vulnerable to the virus. He also says two staff and two inmates are currently in the hospital.

The governor also recognized Teacher Appreciation Week during his daily briefing. With some video call help from his own school-aged children, Beshear thanked educators across the state who have had to make significant changes to their teaching methods due to distance learning.

“I believe our teachers are the most important profession, and I’m going to put our healthcare workers right up there with them,” Beshear says. “They hold the future of our commonwealth. We appreciate the job they’re doing. What our teachers have done at this time of crisis is nothing short of amazing.”

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