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Sunday Numbers Show Kentucky Can't Yet Claim COVID Peak

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Kentucky hit another record high in new COVID-19 cases Sunday, adding 273, as the governor counseled residents to expect a "new normal" when the state begins gradually easing restrictions.

The commonwealth may have reached a holding pattern of sorts, but Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack reiterated over the weekend that the state remains a ways off from meeting even the first benchmark necessary to relax precautions.

"I would say our numbers are still relatively flat, they're relatively plateaued, even though today's the biggest number (of new cases). But that is clearly not a 14-day decline, and that's the first metric we have to hit before we can start to say we're on the backside of the first peak," Stack said.

And even when the state does meet that benchmark, Gov. Andy Beshear said protective equipment and distancing rules will remain a part of daily life.

"As we are able to reopen things, yes it's going to require something that's going to look a lot different," he explained. "It's going to require, in people's work, masks and gloves in many locations. It's going to require work being different and people being spread out, and those are plans that we're going to look at and have certain requirements as we're able to take those steps."

Meanwhile, a District Court Judge has denied a temporary restraining order requested by Maryville Baptist Church, which continues to resist Beshear's orders to avoid mass gatherings aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Churchgoers have argued Beshear's order targets religious services and violates their constitutional rights. Asked about the initial decision, the governor said the ruling "seemed to say that because we were offering these other options that we were not unduly restricting people's right to worship."

The suit isn't the only the backlash Beshear has been receiving as a result of his orders.

In addition to protests at the state Capitol, the Louisville Courier Journal reports threats made against the governor in a Facebook group, where a member posted that Beshear was denying citizens their rights and the Constitution "gives us the authority to eliminate him by any means necessary via the Second Amendment."

Commenting on the threats, Beshear told reporters Sunday he fully trusts the security provided for him by the Kentucky State Police.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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