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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Here's What Beshear said about Friday's KBE Meeting Regarding Sports

By Jessie Eden

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Andy Beshear responded to questions on the KHSAA meeting to be held Friday in his daily Covid-19 press conference.

He stated several times that he did not call the meeting and shared some comments on the use of masks, crowds at games and the testing and quarantining of student athletes.

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“Now, rumors and Facebook have resulted in people calling and making threats to hardworking servants of civic offices. If you’re one of those people who called today and made threats, go talk to your minister," said Gov. Beshear. "There are going to be changes we have to make along the way with Covid-19. My position has not changed but the Kentucky Board of Education has said they won’t be deciding on sports tomorrow during the meeting."
Gov. Beshear also elaborated that he did not ask for the meeting to be held. "I didn’t ask for the meeting to be called. If this is going to be a parental choice, a superintendent choice, a principle choice, a coach choice, it has to be based on real information. I’ve seen a waiver sent around saying I know the risks of Covid-19 but do the parents know the risks? I'd like to see a meeting where they lay out all the information that's out there. We are seeing, at least, a positive response right now when there are Covid cases in sports teams and we've seen a bunch of them...I think a discussion, which did not occur at the previous meeting on different safety precautions, is something that we all ought to be open to but everybody, take a breath," said Gov. Beshear. "I don’t think there’s any change coming, I'm not the board of education, but Facebook spreading all these rumors and getting people all riled up and then acting in different ways towards people I think are just trying to do a good job, we ought to be a little bit better than that."

Dr. Stack to Attend Meeting

Gov. Beshear also mentioned that Dr. Stephen Stack will be attending the Kentucky Board of Education's meeting on Friday to answer questions about Covid-19. "Tomorrow at the KBE meeting, Dr. Stack will answer questions about the spread of the disease and we all know the virus spreads by close contact. I think they just want to ask him questions about what we talked about here the other day which is there are real concerns about the ability to succeed in a full season or even a partial season and there is a threat to the student athlete, him or herself. As the commissioner for the the Department of Public Health, answering those questions is his job."

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Crowds at High School Games?

Gov. Beshear was asked what his thoughts were on crowds at games. "As far as high school sports go, there will be more info from the KHSAA. It can't be normal. It can't be normal. If there are crowds, you gotta be willing to kick somebody's parent out if they aren't wearing a mask. So, we got to think really carefully about that before hand. One stadium where they aren't following guidelines could end a schools' football season. You got to look at the risk. I know there are some decisions mentioning just parents and there are other decisions being made out there. I just want to make sure if these decisions are moving forward, that decisions being made - if there is a positive on the team, you postpone, even if it's the big rivalry game. We just got to make sure we see that kind of positive behavior." 

He also elaborated on some people disregarding the guidance of local health departments. "We see a lot of instances, not just sports teams, but people arguing with the local health department about who should and shouldn't quarantine. You got a big group of kids, that's just part of the deal. You're not a member of the local health department and the thought that 'No, I don't think all these kids should quarantine, just these four should"...well, that gets into the realm of ignoring the local health department and doing something that we just don't think is safe right now."

KHSAA Guidelines Requirements?

Gov. Beshear reiterated that even though his position hasn't changed, he did not call the KBE meeting and he is not involved with it. "My position hasn't changed. If we're going to beat this virus, we need responsible decisions made by coaches, parents, schools and superintendents. What are some requirements that ought to be there to keep kids safe? We shouldn't be using locker rooms. Are we going to test athletes in high contact sports if testing is available in the area? My understanding is that there are a number of members of the board of education that want parents to have information about health that was not available in the KHSAA meeting. The KBE, that's the board that I appointed but once appointed, they operate as that board."

Gov. Beshear also provided his regular Covid-19 update;

Daily Covid-19 Report At-a-Glance

775 (Total Cases: 45,978)


- Total Tests Completed in KY: 848,937
- Hospitalized currently: 573
- In ICU currently: 154
- On Ventilators: 88
- Recovered Patients: 9,731
- Ever Hospitalized: 4,501
- Ever in ICU: 1,368

> DEATHS: 8 (Total Deaths: 904 )
- No deaths reported in NKY

- Campbell County: 7 (Total: 670)
- Kenton County: 14 (Total: 1680)
- Boone County: 8 (Total: 1255)

- 23% of today’s positive cases are under 18 yrs old = 130 kids
- 11 kids in Warren County (school system is open right now)

- 26 new students tested positive (although some may not be in school yet)
- 3 new teachers
- 22 new schools

- 11 new students
- 1 new teacher
- 2 new schools

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