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News- May 1, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 4,708 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 174 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,675 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were five new deaths reported on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 240. Governor Beshear made the announcement that recipients of the SNAP program, which is food benefits, will be able to use those benefits online, including for delivery orders. This is in partnership with Wal-Mart and Amazon. There are over 500,000 people in the Commonwealth on SNAP, and the Governor says he wanted to make sure they could take advantage of this in their communities. In addition, Doctor Steven Stack announced that Kentucky hospitals will be using the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System, which uses vapor phase hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 respirator masks for up to 20 reuses without degrading filter performance.

A long-running tradition in Bardstown will not take place this year. It was announced yesterday that the Stephen Foster Story will forgo the 2020 season, along with performances of Mamma Mia and the Concert in the Park series. Marketing director Billy Bass says that it was proposed to have a partial season, but the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led to the decision to cancel. Ticket holders to any of this season’s shows can request a refund, exchange for a date next year, or donate the ticket price for a tax deduction. The Stephen Foster Story has been performed annually since its inception in 1959.

Even with the conclusion of their annual fundraising event Tuesday night, Clarity Solutions is letting the public know that there is still time to donate. The organizations annual banquet was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. More information about donations can be found online at supportclarity.org.

Hardin Memorial Health are giving their COVID-19 patients access to a new treatment study using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. The breakthrough covalescent plasma treatment allows current patients to receive plasma from recovered patients, which contains antibodies believed to fight the COVID-19 virus and may help patients improve more quickly. Plasma donations are collected from recovered COVID-19 patients willing to support the study. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may qualify to donate plasma is they meet specific plasma and blood donation eligibility requirements. These requirements and information about plasma donation can be found at redcrossblood.org.

Mental Health Awareness Month begins today, and the Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health Department has statistics regarding how mental health has been affected since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 67% of people globally are currently reporting higher levels of stress during the pandemic, and 54% are reporting feeling emotionally exhausted. However, despite all the uncertainty, the department has advice for how to manage your mental health. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthily, as well as limiting screen time. The department also reminds those who may be struggling to get help if they need it. The department recommends calling primary health care providers or mental health professionals if experiencing difficulty. Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health is also available to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.