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COVID-19: Beshear Lauds Covington Company, Kenton Co. Testing

Governor Andy Beshear thanked Covington-based Gravity Diagnostics for its role in testing for COVID-19 across Kentucky, and also noted a good turnout at the temporary drive-up testing site in Independence during his daily briefing on the global pandemic on Thursday.

Beshear also reinforced his work with seven other Midwestern governors about a collaborative approach to reopening the states' economies, which have been largely shuttered by the pandemic as people are asked or mandated to stay home.

In Independence, where a temporary drive-up testing site is operating through Saturday, thanks to the state's partnership with Kroger Health, UPS, and Gravity, saw 227 tests conducted by the time of the 5 p.m. briefing, Beshear said.

That partnership hopes to result in 20,000 additional tests across the state, and sites will move over the next several weeks. The Summit View Academy site was the second to open in the state after one in Frankfort, where 202 tests were conducted on Thursday.

Tony Remington, the chief executive officer of Gravity, joined the governor during Thursday's briefing. He noted that fifty-five employees in Covington, along with others at different locations nationwide, are working in shifts, six days a week, to process the tests.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to be part of the solution that is facing all of us across the country, especially in Kentucky," Remington said. "The Gravity employees have been absolutely amazing. When this happened four weeks ago and it really started to hit Kentucky, we didn't have one employee turn their back on this problem. We have people that haven't seen their kids in five weeks, we have people working six days a week."

Beshear noted that Kentucky now has 2,429 confirmed cases of the respiratory virus, including a 10-day old baby in Lincoln County. Seven more deaths were recorded Thursday, he said, bringing the state's total to 129.

On Thursday, the Northern Kentucky Health Department announced that twelve additional cases were confirmed in the four-county region bringing the total here to 244. 

There are 111 cases in Kenton County, 52 cases in Campbell County, 67 cases in Boone County, and 14 cases in Grant County, the health department said. 

Local health officials continue to preach the importance of social-distancing and hand-washing, particularly now that we are in allergy season.

“Allergy season is upon us, and many of us are suffering from itchy eyes and runny noses. It is important all the time, but especially as we fight COVID-19, to avoid touching our faces," said Dr. Lynne Saddler, Northern Kentucky district director of health. "COVID-19 can spread by touching an object with the virus on it, and then touching our eyes, nose or mouth. If you must touch your face, be sure to wash your hands before and after, and don’t forget to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.”

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Tony Remington speaks during Gov. Beshear's daily briefing (via Facebook stream)

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