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43 New COVID-19 Cases in NKY; Most State Parks to Reopen

Forty-three additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Northern Kentucky on Friday, bringing the four-county region's total to 877, with 409 of those found in Kenton County residents, 312 in Boone County, 125 in Campbell County, and 31 in Grant County.

51 people have died in Northern Kentucky since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department reiterated on Friday that while older adults and those with underlying medical issues are most at risk, younger adults can and do also become sick.

“Sixty-six percent of COVID-19 cases in Northern Kentucky are individuals less than 60 years of age," said Dr. Lynne Saddler, Northern Kentucky district director of health. "Additionally, seven percent of hospitalizations are individuals under the age of 60. COVID-19 does not just affect the elderly – it affects all of us.” 

Governor Andy Beshear on Friday announced 252 new cases statewide, bringing Kentucky's total to 7,444.

“Let’s remember to keep reaching out to one another, asking how others are doing and if they need help,” Beshear said. “One of the reasons that we’re here today in a better position than most is because we truly care about each other.”

Beshear also said reiterated the virus's threat to younger people as parts of the economy start to reopen.

“Today, I am thankful that the new case list has fewer children,” Beshear said. “This is not to scare anyone, but this virus is still out there and it affects people of all ages and we need to do all we can to keep it from spreading.”

Beshear also reported four new deaths Friday, raising the total to 332 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

“Let’s continue to shine those green lights and continue to add them to the businesses that reopen,” the Governor said. “Our kindness and our compassion are two of the main traits that have us where we are in a positive position to reopen our economy.”

At least 2,739 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Beshear announced Friday that as part of the Healthy at Work initiative, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will reopen tourism in an effort to generate revenue to boost the state’s economy and offer Kentuckians opportunities to explore the commonwealth through in-state travel.

“The tourism industry has suffered significant loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Beshear. “As the state focuses on rebuilding the economy, reopening tourism plays a significant role in generating revenue, opening business doors and helping more Kentuckians get back to work.”

“The reopening of tourism will allow us to generate much needed revenue for local businesses and communities experiencing economic loss as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” said Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “Our phased approach to reopening will ensure we can protect the health and safety of Kentuckians while gradually rebuilding segments of the tourism industry.”

The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will open Kentucky State resort parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins to the public for normal business hours beginning June 1. Park guests will be required to follow social distancing and public health guidelines. Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls State Resort Parks will also reopen on June 1.

Guests can begin making reservations beginning Tuesday, May 19. Reservations can be made online at parks.ky.gov.

As part of the state’s ongoing effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the following Kentucky State Parks were designated to provide temporary housing for low acuity patients. These parks will not reopen at this time: (Barren River Lake State Resort Park is closed due to renovations)

  • Lake Cumberland State Resort Park;
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park;
  • Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

The Kentucky Horse Park, Otter Creek and state park campgrounds will open on June 11 to self-contained campers and RVs in accordance with the Healthy at Work camping guidelines. Fishing tournaments may resume on June 1 with new guidelines. 

The Salato Wildlife Education Center will open with limited capacity beginning June 1. Interactive exhibits will remain closed until further notice.

Beginning May 22, groups of 10 people or fewer may gather and the state’s travel ban will expire. Announcements regarding the reopening of additional tourism attractions and venues operated by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will be forthcoming.

-Staff report

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