Kentucky reports largest increase in coronavirus infections after week of protests to reopen state

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Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear announced on Sunday that the state had set a sinister record with 273 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, the largest increase in a day to date. The increase in the number of infected people in Kentucky comes after protesters took to the streets throughout the week to call for the reopening of the state.

With 273 additional confirmed infections, Kentucky now has 2,960 new virus cases and 1,122 recoveries. Beshear also announced four new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total statewide to 148.

“We are still in the midst of this fight against a deadly and highly contagious virus,” said the governor during his daily press conference. “Let us make sure, as much as we look at these benchmarks and look to the future, that we act in the present and that we do the things necessary to protect each other. “

Recent protests have erupted in several states – including Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota and Michigan – with protesters taking to the streets to demand the end of home orders that have slowed the country’s economy considerably, as well as the virus’ spread.

On Wednesday, as Beshear gave his press briefing, demonstrators gathered in Kentucky’s capital Frankfort to demand the reopening of the state’s economy. Some protesters stood just outside the hall where the Beshear press conference was held and shouted “Open Kentucky!” “And” You are not a king. “

“We have people here in Kentucky today, saying we should reopen Kentucky immediately, right now,” said the governor. “People would kill people. It would absolutely kill people. “

Newsweek contacted the Beshear office for further comments.

Beshear on Friday unveiled the state’s progressive plan to reopen its economy. The guidelines, which mimic those released by the Trump administration this week, include criteria such as increased testing for healthcare professionals and a 14-day decrease in confirmed cases.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the state “has not yet started a downward trajectory” and called the two-week decline required in the cases “a significant barrier” that has yet to be overcome. Beshear noted, however, that certain measures could be reduced in the coming weeks.

“We see the possibility of really starting to open up in a few small ways, maybe until May and other small ways in May – and then we will have a lot more optimism as the end approaches” , did he declare.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 764,000 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 40,500 deaths from the new disease and 71,000 cures.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – March 29: The playground at Central Park in downtown Louisville is closed due to coronavirus on March 29, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. For the sake of COVID-19, all of the city’s playgrounds are closed until May. Andy Lyons / Getty Images / Getty

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