In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 480 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 42 of those being newly confirmed. There were also two new deaths reported on Monday, an 88-year-old female from Kenton County and a 90-year-old female from Simpson County, raising the state’s total to 11 deaths related to the virus. Both victims had underlying health conditions that also contributed to their death. In terms of new steps being taken, Governor Beshear announced an executive order to limit Kentuckians out-of-state travel. The order allows for a few exemptions including travel to other states for work, groceries, to care for loved ones, or to seek court order required health care. Kentuckians arriving back in the Commonwealth from out of state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
With the end of the school year fast approaching, school districts across the area are still deciding what to do for their high school graduations. During their March board meeting, Hardin County Schools set the graduation dates for all three high schools, which are still on schedule at this time. The Elizabethtown Board of Education has not yet set a date for their graduation.
As the number of positive cases grow, many have pointed to differences between numbers provided by Governor Beshear and by other governmental agencies, such as the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. Officials with the department say there are two main reasons behind the occasional difference; Not all labs report to the state labs, and the turnaround for the labs could be delayed for multiple reasons. Public information officer Terrie Burgan says that while there may be an occasional lag in numbers reported by the Governor, the Health Department has put forth accurate numbers. At this time, the Health Department has seen 11 positive cases within their service area.
The City of Elizabethtown has announced a new effort in order to attempt to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a specially called meeting of the Elizabethtown City Council, a budget amendment was approved that will create the Economic Stimulus Recovery Fund. The fund will be available to qualifying small businesses in the city of Elizabethtown, and the city will make grants up to $3000 available per small business to aid in recovery efforts. Mayor Jeff Gregory said that the city wanted to, “…provide some immediate relief for businesses until the various proposed state and federal programs can cut off assistance.” The city will begin taking applications for the funding on April 1st. More information, including a list of eligible businesses and program guidelines can be found at elizabethtownky.gov.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suspicious man knocking on doors over the weekend. Reportedly, the man, later identified as Johnny Kolley of Cecilia, was knocking on doors asking to use a phone charger. When officers arrived, they saw Kolley walking behind a house. The residents of the home started pointing at him, and as officers pulled into the driveway, Kolley fled on foot. As officers exited the vehicle, several commands to stop were given, but Kolley hopped a gate and ran into a barn, where he was apprehended. Kolley would not give officers his hands, and when checked, was discovered to have an active warrant. He was arrested for fleeing or evading police, burglary, and resisting arrest. He is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.