Daily Updates: A Comprehensive List of COVID-19 Developments

Check back here to see the latest daily developments regarding COVID-19.

Words by Sky Carroll, Content Director

For more information regarding COVID-19, recommendations, and social distancing, please visit:

Kentucky Specific Information

World Health Organization

Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-722-5725. According to Governor Beshear, use this if you are “well but nervous.”

Governor Beshear is encouraging all Kentuckians to flood social media with positivity and good examples of social distancing by using the hashtags: #TeamKentucky, #TogetherKY, #HealthyAtHome, and #Patriot.

 

Tuesday, March 31:

  • A Kentucky legislative staffer tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Kentucky lawmakers may consider a one year budget instead of the normal two year budget because of the pandemic.
  • The GE union president is quarantined while waiting for COVID-19 test results after testing negative for strep throat and the flu.
  • New York City has started to use an area of Central Park as a field hospital.
  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference/“The Andy Show”
    • “Let’s start. We will get through this. We will get through this together.”
    • “This is a tough day for Kentucky on every metric,” Beshear said, continuing to emphasize being healthy at home.
    • “If it looks like there’s a crowd at any store, you don’t go in,” Beshear said when explaining that social distancing must happen everywhere.
    • Beshear began going through the 10 steps from the new graphic he introduced yesterday: Stay healthy at home, wash hands and surfaces, avoid crowds and gatherings, apply for benefits (Medicaid and unemployment), practice social distancing, prioritize mental health, know when to seek care, do not travel, know the website (kycovid19.ky.gov), and report non-compliance.
    • Kentucky has 114 new cases and six new deaths today. “We can breathe. We can take it in, and we can know that because of it, we are committed to working harder the next day,” Beshear said, again saying that we will see worse days than this.
    • Deaths: 88-year-old woman from Fayette County, a 74-year-old man from Bullitt County, and 87-year old woman from Jefferson County, an 81-year-old woman from Jefferson County, a 74-year-old man from Jefferson County, and a 66-year-old man from Jefferson County. All of them had other conditions, but the coronavirus was a factor in their deaths. Beshear later announced another Kentucky death in Campbell County, making seven total deaths today.
    • Dr. Stack spoke again: “80% of us will be fine,” but there is also a significant portion that will suffer.
    • Stack said you should not wear a mask in public right now because those should be going to healthcare workers. If you’re sick, you should be in isolation.
    • Beshear said grocery store workers now qualify for child care originally reserved for front-line healthcare workers.
    • Beshear signed an executive order today that allows local governments and counties to hire back police, firefighters, EMS, and corrections officers who have retired.
    • Beshear: “No yard sales.”
    • Beshear said Kentucky is working on implementing drive-through testing in Franklin County in the next couple days. It will serve as a trial run before spreading it to other parts of the state.
    • UofL will test the kits from the drive-through site in Franklin County.
    • Beshear said we need “positive social pressure” to encourage everyone to follow guidelines.
    • Beshear concluded with highlighting some positives from social media, including several sites that used green lights to honor those who have passed and kids’ chalk drawings.

Monday, March 30:

  • Trump extended social distancing guidelines to April 30 after the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the U.S. could face more than 100,000 deaths and millions of COVID-19 infections.
  • Some GE workers will go back to work today, despite worker protests over the weekend against GE continuing to operate. The company is seen as an “essential business,” and is reopening after a health inspection approved their precautions against COVID-19.
  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference/“The Andy Show”
    • You know the drill… “We will get through this. We will get through this together,” Beshear said.
    • “I know it can be hard not knowing when it will end, but this is not forever,” Beshear said. 
    • As Beshear moved into sharing positives on social media, he encouraged everyone to take breaks from consuming news and looking at phones daily.
    • “In many ways, we might be the luckiest people to ever face something so difficult,” Beshear said when referencing virtual ways you can still stay connected to and interact with people.
    • Beshear introduced a new graphic about “10 steps to fight COVID-19.”
    • The 1-year-old in Fayette County who tested positive is at home with mild systems and is doing well.
    • New executive order from Beshear: Kentuckians must not travel to other states, except for very few exceptions.
    • Beshear’s Chief of Staff, La Tasha Buckner, gave a few more details about the executive order: you can go out of state for your job, for your healthcare, to care for a loved one, or for vital necessities. If you go to a different state for any reason other than the exceptions, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Beshear said that although law enforcement can help a little, the only way we’ll get people to do the right thing is if they agree to it and see it as their duty.
    • Although Tennessee is planning to enact new restrictions, there have been significant rises in northern Tennessee cases along Kentucky’s southern border, which is why Beshear said the new executive order is so important.
    • Beshear said Kentucky is working on plans to increase hospital beds, ICU beds, and our number of ventilators.
    • Kentucky has 42 new cases today, making the total number 480. Beshear said we will probably not have many more days where we have as few as 42 new cases in the next two weeks.
    • “Just because you don’t have a confirmed case in your county doesn’t mean the coronavirus isn’t there — it is,” Beshear said.
    • Beshear announced two new deaths today: an 88-year-old woman from Kenton County and a 90-year-old woman from Simpson County. Both had other conditions, but the coronavirus was a contributing factor to their deaths.
    • Beshear said there are two positive cases in a Campbell County nursing home, one staffer and one resident. The resident is in a hospital and they are testing at least four other people in the facility. That’s all the information he has.
    • Including tests from private labs, Beshear estimated that anywhere 15,000 to 21,000 Kentuckians have been tested for COVID-19.
    • The Amazon warehouse that Beshear asked to close will reopen Wednesday after having time to implement new guidelines and precautions.
    • Beshear said that he spoke to home improvement stores today, and they’re going to begin enforcing social distancing even more.
    • Beshear signed SB 150, the coronavirus relief bill for Kentucky, today.

Sunday, March 29:

  • Two Louisville Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center workers have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • To help slow the spread of the coronavirus in county jails, county jail populations have decreased by 28%. Most of the freed inmates are people who can wait on the outcome of their case at home. People charged with violent crimes and domestic violence are ineligible for release.
  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference/“The Andy Show”
    • For the third day now, Beshear encouraged everyone to say “We will get through this. We will get through this together,” saying it’s important that we believe this because things will only get worse.
    • “If you don’t follow the guidelines, doing something you think as social could result in real harm to another Kentuckian,” Beshear said. “We need to create positive social peer pressure.”
    • Beshear shouted out some positives on social media, including a Kroger in Elizabethtown that made markers on the floor to enforce social distancing.
    • Beshear said that after someone pointed out that Dale Hollow Park may not be enforcing state orders and social distancing, he said that more rangers have been added.
    • Beshear said that there will be officers in places like golf courses, and if people are not social distancing, the place will be shut down.
    • Beshear said that for those who are running, you must ot run with friends. Only by yourself or with family.
    • When referencing shopping at stores that are still open, Beshear said they’ve received several calls about people not social distancing at home improvement stores.
    • Dr. Stack spoke again: “The next two to three weeks are pivotal… this is crunch time.”
    • Stack made some shoutouts, saying these “aren’t the good ones.” He called out churches in Graves County for still holding services, emphasizing that they cannot do that. He even said that churches may appreciate large turnouts now, but some of those people may not be around at Christmastime if they don’t follow guidelines.
    • Stack, like Beshear, said that everyone needs to act like they have the coronavirus and act accordingly. In short, just follow the rules.
    • Beshear moved into his update, saying it’s a “pretty good one.”
    • As of 4 p.m., Kentucky has 45 new confirmed cases. That’s less than half the new cases from yesterday. 
    • As of 4 p.m., there haven’t been any deaths today.
    • “We are going to have an escalation of cases. We are in that escalation now,” Beshear said.
    • Beshear said there will be days when there are more than 92 new cases.
    • Kentucky has a total of 439 confirmed cases.
    • “We have to make sure we flatten the curve so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system,” Beshear said. He also said Kentucky is working on increasing capacity, including possibly transitioning hotels to makeshift hospitals.
    • Beshear concluded by referencing the website and hotline (above), when to seek care guidelines, state guidelines, social media, and filing for unemployment insurance.

Friday, March 27:

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The Omni Louisville hotel will shut down for a couple months due to the pandemic.
  • The House of Representatives passed the $2 trillion relief bill and Trump then signed it.
  • JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio had a press conference and released more information about NTI for JCPS. Read about it here.
  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference (“The Andy Show”):
    • A began by encouraging everyone to repeat out loud: “We will get through this. We will get through this together.”
    • Before showing a video targeted at elementary schoolers and their parents during the crisis, he left viewers with a quote from “Frozen 2:” When one can see no future, all one can do is the next right thing.”
    • Beshear said that he continues to highlight positives and good things on social media in order to showcase models for good behavior and encourage people to buy into following guidelines.
    • He again said these next few weeks are critical. “While we are seeing an increase in cases, we have more time than them to flatten the curve…”
    • Beshear believes Kentucky is doing better than any other state, but said that we are only competing with ourselves to do better each day. He said even though it will be a beautiful weekend, we can’t let that encourage us to stop social distancing and being healthy at home.
    • Beshear asked mayors and county judges to close all public playgrounds, basketball courts, and things of that nature where he said people have failed to engage in social distancing.
    • Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, began speaking about initiatives for the homeless.
      • Friedlander said that Kentucky’s systems for helping homelessness were already strained before the virus, so now they are even more strained.
      • They’re expanding energy assistance programs, food stamps programs, housing programs and other programs that assist the homeless.
      • Asked for local communities, health departments, emergency responders, and community organizations to come together to improve plans for the homeless.
      • He recognized the need for PPE and said they are working to get those to people working with the homeless.
      • He recognized and praised efforts in Louisville and Lexington, like creating mobile showers and finding warehouses to use for homeless people.
    • Beshear then discussed the new individuals that can qualify for unemployment insurance (see post from March 25). To file a claim, click here.
    • Beshear then said he would like to specifically address people living on our border with Tennessee, saying those people must not go over that border for anything other than work, maybe helping a loved one, and maybe going to a grocery. He said if you do into Tennessee, you are risking bringing the virus more into Kentucky since Tennessee has not taken the same measures as Kentucky. “I need you to be strong in your pride in this state. I need to make sure that you don’t take someone else’s lack of action and possibly bring it back to Kentucky.”
    • He said tonight’s update is “okay” news. Kentucky has 54 new cases of COVID-19 today, four more than we had yesterday.
    • Kentucky had two new deaths due to the coronavirus today: a 75-year old woman from Fayette County and a 77-year-old man from Hopkins County.
    • Beshear said we still haven’t seen the surge expected in cases, telling people to continue to follow the when to seek care guidelines on kycovid19.ky.gov.
    • Beshear again thanked several organizations and groups of people making sacrifices and helping flatten the curve.
    • Kentucky moved its tax deadline to July 15.

Thursday, March 26:

  • The U.S. now has more total COVID-19 cases than China and Italy — two countries that have been overwhelmed with the virus — with more than 82,000 cases. There have been over 1000 deaths in the U.S.
  • The Kentucky legislature met today, with several Congressional members absent, most of them being Democrats.
    • Since the public cannot enter the Capitol because of precautions, several cars drove around the building with signs telling the legislature to “go home.”
  • Late last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion economic recovery bill. If you’re an adult with a Social Security number who makes less than $75,000 a year, you would receive $1200 and $500 for every child you have. If you make over $75,000 but less than $99,000, you would receive some money, but less than $1200. If you make over $99,000 you would not receive anything. $500 billion would go to distressed businesses, including $29 million for the airline industry. $350 billion in loans would go to distressed small businesses. The bill now has to pass the House of Representatives to go into effect.
  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference:
    • Began by encouraging everyone to say together: “We will get through this. We will get through this together.”
    • He again said that these next two to three weeks will be absolutely critical in flattening the curve in Kentucky. He again emphasized being healthy at home.
    • Lots of thanks: Beshear thanked every Kentuckian following state orders and guidelines and businesses for the sacrifices they’ve made. He thanked all organizations donating personal protective equipment (PPE), the media for their coverage, churches and places of worship for cancelling services, frontline healthcare workers and first responders for their continued commitment, teachers for finding ways to continue to teach, and maintenance staff for cleaning schools.
    • He re-emphasized the importance of daily schedules for youth.
    • He warned against going out to play basketball and said you are spreading the virus if you do that. (Louisville took the rims off its park basketball courts today.)
    • Beshear said Kentucky has its first coronavirus case of someone in a nursing home: a 90-year-old man in Perry County. BUT WAIT, about an hour after the press conference, this individual actually tested negative. False alarm Perry County.
    • Beshear announced Kentucky has 248 total COVID-19 cases today, which is 50 more from yesterday. That’s the largest single day increase Kentucky has seen so far.
    • Beshear encouraged everyone to complete their Census! You should’ve received something in the mail telling you how to do it online, but you can also send it in the mail. Just like helping combat the coronavirus is your “patriotic duty,” Beshear said completing your Census is your patriotic duty to helping us rebuild after this crisis.
    • Although Beshear hoped to have more details on drive-through testing in Kentucky today, he said he needs a day to a few more days to get everything worked out.
    • According to Beshear, Kentucky has had a better week in securing PPE.
    • Well over 11,000 people have been tested including negatives from private labs. For the state lab, 4,016 people have been tested.
    • Dr. Steven Stack began speaking about when to seek care, encouraging you to trust your healthcare professionals. If you are well, do not seek care. If you feel mildly ill, treat it as if you have COVID-19. According to Stack, if you have mild symptoms, you will have to just wait to get over it. For more information on when to seek care, visit: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
    • Stack was optimistic about Kentucky’s efforts to flatten the curve, saying Kentucky may be in the top 10 for best state efforts in combating the virus.
    • “We’re not here to force people to do the right thing. We’re here to inspire people to do the right thing,” Stack said.
    • Beshear concluded by emphasizing that the next two to three weeks are critical in flattening the curve, telling people to be healthy at home.

Wednesday, March 25:

  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference:
    • Kentucky has 198 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s 35 new cases today — less than the number of new cases from yesterday.
    • Beshear announced the fifth Kentucky coronavirus death: a 75-year-old man in Jefferson County.
    • Beshear said the next two to three weeks will be “absolutely critical” in fighting the virus. He said this is the “ultimate test for whether we are good people.” and that things are about to “get a lot worse” in the next few days before they get better.
    • There was a five minute video for preschoolers explaining the coronavirus.
    • Beshear highlighted organizations around Kentucky are contributing extra supplies and making personal protective equipment for the current shortage.
    • Beshear continued to recommend being “healthy at home,” meaning to stay active close to your home and be around your home as much as possible. Continue social distancing.
    • Beshear said Kentuckians should not be traveling. 
    • Other than going to work or getting supplies, Beshear said to stay home. He said you must not go out just because you are “bored.”
    • Dr. Steven Stack said that Kentucky’s practices and recommendations are having the effect they want
    • Stack called out college students who went on spring break and said they should assume they are infected. He said they need to self-isolate.
      • Kentucky has its first case of someone who went to Florida for spring break.
    • Stack said young children should not be going on playdates.
    • Independent contractors, substitute teachers, and other new categories of workers can now file for unemployment.
      • Beshear continued to say there should be no stigma surrounding filing for unemployment during this time. 
    • Beshear thinks that Kentucky will have its first drive-through testing facility next week. It will be open for a very specific group of people. He will announce its location tomorrow.
    • Beshear’s Chief of Staff, Latasha Buckner, gave more details about the order stating all non-life sustaining businesses have to close. If a business does not make medical supplies or provide things people need to survive, it must close and work remotely. Beshear said liquor stores are still open because they are part of food and beverage stores.
    • Beshear said we must not let fear get the best of us.
  • There are now more than 60,000 positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 24:

  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference:
    • There are now at least 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky.
    • The Kentucky bourbon industry is making bottles of hand sanitizer.
    • According to Beshear, one of the new positive cases is from someone who attended a “coronavirus party.”
    • On Thursday night, all non-life sustaining businesses will have to close to in-person traffic.
    • Four people with the virus have fully recovered.
    • Four frontline health care workers tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Trump claimed that the U.S. will be able to ease restrictions by Easter; Beshear and Fischer took issue with that.
  • The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have been postponed past 2020.
  • A Kentucky Amazon warehouse has closed due to employee cases of COVID-19.

Monday, March 23:

  • Beshear’s 5 p.m. press conference:
    • Beshear said it is your duty to practice social distancing.
    • Beshear announced Kentucky’s fourth COVID-19 death: an 82-year-old woman with underlying health conditions.
    • Kentucky now has at least 124 positive COVID-19 cases.
    • There is a “Team Kentucky Fund,” where money raised goes to people whose employment has been affected by the crisis.
    • There is now a hotline to report people or individuals not complying with state orders, including social distancing: 1-833-KYSAFER
    • Kentucky has a plan in place to use hotels as extra space and beds if it gets to that point.
    • Beshear said that Kentucky is having to bid against other states to purchase personal protective equipment and said that he will do “whatever it takes” to protect the people of Kentucky.
    • Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s public health commissioner, have said that according to the WHO and the surgeon general, there will be a large increase this week in cases.
    • According to Stack, about 50% of Kentucky medical students have volunteered their time to help professionals with the crisis.
  • Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order starting Wednesday.
  • The U.S. now has the third most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, after China and Italy.
  • A U.S. postal employee in Louisville tested positive for COVID-19.

Sunday, March 22:

  • Kentucky now has at least 103 positive cases of COVID-19.
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a “stay at home” order beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
  • Beshear said that non-essential businesses must close by tomorrow night. Pharmacies, groceries, and gas stations can stay open.
  • According to Mayor Greg Fischer in a conference call, Jefferson County has 28 cases of COVID-19.
  • A Louisville man refused to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, so he was ordered to quarantine by the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness.

Saturday, March 21:

  • Kentucky now has at least 87 positive COVID-19 cases.
  • In his press conference, Beshear said a 67-year-old in Anderson County has died from the coronavirus, marking Kentucky’s third COVID-19 related death.
  • Starting Monday, Kroger will reserve the first hour of being open to customers 60 years and older and other high risk individuals Monday through Thursday.
  • A woman who was at the Omni Hotel in Louisville during an Episcopal Church conference — where six conference attendees later tested positive — has tested positive for COVID-19.

Friday, March 20:

  • Kentucky now has at least 63 cases of COVID-19.
  • In his press conference, JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said that April 6 will serve as a training day for teachers to use NTI.
    • April 7 will be the first day of NTI for JCPS until schools reopen, saying that the earliest day for traditional school to resume is April 20.
    • Pollio said that each JCPS high school will have a “commencement exercise” after making supportive comments toward high school seniors, the class of 2020.
  • Beshear recommended all Kentucky schools stay closed until April 20 after meeting with Kentucky superintendents today.
  • Kentucky standardized testing, including K-PREP, will not take place this year.
  • The College Board announced that it will allow students to take online Advanced Placement (AP) exams at home.

Thursday, March 19:

  • Kentucky now has at least 48 positive cases of COVID-19.
    • A student at Kentucky Country Day School has been confirmed to have the coronavirus
    • Kentucky has had its second COVID-19 death: a 64-year-old man in Jefferson County.
  • JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said it is “highly unlikely” that JCPS will open on April 6 in the Jefferson County Board of Education meeting this evening.
  • The Jefferson County Board of Education voted to approve its NTI plan. The use of NTI after April 6 is highly likely.
  • The U.S. raised the Global Travel Advisory to level four, meaning all U.S. citizens should not travel abroad and citizens abroad should return home or expect to stay abroad for an unknown period.
  • The Kentucky legislature suspended meetings for a week until March 26. After that, they’ll meet again on April 1.
  • Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb ordered all Indiana schools to stay closed until May 1.
  • Dollar General, Fresh Market, Rainbow Blossom, Target, and Whole Foods Market now have special hours for seniors to shop without feeling frightened.
  • Louisville has announced that it will receive emergency funding for families and organizations struggling because of the outbreak. For more information on eligibility and how it works, visit: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2020/03/18/coronavirus-louisville-city-get-emergency-funding-pandemic/2872888001/

Wednesday, March 18:

  • Kentucky now has 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • There have been over 17,000 Kentucky unemployment claims this week. Usually, Kentucky gets about 2,000 per week.
  • California schools are likely to close for the rest of the school year.
  • An eight-month-old baby in Kentucky has the virus.
  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s wife, Alexandra Gerassimides, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The Kentucky Board of Education voted to let districts start non-traditional instruction (NTI) plans mid-year due to COVID-19 closures.
  • If schools do not reopen, JCPS has said that April 6 will be a professional development day for teachers to learn how to conduct NTI.
  • Kentucky closed its Real ID offices. Real IDs will replace current drivers’ licenses. 
  • Kentucky is limiting in-person child abuse investigations due to COVID-19.
  • Kentucky hopes to request a waiver to avoid state testing (K-PREP). Kentucky has not cancelled its testing window.
  • According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on major healthcare issues, 45% of people 18 and older in Kentucky are at high risk for serious illness if they get the coronavirus. This makes Kentucky one of the most at risk states for serious illness.
  • University of Louisville president, Neeli Bendapudi, tested negative for COVID-19 after attending an event where two attendees tested positive.

Tuesday, March 17:

  • In his press conference, Beshear announced one more Kentucky case of COVID-19, bringing the total to 26.
  • Beshear also said in his press conference that gyms, theaters, and concert venues, and salons must close by 5 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Beshear said that childcare centers must close by Friday.
  • The Kentucky Derby was postponed until Sept. 5.
  • Kansas announced that their schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. As of today, JCPS is still listing April 6 as the first day back for students.
  • Healthcare workers are contemplating what triage — prioritizing people with the best chances of survival — might look like. In Italy, they’ve been forced to use triage due to inadequate infrastructure, doctors, and capacity.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky called upon the Kentucky legislature to adjourn due to COVID-19 concerns. Monday evening, many legislators, mostly Democrats, were debating whether or not to go to the session on Tuesday because of Beshear’s warnings and recommendations to all people in Kentucky.
  • The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is stopping evictions for the “foreseeable future,” due to COVID-19 concerns and after the Supreme Court closed all courtrooms. 

Monday, March 16: 

  • This marks the first day that Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and others across Kentucky were closed due to the coronavirus. 
  • The ACT postponed its April test to June 13.
  • The SAT has canceled its May exams and has not announced any new dates.
  • The College Board announced it is developing tools to mitigate the effects of schools closing on AP exams, including possibly allowing students to test at home. On March 20, they’ll clarify their plans to the public.
  • Governor Beshear announced that all bars and restaurants are to close in-house dining and drinking. Carry out and delivery are still permitted. 
  • President Trump recommended people avoid gatherings of more than 10 people in his press conference and avoid discretionary travel in his press conference.
  • The Kentucky primary election has been rescheduled from May 19 to June 23. 
  • The stock market took its deepest plunge since Black Monday, the date that triggered the global market decline in 1987.
  • Actor Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to test positive for the coronavirus.

*This story is being updated on a daily basis.*