A Madisonville nursing home lost one more patient to the coronavirus between Thursday and Friday.
“We have 28 deaths. That’s up one,” Mayor Kevin Cotton said during a city-county briefing on Facebook Live. Gov. Andy Beshear described the victim as an 88-year-old woman.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services increased the death count at Ridgewood Terrace Nursing Home by one in its Thursday afternoon report. The Friday afternoon update counted 23 deaths there, with 74 patients and 23 staff members infected.
But some patients have beaten the bug. Ridgewood Terrace put pictures of 12 patients on its Facebook page this week, and Cotton displayed some of them during Friday’s briefing. All of them hold signs saying, “I beat COVID-19.”
A recent volunteer at the nursing home commented on Facebook that one man named “Billy” was well enough to join her for “dance parties together.”
Billy is among 160 virus patients who have recovered in Hopkins County. The number of total cases increased by two Friday, to 219, leaving 31 current patients.
“There are 18 of those cases in long-term care,” Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. said.
Whitfield talked later about the nationwide debate over how quickly to reopen the country from coronavirus clampdowns.
“We, as a people, are having discussions about whether our veterans fought for freedoms that are now being trampled on, or did they fight for our safety and security,” Whitfield said during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Madisonville Veterans Memorial.
The answer, in Whitfield’s view, is both.
“I know our veterans fought and died for our freedom, but they also fought and died to keep us safe,” he said.
Whitfield held a face mask as he spoke, reflecting the continuing concern about COVID-19. Spectators were urged to stay away from the wreath-laying ceremony, although a few watched from the other side of North Main Street. The event was shown on Facebook Live.
In other developments Friday related to COVID-19:
• Madisonville marketing director Sara Lutz said the city is waiting for word from the Governor’s office about opening more outdoor activities. Mortons Gap reopened its outdoor basketball court Friday.
• Cotton and Whitfield said no local briefing will occur Monday because of Memorial Day. The next scheduled briefing will be Wednesday. Beshear’s next live briefing will be Tuesday.