At a time when Americans across the country have been asked to practice social distancing to check disease transmission, a person in Kentucky has tested positive for the virus after attending a “coronavirus party,” according to the state’s governor.
“We still have folks that aren’t following the recommendations and that ultimately hurts all of us. We have a positive case today from someone who attended a coronavirus party. And this is the part where I, the person that tells everybody to be calm, have to remain calm myself because anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear during a briefing on March 24.
Beshear did not give any additional details about the infected person. He, however, said people should not be so “callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something” that can kill other people.
“We are battling for the health and even the lives of our parents and our grandparents. We ought to be much better than that. And folks, we all owe each other a duty. We all owe each other a duty to protect each other and we simply can’t have folks that are doing things like this. So this is one that I hope I never have to report on again. This is something that no one should be doing across the Commonwealth,” said Beshear. He added, “This is one that makes me mad and it should make you mad too.”
Tuesday saw the single biggest one-day spike in cases in Kentucky, with 39 new. As of March 24, Kentucky has reported 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and four in the state have died from the virus.
“With this being the single biggest day that we have had so far with an increase in cases, we are going to have to keep taking increasingly significant steps as we move forward. We know we are in the time in any pandemic when we have escalating cases and we have to act, act now and act in a significant way that protects our people,” said Beshear. He said more cases are expected every day.
Social distancing and business closures
All Kentuckians have been asked to follow the rules of social distancing, that is, keeping at least six feet apart from others and not gather in public. The governor has also given orders to close most businesses that are non-essential.
“With the rise in cases and knowing that these next probably two weeks are going to be some of the most important, we are going to take the next step; so effective Thursday at 8 pm, we are going to be asking all non-life-sustaining businesses to close to in-person traffic,” said Beshear.
The order will be out on March 25 to give businesses more guidance, said the governor. He said many businesses provide life-sustaining services and will be allowed to stay open, even though they must maintain social distancing. “Even for those who are going to be exempted under this order, we are going to mandate that type of social distance that we have to see out there to protect our people,” he said.
The businesses that can stay open in Kentucky include grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, and financial services. Some others that can remain open are home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.
The governor said most professional services, including attorneys, accountants and those in real estate, can be done from home. Restaurants can remain open for delivery, curbside pickup and even carry out if they follow guidelines on social distancing, he said.