coronavirus testing

Lisa Autry

Cash registers are ringing in Kentucky for the first time in two months. Retail outlets reopened on Wednesday following a shutdown from the coronavirus.

Dixieland Boutique in Bowling Green opened Wednesday without a lot of fanfare. Owner Brittany Blackerby said normally when there’s a sale or special occasion, the clothing store will heavily promote it and do giveaways.

“I was little hesitant to do it in the same way this time because we need to maintain social distancing, so we didn’t want a line at the door or a lot of people coming in at once," Blackerby told WKU Public Radio. We wanted it to be like a normal day.”

Blackerby said customer traffic steady was steady throughout the day.

Carl Coffey

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says increasing testing capacity will allow the state to safely return to work even as it’s yet to meet a key White House guideline put in place to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Beshear announced the state’s highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day – 625 cases (about half of which came from a state prison). Overall, cases have plateaued.

Ahead of reopening the economy, the administration has decided not to follow a White House recommendation calling for 14 days of declining positive results. Beshear says he believes the state will have adequate testing to protect workers by the time they begin returning to their jobs.

Carl Coffey

Some residents of Bowling Green and the surrounding area are getting tested for the coronavirus in a new type of waiting room: their car.

Drive-through testing began Tuesday morning at South Warren High School, and will continue into next week.

Carl Coffey, 31, and his wife, Brittany Coffey, 29, had an appointment Tuesday afternoon. The couple is in good health and not considered high risk.

Carl said he’s been sneezing, but thinks seasonal allergies are to blame, so getting tested for COVID-19 was mainly precautionary.

“We haven’t been traveling much in terms of going out in town. I’ll go to the store every so often, but just knowing there’s a bigger spike here made us concerned,” he said.

J. Tyler Franklin

Residents of Bowling Green and Owensboro can receive drive-up testing for the coronavirus starting this week. 

A partnership with state officials, Kroger, and some private labs has made more testing available in recent weeks as the state plans a gradual reopening of some services. 

While testing was previously reserved for those with COVID-19 symptoms, healthcare workers, and first responders, testing is now being expanded to all who want it, although registration is required.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced that drive-thru coronavirus testing sites across the state will be open to the general public. The tests were initially reserved for health care workers, first responders and those especially vulnerable to the virus.

New sites will also open in Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro and Bowling Green next week.

Beshear said the expansion is an important step as Kentucky tries to increase its testing capacity before reopening its economy.

“At this point we want to use our capacity, we want to get some extra data, too, about what’s out there, maybe learn a little bit about some asymptomatic rates,” Beshear said.