LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This is a weekly blog with real-time updates on COVID-19 numbers and other related content in Kentucky for the week of September 21, 2020. Governor Andy Beshear is scheduled to give updates Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m.
Sunday, September 27
Kentucky has seen another 456 cases of coronavirus, according to Gov. Andy Beshear’s office.
In a report released Sunday, officials said 60 of the new cases were found in those 18-years-old and under. The youngest case was another 2-month-old for the second day in a row.
Due to limited reporting during the weekend, only three deaths were reported which included a 97-year-old woman from Bell County. With these deaths, the states death total stands at 1,157.
Kentucky has confirmed 66,491 cases of coronavirus since March.
Numbers including the current number of people tested and positivity rate will not be available until Monday.
Saturday, September 26
Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky is on track to have the single highest week in terms of positive coronavirus cases.
The governor reported 973 new cases on Saturday, bringing the current statewide total to 66,036 since tracking the virus began in March.
He said 132 cases were found in those 18 and younger with the youngest case being a 2-month-old.
Beshear is urging people to wear masks or face coverings. He said he’s seeing “less of these out there than more.”
“We’ve already lost more than 200,000 Americans. Do your part as Team Kentucky, do your patriotic duty – mask up, Kentucky. It may save the life of someone you know,” he said.
Five more people have been lost to the virus, adding to the current total of 1,154 overall.
The governor said the state’s current positivity rate stands at 4.42%.
An estimated 1,354,927 tests have been given while 11,750 have recovered from the virus.
Friday, September 25
Governor Beshear is reporting 930 new COVID19 cases, bringing the state's total to 65,066 as of Friday. Of the cases, 131 were from children age 18 and younger, 23 of them were children age 5 and under.
The youngest was only 2 months old.
Gov. Beshear reported 12 new deaths which bring the total to 1,149 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
“We cannot continue to have days where we have 900-plus cases,” said Gov. Beshear. “Please put on your mask. Please engage in social distancing. The lives and the health of the Kentuckians around us depend on it.”
Thursday, September 24
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is reporting 745 new COVID-19 cases. Of the new cases reported 107 of them are children 18 and under, 20 of which were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was just 6 days old.
“Again, it seems like we are seeing a larger and larger and larger portion of positive cases being our young people,” said Gov. Beshear.
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported 13 new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 1,137 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Thursday include a 97-year-old woman from Bell County; an 86-year-old woman from Christian County; a 96-year-old woman from Fayette County; two women, ages 90 and 97, from Jefferson County; an 82-year-old man from Perry County; and four women, ages 62, 84, 89 and 94, and three men, ages 69, 87 and 88, from Warren County.
“The toughest part of today’s report – 13 new deaths. These are 13 individuals whose families will be mourning them. It’s a hard number for any given day; 13 individuals. And not on here is a friend of mine from Northern Kentucky who I just learned about an hour and a half ago had passed away after a multimonth battle with COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let’s remember this virus is very, very real and it’s still out there. So let’s make sure that we light our homes up green, we ring those bells at 10 a.m. and that we try to reach out to these families who may be needing help.”
As of Thursday, there have been at least 1,301,407 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.57%, and at least 11,570 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Wednesday, September 23
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says the state's rate of positive coronavirus tests rose again slightly Wednesday.
The rate climbed to 4.59%, up from 4.52% on Tuesday. The trend recently had been below 4%.
The rolling figure reflects the average number of tests coming back positive for COVID-19.
Beshear reported five deaths from the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 1,124.
The state had 796 new cases for a total of 63,517 since the pandemic began. Beshear says almost 1.3 million tests have been administered in the state.
Tuesday, September 22
Governor Andy Beshear announced 824 new COVID-19 cases with a total of 162,731 cases in Kentucky. The positivity rate is now over 4%.
One hundred and thirty-four of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, 22 of which were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was 6 days old.
“Not only do we have more cases than I’d like today – 824, and 134 are kids under 18 – but our positivity rate is back up over 4%, at 4.52%,” said Gov. Beshear.
Seven new deaths were reported bringing the total of deaths in Kentucky to 1,119.
The deaths reported include an 87-year-old man from Hardin County; a 79-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 56-year-old woman from Marion County; a 69-year-old woman and two men, ages 79 and 90, from McCracken County; and a 92-year-old man from Taylor County.
There are currently 511 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and 133 in ICU.
‘The Fast 4 at 4’
Gov. Beshear on Tuesday highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.
- National Voter Registration Day
Today is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy, observed on the fourth Tuesday of September since 2012. Gov. Beshear recognized the holiday and encouraged all Kentuckians to register on time and make their voices heard in November.
“This ought to remind everyone to register to vote and then make sure to vote,” said Gov. Beshear. “You have more opportunities to vote than ever, so we should be able to set a turnout record this year.”
- Flu Shots
Gov. Beshear again emphasized that all Kentuckians who are able should receive a seasonal flu shot. Because we are still engaged in a very active fight against the coronavirus, health experts are warning that a bad seasonal flu outbreak might spark a “twindemic” that could overwhelm health care systems.
“I got mine the other day, it really doesn’t hurt and it protects you,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s perfectly safe to do it.”
- Higher Education Financial Aid Options
Today, the Governor highlighted financial assistance available for Kentucky students pursuing higher education.
“We want Kentucky students to be preparing for their futures now – whether that’s college or advanced training – so when we emerge from this pandemic, they’ll be ready to take advantage of the opportunities awaiting them,” said Gov. Beshear. “And we want every Kentucky student to access the federal and state assistance available to the greatest extent possible.”
The Governor also encouraged, “If you are in school and experiencing financial difficulty, contact your school’s financial aid office. They can help reassess your financial need, which could result in your aid being increased.”
Students can contact the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) at KHEAA.com or 800-928-8926 for questions about student financial assistance and how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA for the 2021-22 school year will become available here on Oct. 1, 2020.
KHEAA administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs. In fiscal year 2020, thanks to proceeds from the Kentucky Lottery, more than $272 million in state scholarships and grants were awarded to Kentucky college students.
Students can also turn to KHEAA’s sister agency, The Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), Kentucky’s only source for state-based, fixed interest rate, competitive private education loans.
Loans administered by KHESLC help Kentucky students afford college when an unmet need still exists after all scholarships and grants have been exhausted.
KHESLC has also assisted thousands of borrowers with financial hardships during the COVID-19 by offering forbearances, which allow loans to be put on hold for specific amounts of time.
For more information on KHESLC and the resources offered to help education borrowers, visit KHESLC.com.
- National Recovery Month
Today, Gov. Beshear recognized National Recovery Month, which is held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.
“You meet some of the hard-working folks helping others through recovery, many of whom have gone through this themselves, dedicating their lives to help other people,” said Gov. Beshear. “You see a little bit of God’s grace right there.”
The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reports that roughly 22 million people in the United States are in recovery as of today.
The Kentucky Chamber started the Opioid Response Program for Business, which launched in June 2019, in response to Kentucky employers struggling to navigate the issue of workforce participation and overdose deaths.
“One special story: Rob Perez owns DV8 Kitchen in Lexington where all of his employees are in recovery,” said Gov. Beshear. “He shared his business has seen huge successes including a turnover rate that is 1/3 better than the national average and a longer tenure of employees. And, DV8 was named the 40th best restaurant in America.”
- Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)
As of today, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an additional three weeks of LWA payments. Eligible Kentuckians will receive $400 for the weeks of Aug. 22, Aug. 29, and Sept. 5 for each week a claimant meets the criteria.
- Individuals who qualify for a weekly benefit of at least $100 per week in unemployment compensation for each week covered by FEMA’s LWA
- Individuals who have self-certified that their employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Payments will be automatically processed for claimants who meet the weekly benefit criteria and have already provided a self-certification. Claimants meeting the weekly benefit requirement who have not yet self-certified will be given an opportunity to provide the required self-certification, and those claimants will receive the benefit so long as FEMA funding remains.
Monday, September 21
Kentucky confirmed 406 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 61,917. One additional death was also reported, bringing the total number of Kentuckians who have died from the virus to 1,112.
Of the new cases, 67 of those are children under 18.
More than 1,000,000 tests have been administered in Kentucky and the state's test positivity rate is 3.77%.
There are currently 496 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and 114 in ICU.
The also governor encouraged Kentuckians to get a flu shot.