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Friday, April 24, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear announces highest single amount of new positive cases of Covid-19

Today Governor Andy Beshear announced the single highest number of positive cases of Covid-19 to date, listing 322 cases statewide and nine new deaths.

There have now been 200 recorded deaths.

"That's far less that we would have thought to date, but that still far too many," said Gov. Beshear. "We still believe we are in the plateau stage, but this virus is present and deadly and we have to be committed. We are not on the decline."

FRIDAY 4/20/20 - UPDATE from Governor Beshear:

> NEW CASES: 322 (Total number in Ky: 3,779)

"We are testing more, but this is a large number of new positive cases. "

Beshear said that there will be 11 drive-through testing locations across the state that are open. Those locations open next week are: Lexington (2 locations), Louisville (2 locations), Bowling Green, Owensboro, Cadiz, Mt. Vernon, Hazard, Murray and Hopkinsville.

- 4 in Campbell Co.
- 10 in Kenton Co.
- 4 in Boone Co.

- Over 44,962 tests completed to date in Kentucky
- Total patients who have been hospitalized: 1,043
- Total Patients Currently in Hospital: 303
- Total Patients admitted to ICU: 575
- Still Currently in ICU: 164
- Recovered Patients: 1,341

>DEATHS: 9 (Total Death Toll: 200)

Absentee Voting for June Primary

Secretary of State Michael Adams was also present at the press conference to offer details of his agreement with Governor Beshear on the methods of voting to be used in the June 23 primary election.

“This plan is not vote-by-mail,” Sec. Adams said. “This plan has ballot integrity built in, and for the first time in a decade cleans up our voter rolls, a signal accomplishment.”

Here are the plan’s key points:

1.  The “medical emergency” basis under current law for absentee voting will include “a reasonable fear of infection or transmission during a state of public health emergency declared by the Governor,” and the current requirement for a “medical emergency” absentee voter  to notarize an application to vote absentee will be waived.

2.   In-person early voting will be made available by June 8 and run through June 23. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization. Expanding the number of election days will help county clerks keep polling lines manageable. Voting methods will limit direct contact between individuals.

3.  County clerks are permitted to significantly reduce the number of sites for in-person voting on election day, June 23, and are encouraged to use vote centers and to consolidate precincts. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control  guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization, and will limit direct contact between individuals.

4.  The state will notify each registered voter by mail of the options to vote absentee.

5.  The state will establish a secure online portal for the request of an absentee ballot by a registered voter, which will require the voter to prove identity with personally identifiable information. Voters may also use traditional methods to request an absentee ballot. Expanding  the ease of obtaining a mail-in ballot will increase voter convenience and help county clerks keep polling lines manageable.

6.  The state will establish a process for tracking absentee ballots requested, sent, and received.

7.  Processing and counting of ballots may begin as soon as June 1, with counting to be completed by June 30. No results will be announced before 6:00 p.m. on June 23.

8.  County clerks will match the signature on an absentee ballot envelope to the voter’s signature of record. Voters whose signatures do not match will be provided an opportunity to cure the mismatch.

9. In order to more expeditiously clean up its voter rolls, the state will proactively contact registered voters who have moved out-of-state in an effort to obtain permission to remove them from the rolls.

The Secretary reminded voters that the new Photo ID law will not yet be in effect for the June 23 elections.

Other updates:

- Gov. Beshear committed 352 people from county jails that are non-violent, non-sexual offenders with five years or fewer left on their sentence and with medical conditions that the CDC identified them as "at risk".

- The Commonwealth is close to paying out more than $1 billion in unemployment insurance and have been processing about 300,000 claims weekly.

- Over 500 businesses have applied for reopening protocols through the "Healthy at Work" campaign.

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