Kentucky governor says he had busy work day in quarantine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's governor said Monday that he kept up a busy work schedule despite being confined to the governor's mansion after being around someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

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Gov. Andy Beshear said he will follow the advice of state public health officials in determining how long he and his family remain quarantined at the mansion. His next COVID test is expected to be Tuesday and then Friday, he said. He added he tested negative last week.

“I’ve asked them (health officials) to treat me like anybody else out there," the Democratic said. “So I’m going to follow all the rules and all the guidelines.”

Beshear said he had one of his busiest Mondays in a while, and that the biggest challenge of working in quarantine — away from his staff -- was all the time he spent “staring at a screen.”

“I’m working,” he said. “I’m just having to do it like many other families are having to do — remotely with sometimes my kids bouncing in and out, or a vacuum cleaner going.”

Beshear’s wife, Britainy, and their two children also are in quarantine.

“We’re doing great,” Beshear said. “I feel great. My family feels great. We are trying to be really positive about this situation.”

In his virtual briefing, the governor reported Kentucky's highest number of coronavirus cases on a Monday since the pandemic began. He said that offers more evidence that the outbreak continues its recent escalation in the Bluegrass State.

Beshear announced Sunday that he and his family were potentially exposed the day before by a member of his security detail who later tested positive for COVID-19. Beshear has said they received a call from a contact tracer to alert his family of the possible exposure.

The member of his security team is showing mild symptoms of the virus, the governor said.

“He’s a tank," the governor said. “He’s going to be great. We know he’ll make a full recovery, and we’re checking on him every day.”

While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.

The governor — who has a statewide mask mandate in place — has said his family and the security official who drove with them Saturday all wore facial coverings. Beshear has said his family was not in contact with anyone else following the potential exposure.

Meanwhile, the governor reported 643 new coronavirus cases statewide Monday. It continues a string of increases on recent Mondays, when case numbers are typically lower than most other days in the week because many labs are closed on Sundays. Last week, Kentucky posted 543 virus cases on Monday, compared with 456 and 406 cases the prior two Mondays, he said.

“So you can see a steady increase," Beshear said. “That means that we’ve got to do better, because we have more contacts out there — whether it’s our kids in schools, or the activities we’re doing.”

Kentucky is coming off a record number of virus cases last week.

The governor on Monday also reported three more virus-related deaths in the state.

The total number of statewide virus cases surpassed 80,000 since the start of the pandemic. The state’s closely watched positivity rate — a seven-day rolling figure reflecting the average number of tests coming back positive for the virus — was 4.37%.

Beshear continued to urge people to wear masks, adhere to social distancing and follow other health guidelines to contain the virus's spread. Beshear recently extended his statewide mask mandate for another 30 days and promised stricter enforcement.

“The more you wear them, the less virus will spread," he said. “The more things will stay open. The more we can open capacity. The better chance our kids can be in school learning .. and will save a lot of lives.”

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