Apr 22, 2020

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 22

Kentucky Governor COVID-19 Briefing
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsKentucky Governor Andy Beshear COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 22

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear held a coronavirus press conference on April 22. He announced drive-thru testing sites open to the public. Full transcript here.


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Andy Beshear: (00:00)
And we’re going to get through this together. We’re going to get through this together, because we have been committed, and we have been diligent to following the top 10 steps that it takes to defeat the Coronavirus. And we’re going to be moving pretty fast today. So of the top 10 steps, let me just again highlight the most important one is staying healthy at home. Now we’re talking a lot lately about healthy at work. It is a process where we are working with the business community, and we’ll be working with our local leaders so that we can have the very best plans to reopen and to restart our economy. But let’s not forget that even when we’re going to have the opportunity moving in the future to be healthy at work, when we’re not there, we still have to be healthy at home. It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we get to stop the different social distancing rules that are out there. Those are absolutely critical, because this Coronavirus isn’t going away simply because we start taking steps to reopen this economy.

Andy Beshear: (01:04)
So one of the ways that we have encouraged people to live up to these top 10 steps, and one of the reasons that I believe we flatten the curve, that we have been strong enough that we have stayed at this is that we’ve asked you to share. You doing your duty, living up to your job as a patriotic American, and as a citizen of the Commonwealth, and in modeling the type of behavior we need to see through social media. You fill it up every day, keep going. I know we’re over a month in, and people can be antsy. This is one of the ways you celebrate doing the right thing. And when you celebrate doing the right thing, more people want to do the right thing. And defeating this virus is going to take how long it takes, and this is one of the ways that we keep our spirits up. All right. I had to do this for personal reasons. Crestwood Christian Church is the church I grew up going to in Lexington. It’s where I was baptized.

Andy Beshear: (02:05)
We’ve talked about how my son has had to wait because of this virus, that it’s upended everybody’s life, that we’re missing, or we’re having delayed special moments. Well, this is the church that I grew up in, also lighting up in green to show compassion. This is Christian County. Lighting up everything from their very famous clock tower, to their jail, to their courthouse. Christian County has been hit pretty hard. And they’ve got a wonderful public health department. I know they’re working with local leaders directly, and working with us, and their community, at least their Western Kentucky community around them has lost so much. This is one way to show their compassion in that community, and for all Kentuckians. This is again, sacrifice that we see, grandparents meeting a grandson, born during this outbreak. Difficult for these grandparents not to be able to hold that beautiful baby, but knowing that this is how as that child gets older, they’re going to have those experiences with their grandparents. Staying healthy at home keeps everybody healthy, from the baby to the mom, to the grandparents. And I want to thank them for also pushing it out to the rest of the world that this is hard, but we know we got to do it. All right. This is the Supreme Court of Kentucky, doing something that they had never done before. This has pushed us to embrace tele-health in ways that we’d never expected before, and tele-work in ways that we had never expected before. The Court of Justice has worked hard, recognizing this epidemic, and working to make sure that they protect not only their employees, but also everybody that would come before them. And then, modeling the behavior themselves to ensure that we can keep people safe. All right, so this is one of those things that people are missing. And all my kids are going to miss their end of the year field trip just like this fourth-grader is, but they’re doing it virtually. We’re getting creative, Kentucky. We’re finding different ways to connect. We’re realizing that while we always thought we had this technology, and that’s why we work together, we weren’t actually using that technology in ways that could bring us together when we couldn’t be physically together.

Andy Beshear: (04:42)
So keep working on these forms of enrichment. Keep finding ways to connect to one another. All right. This is a recognition of the senior class at this high school. This is tough on our seniors. High school, and in college. They’re going to miss, or at least have delayed some very special moments. We can’t control when a worldwide pandemic hits, all we can control is how we can rise to the occasion. So let’s recognize, we talk about adults a lot. We talk about our healthcare workers. Let’s recognize that our kids are also sacrificing each and every day, and our young adults are missing special memories to better protect all of us. It’s our healthcare heroes. We ought to recognize that each and every day, remember, this is why we stay home, because they go to work. Let’s do what we have to to protect them.

Andy Beshear: (05:51)
This is Baptist Health. That is another very special video showing a Kentuckian who has recovered, who is stable, who is getting to go home from this Coronavirus. I got to tell you, we went in looking at the numbers, and the modeling, and one thing that has absolutely happened is our healthcare systems like Baptist have performed better than anyone could’ve ever predicted. In number of days people are in, and the work that they have been able to do. We have a lot of people with us, because of their work. And I just want to briefly talk about our test of humanity. So we talk about that a lot, because what this virus does is challenge us, challenge us to put the lives of other people in front of our personal security, our personal economic interests. It challenges us to be the very best neighbors that we can be. But if you view it like a test, you got to get through that whole test. And we don’t start taking a test, get about halfway through, and say, “Ah, we’re acing this thing,” and then leave.

Andy Beshear: (07:35)
If you get through 50% of a test, even if you’ve gotten it all right, you fail. And so what this test of humanity requires of us is that we are able to push through really each of the phases that we face. So our first phase, one that you all have passed in a way that I’m not sure any other state, and at any other time people have passed, is the test of sacrifice. Of being willing, whether it is shuttering a business temporarily, whether it’s that you’re not going to work right now, because of of what’s happened in this virus, whether it is changes to your life, your kids not going to school. And we have shown that we can pass the test of sacrifice. We’ve done that. Now, we’re in that second part of the test, of planning, and patience. Knowing that as we work to reopen Kentucky, and we are, we’re working at Healthy at Work. We have to make sure we do it right, and we have to be willing to be patient to roll it out right.

Andy Beshear: (08:46)
Just because someone else is doing it differently, or maybe even faster, doesn’t mean they’re doing it better. And we have come so far, we’ve got to make sure we do this piece right. But folks, even after that, and I know some are antsy to get to that, and they feel like, “Ooh, it’s over.” It’s not, there’s perseverance. Because even after being able to reopen gradually in different phases, until we get to a vaccine, or a very effective treatment, there is a new normal in front of us that takes perseverance, takes us understanding that that new normal is going to be there for a while. So our test of humanity, first, comes in the form of months, we’re a month and a half in on sacrifice. Now we’re working in to patients and planning, which is probably going to take us at least over the next month, or month and a half. And then perseverance is going to be that new normal.

Andy Beshear: (09:46)
Let’s not forget that the challenge that this virus has put in front of us is not one that’s just solved overnight, and that it’s one we’re going to have to continue to work at. But we have risen to the occasion to truly pass that first part. Let’s keep it up. Let’s know that we get progress in all of these areas, but it’s going to take not only our sacrifice, but our patience, and our planning, and then ultimately our perseverance as we move through this. I want to go straight into announcements today. And the first is that we are very close to coming to a consensus, and an agreement, and being able to put out guidelines for the gradual reopening of many of our hospital and healthcare services. This is an area that’s been a particular concern. It’s one that we had to take many steps on to ensure we’d have the healthcare capacity, and the PPE necessary to protect our people. Even with getting the final guidelines in place, we are comfortable with announcing that beginning on Monday, we’re going to start phase one of that…

Andy Beshear: (11:02)
Phase one of that gradual restart and reopening in healthcare. Phase one will restart diagnostic radiology, non urgent, emergent, in-person office and ambulatory visits. That is a very particular area that there is not a significant amount of contact with, that we believe is one of the right places to start as we begin to ramp up.

Andy Beshear: (11:31)
We’re also going to allow pre-anesthesia testing services to restart in preparation for the surgical ramp up. Now we’ll be moving and there are other pieces to this from there to other phases and we’re hoping they can potentially go by weeks. If it takes a little bit longer it will, but we’re hoping by weeks and that we’ll be able to move from there into outpatient and ambulatory procedures and then eventually from there to an even broader reopening of elective procedures.

Andy Beshear: (12:02)
We know that it’s incredibly important that it’s hit the bottom line of our healthcare institutions that we appreciate it before but we know how critical they are now. So we are in the process of getting this finalized but are willing to go ahead and say that this starts on Monday with those stepped up gradual reopening that is going to get us there.

Andy Beshear: (12:27)
Now it’s still going to look different. There’s not going to be any general waiting room. On the outside that you would come into and sit into. There may be some interior places where you got to wait to prepare things but scheduling now has to be entirely different than it used to. I think we said the phrase the other day that the new regular waiting room is your car and we got to make sure that we are doing things differently in every area.

Andy Beshear: (12:52)
Now healthcare is a particularly good but also important place to restart some of our opening. One, we’ve got people that are coming into the emergency room sicker now because of other things that can harm them than we’ve seen certainly since before we had to take these steps for COVID-19. But secondly, what better place to start putting some of these procedures in place than in a hospital that can otherwise treat somebody if they do happen to be positive for COVID-19. And so allowing our healthcare professionals to get a little bit out in front of everybody else in how we do this, is going to give us good information on how we move forward.

Andy Beshear: (13:39)
So that is the very first announcement in Healthy at Work and where we’re going and we expect to have every couple of days. Maybe some new information on that side or in other areas. Let me say that we’re not going to talk about it today, but if you will put up the Healthy at Work slide about how industries and associations and even particular businesses can submit their plans to begin the planning, to make sure that when we see the decline we need to for different areas, that we can have a jointly agreed upon plan and you’re ready to go. That’s healthyatwork.ky.gov is the website and healthyatwork@ky.gov is the email.

Andy Beshear: (14:27)
We’ve already received a number of proposals and they’re really well thought out. We’ve got employers, business communities and associations that care about their people and they want to do it right and they want to do it with the right timing to protect everyone and that’s what we’re seeing in each of these plans and it gives me a lot of hope. It gives me a lot of hope that we will move through this in a smart, deliberate and gradual fashion where we can do everything we can to prevent a future spike, which will open up our economy in a way to where I believe we can be more successful than many others who are currently taking different steps. I wish all of them the best. Our job is to just do it to the very best of our ability.

Andy Beshear: (15:14)
All right. Next, testing. This is where we’re going to spend the majority of our time today. First, an update on our drive through testing. This week, with just running Tuesday, today and Thursday in Madisonville, Somerset, Paducah and Pikeville, as of about four o’clock today, we had already done 571 tests in those locations today.

Andy Beshear: (15:39)
In the future, we want to further maximize that number, but we are still excited that this is an additional 571 tests that we weren’t doing two weeks ago and the group Kroger, which is doing the providing the people and the PPE, Gravity Diagnostics, which is providing the test, and UPS doing the shipping, I feel like we get a little bit better at it each and every week.

Andy Beshear: (16:05)
So our announcement today, our first one is about new sites, where we’re going to be starting next week and it’s about the single largest testing commitment that we have made and it’s in a couple of very important locations. So beginning on Monday and running through Friday of next week, we’re going to have drive-in testing in Louisville and in Lexington. The locations of this testing, are in or are approximate to predominantly African American communities, neighborhoods, in both of those communities. We have seen the disproportionate impact, especially in the death rate of this virus. So the commitment that we are making, teaming with Louisville and Lexington, Fayette County, is that we are going to run more tests in that week with a capacity of 1500 per week in each of those locations. But today we’re also committing to doing two straight weeks of it.

Andy Beshear: (17:10)
So an opportunity in those communities to do about 3,000, a capacity of 3,000 total tests. We’re making a change today in all of our drive through testing as well. We will now test anybody that wants a test. Anybody can sign up. We want to make sure that if you have symptoms or if you are in the danger zones, which means over 60 or have heart, lung or kidney disease, we want you to sign up. If you’re a healthcare worker, a first responder, we want you to sign up. If you’re symptomatic, we want you to sign up. But we are able now to open our testing to the general public.

Andy Beshear: (17:55)
The Louisville Jefferson County location will be in Shawnee Park and the Lexington Fayette County location will be in Bluegrass Community and Technical College on Newtown Pike. We’re adding another service to each and every individual that comes through those locations to. We are going to be providing a mask and we have about 5,000 that will be ready to hand out on Monday, as well as hand sanitizer and that’s something that leadership specifically from those communities had asked and mentioned as a need and we want to meet those needs.

Andy Beshear: (18:37)
Additionally, we will be opening on Tuesday of next week a drive through testing location in Owensboro and in Bowling Green. Those will run Tuesday through Thursday with a goal of a thousand kits in each community. We also have one new partnership for drive through testing. This one will also be in Lexington and a partnership with Walgreens. That one will run and if we could bring up that slide. That one will run beginning on Friday, this Friday in Lexington, seven days a week, aimed at doing about 200 tests per day, but you do have to fall within eligibility for that.

Andy Beshear: (19:23)
I know we’re going to be pushing these out in a number of ways, but folks, this could be a significant increase in testing here in Kentucky. We have the mayors of our two largest cities with us in different ways today. If I can start with Mayor Gorton, I believe that she sent a video in to comment on this very testing.

Mayor Gorton: (19:50)
Thank you, Governor Beshear. We are so excited to have these two testing opportunities in Lexington. Our city acted early and quickly to prepare for COVID-19 and the numbers show Lexington citizens have done a great job at following social distancing recommendations.

Mayor Gorton: (20:11)
I greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation starting this Friday, April 24th, we will have drive through testing available at the Walgreens at 2296 Executive Drive, available seven days a week, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Starting on Monday, April 27th, we will have drive through testing available through Kroger at Bluegrass Community and Technical College at 500 Newtown Pike. Testing will be available here, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.

Mayor Gorton: (20:51)
These new testing opportunities will help our city move closer to ending restrictions. We will slowly move from Healthy at Home to being Healthy at Work. It is particularly important for testing to be available near African American neighborhoods. African Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and we know greater accessibility to resources like the testing site at BCTC Newtown campus is very important.

Mayor Gorton: (21:26)
Thank you, again, Governor Beshear, Kroger, Walgreens and everyone helping broaden testing in Lexington and across our commonwealth.

Andy Beshear: (21:37)
All right, and here in person today we have the mayor of our largest city here in Kentucky. He is a great leader, a friend of mine, Mayor Greg Fischer.

Mayor Greg Fischer: (21:52)
Thank you, Gov, and good afternoon everybody. Governor, I want to thank you for your outstanding leadership here. We’re really proud of you here in Kentucky and I think many other states were jealous of the measure.

Mayor Greg Fischer: (22:03)
… Kentucky and I think many other states are jealous of the measured way that you’ve gone about and your whole team and all of our citizens here in the Commonwealth as well in terms of responding to this virus. This could have been so much worse and we mourn each and every death that’s happened. But compared to other states, our citizens are really keeping the faith. So that’s in no small part to the steady leadership that you’re providing, so great job to that. Now this announcement on increased testing is a really great step for us here in the city of Louisville. We all want to open up our economy in small steps as soon as we can. But it’s absolutely critical that we have the testing that will be our guide to tell us when that’s going to be ready and it’s going to be the data that tells us that it’s not going to be a date that tells us that.

Mayor Greg Fischer: (22:44)
Importantly, the location of the testing is a critical factor as well. One of the things that has sadly been highlighted throughout our entire country has been this disproportionality of deaths in our African American population. Louisville is 22 to 23% black. Our deaths related to COVID around 32 to 33% so about a 40% disproportionality there and that’s something that’s just completely unacceptable. It’s also an indicator of the work that is so much work that we have to do, not just here in my city or in our state or it’s all over the country as well. This inequality, it’s inequity is a fact here in America. But it is not what our constitution of our country calls for when we talk about Liberty and possibilities and opportunity for each and every citizen. When you take a look at the disparity that is baked into America right now and the cities in America, in Louisville, like cities all over America and the Commonwealth, there is a 12 year life expectancy difference between the most resource communities and the least resource communities.

Mayor Greg Fischer: (23:56)
That’s something that I don’t think anybody would tolerate if you were sitting in one of those zip codes. It’s something that my team at Metro government has been working to reverse for years through our center for health equity. We’ve devoted those lessons that we’ve learned to this ongoing fight with the battle against COVID-19. So we placed extra emphasis on reaching the African American community in Louisville. We’ve been coordinating with media outlets like WLOU, B96 and the Defender to convey the message about the importance of staying home and social distancing. We’ve had just really tremendous cooperation from our faith leaders. I want to thank them and community partners like our Family Health Centers, the University of Louisville who’s partnering on a testing initiative with the Park Duvalle Health Clinic. And Passport Health Plan, who’s used all of their metrics and information to target those most at risk in their population that they serve.

Mayor Greg Fischer: (24:55)
Also want to just say thanks in closing here to Dr. Stack, secretary Friedlander and the governor’s outstanding team here in Frankfort. You guys have been a ray of light in this dark time that we’re going through in this Commonwealth. We have seen tremendous shows of compassion amongst people as we have this shared experience together. It’s really been amazing how it has brought us closer together while we’ve been staying apart and I know as we get through this we’re going to be stronger coming out the other end. So last, I just want to thank everybody here in Kentucky for keeping their social distance and keeping this curve down. We’ve done a great job and we just got to maintain that focus right now as we get to the other side of this. Thanks again to the governor, Kroger, everybody for this increased testing that’s coming to our city. Thank you.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (25:48)
Thank you. We’re going to continue to talk about testing, but first let’s learn a little bit of sign language today. Again, making sure that everybody is included and everybody has the opportunity to do what we all need to be doing, thanking so many people, but specifically today, doctors and nurses. So today’s lesson is going to be doctors and nurses. Thank you. Doctors, doctors and nurses. Thank you. One last time. Doctors and nurses. Thank you. Now to everybody out there. I mean everybody because everybody is doing their part to fight this coronavirus. Thank you. First challenge.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (26:45)
I can recall, I can never think of it in my lifetime where it took all of us, but we are all coming together to get the job done. We just got to know that the job is a little bit longer but we are going to make it through and we’re going to get this done. Next I want to move to talking a little bit about testing itself and talking about how we’re going to work to ramp up capacity. Then I’m going to have Dr. Stack talk about a couple different types of tests and where they’re appropriate. So let’s begin by looking at capacity a little bit of where we have the opportunity to get tests and where we are pulling from and where we want to go. The first is Gravity Diagnostics where we have a contract and it’s directly with the state for 12,000 tests per week. We are working on deploying those and we are working to make sure that more of them are used each and every week.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (27:50)
Our focus is going to shift a little bit. I’d been providing these out to hospitals that weren’t using all of the capacity and now we’re going to focus a significant amount of the resources on our senior living facilities. On our jails and our prisons when needed. Not public health officials but our doctors, our nurses, all those healthcare heroes that are out there and first responders. Our goal is to use that 12,000 there. 4,000 is where we want to eventually get with our Kroger and Gravity Diagnostics program. We’re getting better at it every day. We actually have extended it. I know we will be doing it in the very least now through the middle of June I believe it is. So this is going to add significant capacity. Walgreens starting on Friday and it’s going to add about 1,400 or the potential to add 1,400 kits per week.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (28:49)
We believe in the next couple of days we’re going to be able to announce another partner and let me say thank you to Walgreens. I didn’t have an opportunity to do that for stepping up and for helping. We think that there will be another partner coming on board in the next couple of days. Solaris a lab in Nicholasville, that’s doing a lot of work. This is about what they’re providing to the private sector each and every week, which is important and then you have UofL and UK both with more capacity than this. But like everybody limited by the materials that they can get. Kind of where we are right now. Our goal is to be able to use this capacity and to try to start being able to deploy about 20,000 tests. This would be a start per week. If you think about that right now, overall tests that we’ll announce today about 36,075. So it shows you the scale that we are working on with the ability to do what? About 66% hopefully as we work up of tests each week as we have done overall.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (29:52)
To give you an idea about how it is possible though it will take us a little bit of time to get there. We had a 7% increase in our overall testing between yesterday and today. In other words, the 2,747 tests, which we got the results from between yesterday and today. I mean that’s a pretty big increase when you look at our overall numbers and we’re looking at doing even more. So this gives you an idea of where we’re trying to go, but then to deploy them in the right way. We’re going to need to make sure that we’re taking care of the most vulnerable. That’s part of our benchmarks. We can do that in this one. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got a good idea of where the general public is and that our cases are declining.

Gov. Andy Beshear: (30:42)
And then when people are nervous and need a test, that’s where this one is. And then we got to work as our employer start coming online and somebody shows up symptomatic about the ability to send them somewhere to get a quick test. We’re going to pair that with the tracing, which we’re going to talk about here in the next couple of days. So this is testing in general, but Dr. Stack is going to come and talk about the different types of tests and where they are useful.

Dr. Stack: (31:14)
Thank you governor. So on this slide, before we go to the next two, we want to use all of this capacity. So we were saying as recently as a week to two weeks ago how scarce the testing was and it was and it’s rapidly changing over time. So we had to say only test high risk people, so we had tiering and priorities. We have removed all that now. Now we want clinician judgment to be the primary guide. And then if patients have concerns, but you should get tested. But remember I’ve urged every step of the way you should seek a test in partnership with a clinician who can help you know if the test you’ve gotten is useful for your particular situation and what you should do with the information when you get it. So we’ve come to learn a lot of people watch these 5:00 shows. We really need the hospitals and others to start using this test capacity, particularly as we look to start reopening some medical services next week.

Dr. Stack: (32:08)
We have to see these numbers go up, some of them can go up higher. We have the opportunity to get more capacity if we use it. So please start using the testing capacity. I’ve also learned that people seek information when they see these things for the Abbott testing platform. That’s been in the news for various reasons recently. We have received 576 individual test kits so far that we can use for patients. So we are not holding onto that at the state. We’re distributing those when we received them. So when we see others get access to them, it’s not because the state is holding onto them. We are pushing out what we get when it comes in. James can I have the first of the other two slides. So I want to talk real quickly over just a couple minutes on testing and I’m going to do it two different ways. There’s two different types of testing. People ask these questions frequently. We want you to be informed. The first one is a PCR…

Speaker 3: (33:03)
We want you to be informed. The first one is a PCR test, a polymerase chain reaction test. This is the one that tests for the presence of viral RNA, usually in your nose, someday maybe we’ll do it with saliva or spit testing. That one is the one that we’ve had available in limited amounts, but it was the first one available and we use it to determine if someone has infection actively at this time. Additionally, I told you we collect it from the nose most commonly.

Speaker 3: (33:29)
The other type of testing that you hear more in the news lately is antibody or serology testing. This is a blood test. We test for antibodies in your blood system that tell us that your immune system has been exposed to the infection and has begun to develop an immune response to it. There are two different types of antibodies. The first is IgM. IgM usually reflects that your body has recently become exposed to the infection and has started to mount an immune response. It doesn’t mean you’re immune. It means your body is actively fighting the infection. The second one is IgG. IgG means you have been exposed to the infection and your body has mounted an immune response. In some diseases, we know this means you have immunity. It means that you will not get the disease again. In other conditions, it may mean you have chronic illness. That your body is confining or limiting the infection, but it’s not necessarily defeated it. And in the case of this disease, we really don’t know what it means yet. It’s too early, so we will learn over time what it means when you have IgG. We are cautiously optimistic and hope it will be like other coronaviruses. The SARS virus being the one most likely where you have at least a two or three year immunity, but we don’t know that yet.

Speaker 3: (34:47)
Can I have the next slide please James?

Speaker 3: (34:50)
Now I’m going to show you the same thing a different way because sometimes it helps to understand it a different way. So why do we use testing and what situations? If you want to look and see if the infection is present in your body, you do a PCR test. That’s the nose test. If you want to see if you have recently been infected, you could still potentially use the PCR test. You may still have the virus in your body or you can maybe do an IgM test and see if your body has begun to mount an immune response. We, again, this is all an evolution, but you may not show signs of an immune response for 11 or 12 days into the illness, which means that a lot of people will have already been on their path to recovery by the time they show an immune response that we can find.

Speaker 3: (35:35)
If you want to find out if they’ve been infected at some point in the past, and that could be weeks or months or years, you do an IgG test. And what we have to hope, what people are relying upon is at some point if you get an IgG test and we measure how high the level is in your system, we may be able to tell you if you have signs of immunity. These are all very important, but I continue to remind you, you have to have qualified medical advice. And then there’s two last things I would share. The Food and Drug Administration in an attempt to make available testing, so this is something we should want them to do, right, they’ve accelerated the approval pass, a lot of these early antibody testing aren’t actually approved by the FDA. They’re more like they’re tolerated by the FDA. They allowed them to sell their testing to the public if they could demonstrate that they validated somehow their methodology, but the FDA didn’t review all those. So when you hear me continue to caution you not to pay cash for tests, it’s because we really don’t know about a lot of these tests, how well they work, and if they’re useful.

Speaker 3: (36:39)
The last thing I would say, we provide ways to get testing through the programs the governor mentioned. We are also working through Medicaid to try to make sure there are other avenues such as presumptive eligibility with a simple one page form that healthcare clinicians and providers can help fill out to get patients coverage. And we’re looking at other avenues as well to try to make sure that folks without insurance have access to both clinical services and testing so they don’t have to front that money or pay for that out of their own pockets. And hopefully on that we can have a secretary on a different day provide a more meaningful update. So thank you governor.

Speaker 4: (37:15)
Thank you.

Andy Beshear: (37:20)
So testing in Kentucky and everywhere has been a challenge and we, and every other state, continue to worry, but also to work to ensure that we can increase our capacity day over day. These numbers and the types of tests they show, show we have a significant opportunity to increase our capacity. And just between yesterday and today, I could tell you we had the biggest increase in number of tests that we’ve seen because with the system of reporting that’s in place now, having every lab report in, we know that they’re not lagging for a period of time once at least a positive comes out.

Andy Beshear: (38:05)
One challenge is still that different labs have different turnaround time. So just because you say on a given day you have X number of positives or you have X number of tests doesn’t mean that they all correspond with the one day earlier or two days earlier. That’s just a challenge. But remember, whether it is a level of PPE, whether it is the number of test kits, we are responding to a virus that no one had ever heard of four months ago. And we are working every single day to do everything we can to protect the citizens of Kentucky. And I know everybody’s working to protect the citizens of America.

Andy Beshear: (38:44)
So our numbers for today, our total number of new cases is 196, and when we remove duplicates or those from out of state, our total number of cases in Kentucky is now 3,373. Now given that we are doing more tests and how those numbers have gone up and down, we do believe in the total number of tests that we are still plateaued and nobody wants 196 new cases, but we are not seeing a day over day increase. And when we average it all out, we’re not seeing really a three day over three day increase, which we were seeing as early as what? About two weeks ago or even less. So again, each day a number of new cases, even with the amount of tests going up, has us believing that we have plateaued, that we don’t think we’ve hit the decline yet. But remember, we won’t know that we’ve hit the decline until we have three, four or five days of data. That’ll really be what shows us that. But if we have plateaued and we’re all using the best data we have, we want to be out of it, but that is a good sign.

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