Beshear/Cameron Legal Fight Lands in Boone Co.; 413 New Cases in Ky.
Kentucky's seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases topped 400 for the first time and Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron continued their legal battles in Northern Kentucky on Thursday.
413 newly confirmed coronavirus cases were announced by Beshear during his daily update, bringing the state's total to 21,083 since the pandemic began.
Courier-Journal reporter Joe Sonka tweeted that the seven-day rolling average is 405.4 daily cases, the first time the number has been that high.
“What we are seeing across the country is alarming. We are seeing state after state not just facing escalating cases, but facing devastation,” Beshear said. “As of today, Florida’s hospitals have now run out of ICU beds. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed. People are going to die who would not otherwise have died. In Arizona and Texas they are bringing in refrigerated trucks because people are dying so fast, there is no room for them in morgues. That ought to convince everybody of the seriousness of the situation we face and what a critical moment right now is.”
Beshear also noted that there are thirteen children under the age of five who tested positive for the virus, the highest number for that age group yet.
He re-emphasized what he sees as a need to wear a face covering in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Today, we have a record number of kids under 5 diagnosed with COVID-19. These kids are counting on us to do the right thing,” said Beshear. “Our new cases come from all types of counties. And remember, deaths follow cases.”
Five new deaths were reported, bringing the state's total to 650.
As of Thursday, there have been at least 507,197 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.38%. At least 5,500 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Meanwhile, Cameron brought his battle against Beshear's executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic to Boone County Circuit Court.
"Today, we are in court to protect the rights of Kentuckians and ensure that the process used by the Governor to issue Executive Orders complies with the law. This is not about the Governor’s policies, it’s about making sure he follows the law," Cameron tweeted. "Judges at every level have found constitutional problems with his orders. Instead of collaborating with our office and the General Assembly to fix these issues, he’s pointing fingers.
"The Constitution is not political, & it must be followed even in a pandemic. Across the country, Governors are collaborating with elected leaders from both parties to make sure that COVID-19 restrictions balance public health with the law. This Governor should do the same."
Beshear responded during his daily press conference.
“Today the attorney general asked a court in Boone County to overturn every single order we have put in place to protect people and to stop my office from putting in any future order to keep us safe,” said Beshear. “It’s truly frightening. Companies wouldn’t even have to sanitize. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic. It means we would fail. It means people would die. Those are the facts, and that’s the truth.”
The governor said that the attorney general is targeting the Beshear administration's "Healthy at Work" requirements, expanded workers' compensation, and a measure that waives copays.
The Northern Kentucky Independent Health District also responded to the legal action in Boone County.
"The Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department believes that the claims asserted against it lack merit and should be dismissed and that no basis for an injunction against it exists," a statement said. "The Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department did not have a role in developing, authoring, or passing any of the COVID-19 orders, initiatives, or regulations at issue. This suit diverts time and resources from the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department's central mission of promoting public health and serving as a community partner to educate and empower businesses, entities, and individuals to operate safely. We have opposed the requested injunction and sought dismissal of the claims so that staff for the NKIDHD can continue to focus their efforts and resources on public health education and contact tracing with the goal of saving lives during this critical time."