Kentucky Resident Who Attended ‘Coronavirus Party’ To Flout Social Distancing Rules Later Tests Positive

Ambulances parked in front of a hospital.
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A Kentucky resident has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a “coronavirus party” with a group of young adults in their 20s flouting the guidelines to practice social distancing, the state’s governor said on Tuesday.

As WHAS-11 reported, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the positive test during a news conference, saying it was disappointing that the partygoers ignored all advice of medical experts to remain in their homes and avoid large gatherings. Beshear did not say specifically where the party took place or what condition the person was in, but did call on other residents in the state to learn from the example.

“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,” Beshear said.

“We are battling for the lives of our parents and our grandparents. Don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that could kill other people.”

Experts have called on people to self-isolate as much as possible, leaving their homes only for essential trips for things like food and medicine, and avoiding any gatherings of people. This is meant to flatten the curve of exposure to the coronavirus, lengthening the amount of time that it spreads through populations and keeping hospital systems from being overwhelmed with a high number of cases. In places where the virus has spread the fastest, including Italy and Iran, hospital systems have had to deny care to some people due to a lack of resources and hospital beds.

Kentucky has lagged behind some of the hardest-hit areas, with just 163 total reported cases by Tuesday evening, but the number was starting to climb sharply. The state had 39 new cases on Tuesday.

While some states have instituted stringent orders to residents to remain in their homes and closed all non-essential businesses, others have lagged behind. As NBC News reported, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has been criticized for resisting calls to close the state’s beaches. While a number of local leaders have issued orders for their cities or counties, DeSantis said last week that the state would not order them to close down.

After pictures showed large gatherings on some beaches, DeSantis held firm in his decision.

“These are our neighbors who may need to go out there, clear their head,” the Florida governor said on March 17. “Because a lot of people are on edge now.”

DeSantis announced on Monday that all state parks would be closing as the state enacted stricter social distancing measures.