Kentucky resident diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending 'coronavirus party'

By Bruce Schreiner and Dylan Lovan
Associated Press

Frankfort, Ky. — Kentucky's newest coronavirus patients included a person who attended a “coronavirus party," which drew a strong rebuke from Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday.

He admonished the young adults who attended the party for ignoring warnings to avoid gatherings.

Beshear reported that Kentucky has surpassed 160 coronavirus cases as a few dozen new cases were detected across the state in the past day.

Harry Powell works to change the marquee at the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky. The Kentucky Theatre will close on Wednesday following an executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear asking all public-facing businesses to close to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

One of the new cases involved someone who attended a “coronavirus party," the governor said at his daily briefing. He didn't give many details about the event but quickly denounced it.

“Anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt," the governor said. “We are battling for the health and even the lives of our parents and our grandparents. And don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people."

The party was attended by a group of young adults in their 20s, Beshear said. The governor, who has been widely praised for his calm response to the global pandemic, said hearing about the party made him mad. He admonished the participants for flouting the "mass gathering prohibition” and said any such gatherings should stop immediately.

Beshear also said Tuesday he was taking the extra step of ordering all “non-life-sustaining businesses” to close by Thursday evening. The order is due Wednesday and Beshear provided little specifics on what businesses it would affect.

The updated statewide total included nearly 40 new cases spanning Kentucky, Beshear said.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.

Meanwhile, Amazon temporarily closed a Kentucky warehouse after an unspecified number of workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The online retailer said Tuesday that the Shepherdsville warehouse was undergoing “additional sanitization."

“We are supporting the individuals who are now in quarantine and recovering," the company said in a statement. “We are following all guidelines from local officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site."

The company didn't specify how many employees have been infected with the virus.

The Bullitt County Health Department said the employees live in other counties but didn't identify the counties. A voicemail message sent to employees said three COVID-19 cases were confirmed at the warehouse, news outlets reported.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and in addition to our enhanced daily deep cleaning, we are temporarily closing the Shepherdsville, Ky., site for additional sanitization," the company said.

Workers who had “close contact” with the infected employees were being notified in order to self-quarantine for 14 days, officials said.