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Kentucky: 66-year-old man is state's first coronavirus death

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear ordered bars and restaurant dine-in services to close in another effort to curb the spread of coronavirus as the state reported its first death from the illness.

The 66-year-old Bourbon County man had other health conditions but his death was counted as a coronavirus death, Beshear said Monday. He offered his sympathy to the man's family and friends.

“There were numerous factors that led to this point," the governor said. “The coronavirus was only a factor. But what it means is that it’s very important that we all do our patriotic duty as we move forward to model the type of behavior that we need.”

Beshear said during the weekend that the man was in “bad shape” and not expected to recover.

For most people, coronavirus 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.

In his latest step to try to minimize spread of the virus, Beshear said he was ordering all bars and restaurant dine-in services in the state to close. The order does not apply to carryout and food delivery services, which can continue, he said.

He acknowledged that the closures will hurt businesses.

“We're going to do everything we can to help with the financial impact," he said. “It's not lost on me that most of these are small businesses. ... But we have to take the steps to make sure that we are protecting our people, and this is a necessary one."

Beshear also ordered the state Capitol in Frankfort to close to non-essential personnel, starting Tuesday.

“I am a person who ran on these doors being open for everyone all the time," the governor said. “We're dealing with something that we could have never anticipated. And at the end, my obligation is to keep people safe as we move forward."

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Lovan reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Associated Press writer Rebecca Yonker in Louisville contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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