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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mask Mandate Still In Effect, AG Files Request to End Beshear Administration Guidance and All Restrictions

There has been no ruling in the mask mandate so it is still in full effect.

By Jessie Eden

Governor Andy Beshear announced Thursday afternoon during his press conference that Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked a court in Boone County to overturn every single order the Beshear administration has put forth so far.

The text below summarizes the order that the Attorney General has proposed;

In response to the request, Beshear stated the following; 

“I’ve done everything I can to protect the people of Kentucky. I lie awake almost every night wondering how many people we’re going to lose and whether we’re going to go the same way as other states. This would remove the authority that virtually every other Governor is using in other states.”

"If we see more cases, Goldman Sachs says we’ll lose 10M in our economy. I don’t see how we get our kids back in schools if they go out after school and there are no rules to keep them safe.”

"I don’t want to go back and forth with my own AG…but I will fight everyday for the lives of Kentuckians. This is wrong. This is really, really wrong. Don’t play politics with the lives of people. The request that is being made wants to eliminate all of the requirements.”

"I cannot imagine how we fight this virus if we do not have reasonable restrictions in place. No matter what ruling comes out, I'm going to keep fighting...let's make sure that we care more about our people than the letter behind our name."

Mask Mandate Still In Effect

In addition, Gov. Beshear reiterated that the mask mandate is indeed still in effect. "The mask mandate is in effect. There has been no ruling to negate it. This has been mandated by an executive order and by emergency regulation," said Gov. Beshear. "It is fully in effect…and we need you to wear it.” 

Today's Numbers / Cases Among Children

The following outline shows today's cases as well as more cases among children;

 413 (Total: 21,083 cases )

- Campbell:  8 (Total: 351)
- Kenton: 17 (Total: 944)
- Boone: 22 (Total: 785) 1 child in Boone

 5 (Total Deaths: 650 )

Total Deaths By County as of July 16:
- Boone:  23 (3.54%)
- Kenton:  37 (5.69%)
- Campbell: 13 (2.0%)

- Total Tests Completed in KY: 507,197
- Hospitalized currently: 418
- In ICU currently: 92
-  The current positivity rate is 4.38% positivity rate. Gov. Beshear stated that once it gets to 5%, it’s a real concern.

- More kids are testing positive
- CEO of Norton, more pediatric patients than ever, 2 in ICU.
- Kids under 5: 13 kids (two of them are 2 months old)
- One child is in Boone County

Unemployment Claim Progress

Gov. Beshar stated that Ernst & Young has been hired to help with unemployment processing. "The number of claims out there is tough tough to measure because people tend to file again but there were about 5,060 remaining claims from March. Ernst and Young is able to process 4,000 claims per day but we need you to answer the phone. Right now we have a 50% answer rate."

The phone number Gov. Beshear listed is 502-333-9130. 

He stated that in the next 2 weeks, they hope to process a lot of these remaining claims...but people have to answer the call.

Watching Other States

Gov. Beshear also mentioned the uptick of cases in other states. "In Florida, they have run out of ICU beds. In Arizona and Texas, they are bringing in refrigerator trucks because they don't have enough morgues. A statewide mask order has been issued in Alabama."

Full Press Release via Gov. Beshear's Office

Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19
Visit the Governor’s Facebook page to watch today’s news conference

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 16, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the state’s ongoing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) as cases continue to rise in the commonwealth.

“What we are seeing across the country is alarming. We are seeing state after state not just facing escalating cases, but facing devastation,” said Gov. Beshear. “As of today, Florida’s hospitals have now run out of ICU beds. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed. People are going to die who would not otherwise have died. In Arizona and Texas they are bringing in refrigerated trucks because people are dying so fast, there is no room for them in morgues. That ought to convince everybody of the seriousness of the situation we face and what a critical moment right now is.”

Case InformationAs of 4 p.m. July 16, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 21,083 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 413 of which were newly reported Thursday.

The Governor reemphasized that the rising case numbers show the need for everyone to wear a face covering in public or in close quarters with non-immediate family members, as required by his mandate.

“Today, we have a record number of kids under 5 diagnosed with COVID-19. These kids are counting on us to do the right thing,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our new cases come from all types of counties. And remember, deaths follow cases.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported five new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 650 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday include a 91-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 59-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman from Knox County; and an 83-year-old man and a 92-year-old woman from Jefferson County.

“People are going to say this just happens to 90-year-olds, but today we’ve lost a 59-year-old -- 59 years old,” said Gov. Beshear. “When you put up record numbers of cases, while our hospitals are working really hard, we will see more death. When we have fewer appropriate restrictions based on science in place, you know what to expect. How many more people do we have to lose?”

As of Thursday, there have been at least 507,197 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.38%. At least 5,500 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Unemployment Insurance UpdateToday, Gov. Beshear announced that contractor Ernst & Young (EY) has processed 10,365 outstanding claims as of July 15. EY increased work hours from eight to 10 hours per day and also began working on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Going forward, EY expects to resolve 4,000 claims per day.

“As you all know, unemployment insurance has been difficult – most of all, of course, for those who have struggled to get it,” said Gov. Beshear. “But EY is getting more and more efficient. Remember to answer the phone when they call. The number is 502-333-9130.”

Attorney General Attacks COVID-19 Safety Measures and Financial AssistanceThe Governor reminded Kentuckians that in addition to seeking to invalidate the executive orders that keep us safe from COVID-19, the attorney general today also is targeting other measures his administration has put in place to help during this global pandemic. The attorney general’s actions include trying to void:

Healthy at Work requirements;expanded workers’ compensation eligibility for workers – including first responders, active military and grocery store employees – who are ordered to quarantine as a result of exposure; and
a measure that waives copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance.

“Today the attorney general asked a court in Boone County to overturn every single order we have put in place to protect people and to stop my office from putting in any future order to keep us safe,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s truly frightening. Companies wouldn’t even have to sanitize. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic. It means we would fail. It means people would die. Those are the facts, and that’s the truth.”

CARES Act ReimbursementsGov. Beshear, in collaboration with the Department for Local Government (DLG), announced today that 22 eastern Kentucky governments have been granted $5,523,949 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19. Eighteen others have received preliminary approval, meaning they will receive reimbursements once final documentation is submitted to DLG.

“We know many of our local governments are hurting,” the Governor said. “That’s why we set aside $300 million in CARES Act funding for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19 to be administered by our Department for Local Government. This isn’t money given, this is money earned.”

For full details on the announcement, click here.

Safety Reporting HotlineGov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians that the COVID-19 reporting hotline is available to help keep everyone safe.

People who witness dangerous non-compliance with coronavirus mandates, including requirements for mask wearing, social distancing and sanitation, at Kentucky businesses are encouraged to call the COVID-19 reporting hotline at 833-KY SAFER (833-597-2337). Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT. To file a complaint online, click here.

Testing UpdateResponding to some reports that some seeking coronavirus testing still are being asked to provide a doctor’s order, administration officials reiterated Thursday that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health (DPH) issued an order removing any such requirement to receive a COVID-19 test.

Gov. Beshear continues to highlight free, drive-through testing that is available through the state’s partnership with Kroger.

Kentuckians can sign up for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing at Kroger sites online. Tests are being conducted at the following Kroger sites this week and next:
Summit View Academy, 5006 Madison Pike, Independence, KY 41051
Louisville Southern High School, 8620 Preston Highway, Louisville, KY 40219
Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 500 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40508

Kentuckians can also sign up for molecular diagnostic testing at more than 200 other locations throughout the state, listed by county at

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