Andy Beshear

J. Tyler Franklin

Private religious K-12 schools will be expected to close Monday, along with public ones, under a ruling from the U.S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down on Sunday. The panel of judges overturned a lower court decision that blocked Beshear’s executive order from affecting private religious schools.

The appellate court ruling overturns a prior ruling from U.S. District Court judge Gregory Van Tatenhove that had found Beshear’s order impinged on First Amendment rights to religious freedom. Van Tatenhove had sided with Danville Christian Academy and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in their request for a preliminary injunction blocking the order from impacting private religious schools.

In the Sunday ruling, the appellate court disagreed, on the grounds that the order did not specifically target religious schools.

Creative Commons

Gov. Andy Beshear has appealed a federal court’s decision that he can’t order religious schools to close as a coronavirus precaution.

Attorneys for the state on Thursday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for an emergency stay stopping the injunction granted by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Wednesday. The judge agreed with Danville Christian Academy and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying Beshear overstepped when he included religious schools in his order that schools statewide stop in-person instruction for three weeks.

Van Tatenhove expanded the injunction from Danville Christian Academy to all private religious schools in the state. The battle comes as coronavirus cases are at an all-time high, and increasing exponentially.

J. Tyler Franklin

A federal judge has blocked Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order halting in-person classes at private religious schools. Beshear issued the executive order last week, closing both public and private K-12 schools to in-person classes as a way to curb a surge of the coronavirus.

One private school, Danville Christian Academy, sued, backed by Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying the governor infringed on the community’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion. In a Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove agreed Beshear had overstepped.

“In an effort to do the right thing to fight the virus, the Governor cannot do the wrong thing by infringing protected values,” Van Tatenhove wrote. He granted Danville Christian Academy’s request for a preliminary injunction, blocking the school closure order from taking effect on private religious schools across the state until the court issues a full ruling.

Kentucky Hospital Association

Kentucky’s surge in coronavirus cases has caused some hospitals to reduce other health care services to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,690 new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday and 1,658 COVID-19 hospitalizations — a sharp increase over the past two weeks. 

Gov. Beshear said hospitals have already adjusted services to handle more COVID-19 patients.


Exponential COVID-19 Spread Continues In Kentucky

Nov 24, 2020
Alexandra Kanik

Gov. Andy Beshear reported two records for COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Monday, continuing a surge that led to his enactment of public safety restrictions last week.

The 2,135 new daily cases marked the highest total for a Monday since the pandemic started. Mondays typically have lower case totals due to labs not operating on weekends.

But recent weeks have seen Monday figures consistently rise.

“I’m tired of having to report that,” Beshear said. “I’m tired of watching our people suffer, knowing that every day we have a new record, more people are going to need to go to the hospital, and more people are going to die.”

Erica Peterson

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with a Christian private school in Danville, have sued Gov. Andy Beshear for his order that private schools temporarily stop in-person classes.

The suit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, alleges that the governor has violated the constitution with his recent COVID-19 restrictions, specifically the mandate that all public and private schools do remote learning for the next few weeks.

Danville Christian Academy, Inc., which teaches preschool through 12th grade, is the co-plaintiff on the lawsuit.

“The Governor’s school-closure order prohibits religious organizations from educating children consistent with and according to their faith,” Cameron wrote in a press release. “The ability to provide and receive a private religious education is a core part of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Religiously affiliated schools that follow recommended social-distancing guidelines should be allowed to remain open.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Beshear again reported a new daily record for COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Thursday.

The 3,649 new cases marked the fourth record-breaking total in nine days. Beshear said such exponential growth shows why it was necessary to implement new restrictions on social gatherings, public spaces and schools this week.

“It’s continuing to grow, and it will continue to grow,” Beshear said. “Our job is to stop it. That’s why we have put these new steps into place.”

Beshear also announced the highest positivity rate so far, at 9.18%. Thirty new deaths were reported, the second-highest daily death toll of the pandemic. Nearly 80 Kentuckians have died due to COVID-19 in the past three days.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear has reinstated numerous public safety restrictions to slow a weeks-long surge of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

The restrictions, which vary in duration from three to six weeks, affect Kentucky’s schools, restaurants and other public spaces. Beshear had been hesitant to implement new orders since COVID-19 cases began to spike in September, despite daily and weekly totals regularly reaching record-breaking levels.

Beshear announced 2,753 new cases Wednesday and said Kentucky’s five worst days have all come in the last week. Then he said it’s “time to take action.”

Stephanie Wolf

State officials warned Tuesday that Kentucky is experiencing an exponential growth in cases of COVID-19 that, without intervention, could overwhelm the state’s health care system.

Gov. Andy Beshear said he will announce new steps Wednesday to halt the exponential growth, and unlike recent recommendations, he said these will be mandatory.

Kentucky recorded its highest daily death toll Tuesday: 33 new deaths from COVID-19. The youngest was a 36-year-old woman and the oldest, a 94-year-old man. It took a full minute and a half for Beshear to read the ages and counties of those who lost their lives.

“That’s a lot of families, that’s a lot of suffering that’s occurring right now all over the commonwealth,” Beshear said.

Kentucky Office of the Courts

The Kentucky Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of Gov. Andy Beshear’s power to issue emergency orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling comes after several Northern Kentucky business owners sued Beshear in late June over his orders, which affected their reopening during the pandemic.

Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined the lawsuit and expanded it, asking the court to rule on whether Beshear had the power to issue any orders during the state of emergency.

 


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Kentucky continues to be battered by COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise to previously unimaginable heights. The commonwealth reported 1,177 new cases Sunday, bringing the state’s positivity rate to 7.24%.

Gov. Andy Beshear noted in a press release that this is the highest positivity rate in more than six months, and the highest number of cases in a week ever — by almost 500 cases.

Four more deaths were reported, including two 92-year-old men, a 77-year-old man and a 76-year-old man. More than 1,500 Kentuckians have died from coronavirus since March.

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Gov. Andy Beshear announced more than 2,000 daily COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Thursday, for just the second time during the pandemic.

The 2,318 cases fell just short of the Oct. 7 record of 2,398. The latter, however, was due to a backlog of cases in Fayette County, Beshear said.

“There’s no backlog in this one,” he said. “We’re not only over 2,000, we went way over 2,000. This is far, far too many cases.”

Beshear said he remembers when 100 daily cases were worrisome. There have been more than 1,000 cases for 10 days in a row, and a total of 17,601 cases in that timespan.

Stephanie Wolf

Gov. Andy Beshear has extended Kentucky’s mask mandate another 30 days amid a weeks-long surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

Beshear announced 1,635 new cases Wednesday, bringing Kentucky’s total to more than 113,000. Though the total did not break any records for daily cases – something that has happened repeatedly over the past several weeks – he said it is “way too many.”

Because of the ongoing uptick in cases, the state’s mask mandate will now extend into December. Beshear said a new poll reported by the New York Times showed 71% of Kentucky voters “strongly or somewhat strongly” support mask requirements for public interactions.

J. Tyler Franklin

 Kentucky has surpassed its previous record for most coronavirus cases in a week as the state continues to experience an escalation of the virus heading into winter.

The state also logged its second-highest daily total of coronavirus cases on Saturday, a record previously set on Friday.

The only day that Kentucky recorded more coronavirus cases was October 7 when the state reported hundreds of backlogged cases from Fayette County.

There were 1,986 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky, the highest daily total for a Saturday.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,941 new coronavirus cases and 15 deaths on Friday, setting a new single-day high (with the exception of one day that included hundreds of backlogged cases).

In a press release, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said he is “pleading with you” to make safe choices on Halloween and observe the state’s red zone reduction recommendations, which calls for not attending any gatherings, leaving the house only for essentials and reducing overall contacts in any county with “red” levels of spread.

“Lives and livelihoods literally depend on all of us doing our part,” Stack said.

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