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News- April 17, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 2,429 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 159 were newly confirmed. It was also reported that, in total, 956 people have recovered from the virus. However, there were seven new deaths reported on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 129. In terms of new steps, the Governor announced four new testing sites coming online next week, part of the state’s partnership with Kroger to provide drive-thru testing. These sites will be in Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset, and Pikeville. Again, these tests are for those exhibiting symptoms, health care workers, first responders, and those who are high risk who may have been exposed to the virus. For location details, or to register for a test, visit krogerhealth.com/covidtesting. The Governor also announced the opening of state shelters in Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland State Parks to house people ill with, or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The facilities will be made available to patients or guests who can care for themselves with minimal medical intervention.

An annual summertime tradition for children in the area has been postponed. The annual Children’s Fair, sponsored by Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors, announced that the 25th edition of the event would be postponed until a later date. The event was postponed due to concerns and health guidelines set forth regarding COVID-19. The fair has run annually since the summer of 1995.

Hardin County Schools will release earlier than previously expected this year. The Board of Education voted last night to amend the school district’s school year calendar. May 15th will now be the final day of instruction for students. Teachers will still have to work their contractually obligated dates, with a closing day scheduled for May 22nd. Graduation dates for the three high schools are still on schedule at this time.

With the Kentucky Derby officially moved to September 5th, people can get their hands on what is sure to be unique pieces of Derby memorabilia, and the proceeds go to a good cause. The Kentucky Derby Museum’s online store is now selling dated Derby merchandise from what would have been this year’s Run for the Roses, May 2nd. 20% of proceeds from the purchased items will go to two local COVID-19 funds. The sale runs until May 3rd.

The list of cancellations due to COVID-19 continues to grow as the Forecastle Festival, which was scheduled to have its 18th edition this year, has been called off. In a statement from event staff, disappointment was expressed, but it was also noted that the safety and health of fans, artists, staff, and community was a higher priority. Tickets will be automatically refunded at point of purchase, and purchasers will receive an e-mail with details on timing and processing. The event promises to be back even stronger in 2021.

The BBQ, Blues, and Bikes Festival in Elizabethtown has been cancelled for this year due to COVID-19. According to Executive Director of the Heritage Council Stacy Reynolds says the Council attempted to find a reschedule date for the event, but the lack of open dates paired with the current uncertainties made it necessary to cancel the event, citing that public safety is of the utmost importance. Refunds will be issued on all vendors and ride registrations. Sponsorships will also be fully refunded or be given the option to sponsor next year’s event.