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Kentucky Today/Tom Latek

The Governor's Mansion was lit up in green to honor the third Kentuckian to die from the coronavirus. Eighty-seven have tested positive, Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday. 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- There are at least 87 positive coronavirus cases in Kentucky, and the state has recorded its third death, said Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday.

During his daily briefing at the Capitol, Beshear announced the death, a 67-year old Anderson County man. “He had a number of other factors that contributed," he said. "None of us like the fact it’s happened. We need to think about his family, and those in his community need to provide all the support to them.”

He added, “Tonight, and every night that I have to report a fatality, it’s a small thing but we’re going to light the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion green. Green is the color of compassion, it’s the color of empathy. It’s also a color of renewal. According to my faith, when you pass from this world, your body is just a vessel and your soul moves to an ever better and more special place.”

He says this gesture, ”Lets people know that we are thinking about them, that we care about them, that we love every single Kentuckian around us.”

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said he has been getting requests from Kentuckians on where they can donate medical supplies and perform other services. “This Team Kentucky spirit is really, really powerful. I just want to tell you how proud I am to serve for Gov. Beshear, because I think he was so right to identify this as an opportunity for all of us to come together as a community, so we can overcome this.”

While no new restrictions were announced on Saturday, Stack reminded everyone that this is a serious infection and to follow the restrictions and other guidance closely. “This is a once in a multi-generation moment in time where we all have to come together as Kentuckians, but also as Americans and the global community of people.”

He said social distancing can’t be emphasized enough, because a large gathering of people with one infected person is like buckshot. “They all scatter, and they spread it everywhere they go. That’s why it’s so important that we stay apart from each other.”

Stack said going house-to-house to provide services is also dangerous. “Think about a honeybee. It goes from flower to flower and what do they do, they pollinate. They spread pollen. Here, the pollen is COVID-19. So, you have one honeybee going house-to-house trying to perform in-house services, you have now just pollinated that disease throughout a community.”

In another development on Saturday, this one on the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration announced they have issued the first emergency use authorization for a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic kit to test for the virus.

“The test we’re authorizing will be able to provide Americans with results within hours, rather than days like the existing tests, and the company plans to roll it out by March 30, which is an incredibly rapid timeline for such an effort,” said US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

“With new tools like point-of-care diagnostics, we are moving into a new phase of testing, where tests will be much more easily accessible to Americans who need them,” he stated.

For the latest information on the state’s restrictions and guidance, including information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go to the website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.

Those without internet access or who may need more information and guidance can call their hotline at (800) 722-5725.

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