In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced 100 new cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, bringing the total number of cases to 770. There were 11 new deaths related to the virus reported last night, bringing the state’s total to 31. Governor Beshear said all but one of the deaths, and possibly all of them, were people with other health conditions. In terms of new steps being taken, Governor Beshear recommended Thursday that school districts statewide extend the suspension of in person instruction until May 1st. Non-traditional instruction will still continue during this time. The Governor says that there is a chance that in-person instruction will not be revisited this year, but that the state is not there yet. In other news, Beshear says plans are moving ahead to convert the state fairgrounds in Louisville into a 2,000-bed field hospital. The Governor says the plan is to have the operation together before it is needed. Other executive orders include the temporary banning of overnight stays in Kentucky State Parks and campgrounds, and restricting travel to include people from out of state coming into the Commonwealth. Those entering the state have to follow the same travel restrictions as Kentuckians and self-quarantine for 14 days.
It has been announced that Akebono Production will remain cancelled for the week of April 6th to April 12th. This shutdown is unpaid, however the company offers kcc.ky.gov in order to file for unemployment. More updates will be given as they become available.
When schools across the Commonwealth stopped in-person instruction on March 12th, the number one concern for many was how students would get access to meals. In the nearly three weeks since, area school districts have reported distributing large quantities of meals for students. Hardin County Schools spokesperson John Wright says the district has given out over 120,000 meals. Elizabethtown Independent Schools Superintendent Jon Ballard says their district has distributed 750-1,000 meals a day, and West Point Independent Schools have reported that they have given out close to 2,000 meals since spring break.
Amid all the cancellations and closures related to COVID-19, one Hardin County event is still slated to open on schedule. The Hardin County Farmer’s Market will open for the season tomorrow morning. Market manager Autumn Milliner recognized that while it is difficult, the market is taking several precautions to protect the health of customers, including handwashing stations and spread out vendors. They are also encouraged to preorder and pickup instead of spending time in the pavilion. The farmer’s market has the ability to be open, as they are classified as an agricultural business, which was placed on the essential business list by Governor Beshear.
The gradual removal of a traffic light in Elizabethtown has been completed. As previously reported, the State Highway Department began phasing out the traffic signal at the intersection of Helm Street and North Mulberry. The light is now fully removed, leaving stop signs on Helm Street, and no traffic signal on North Mulberry. The traffic on North Mulberry does not stop, and always has the right of way. The State Highway Department had previously deemed the light unnecessary.