Ceremony marks 4 years since first confirmed COVID-19 case

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, March 7, 2024

A ceremony on Wednesday marked the fourth anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19, which was reported in Harrison County on March 6, 2020, and to honor the 19,000 Kentuckians who have died from the disease.

While it had been scheduled to take place at the site of the COVID-19 memorial, which was dedicated last May at Monument Park on the grounds of the State Capitol, rain in Frankfort forced the event to be moved indoors to the Capitol Rotunda.

The event began with Kandie Adkinson ringing a bell 120 times, something she did every weekday at 10 a.m., until she retired from her job at the Secretary of State’s office. She did this in response to Gov. Andy Beshear’s suggestion during the pandemic for Kentuckians to ring a bell and light the outside of their home in green to honor COVID victims.

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Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack, who served as emcee, noted, “Starting March 6, 2020, we came together daily with people across the commonwealth to share information, to empower people to take steps to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and to reassure ourselves that we would get through this, and we would get through it together.”

Stack also shared one of his favorite Bible passages, Micah 6:8. “And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.”

He summed up his remarks by saying, “I am grateful for how we came together as Team Kentucky, and I believe we showed what we are capable of when we work together.”

Gov. Beshear recalled that day. “It was a Friday; it was a little warmer than it had been. I had left early, hoping to get a little time with my family. That’s when I got the call that changed everything.”

He was inaugurated in December 2019, and said, “While I knew this job would be difficult, no one could have predicted that a once-in-a-century health pandemic would hit our country and the entire world just a few short months later.”

Beshear signed a proclamation declaring March 6, 2024 as a Day of Compassion in Kentucky, and said he would sign a similar proclamation on this day each year, as long as he is in office