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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Gov. Beshear: 655 new cases, 12 new deaths


Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.

“The COVID-19 death toll is more than in several wars that we have fought,” the Governor said. “I hope that we are committed to doing what it takes and making smart decisions to keep this virus on the decline. Not just so we can reopen businesses and schools, but so we can have fewer people die.”

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, urged people to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and others.

“I know people are tired and want to get back to their normal lives. We are not here to separate people from their schools, jobs and social activities, but we cannot rationalize our way out of this. There’s a bad disease out there. We have no vaccine, cure or treatment. When it hits people it hits them hard, it causes hospitals to overcrowd and it takes lives,” Dr. Stack said. “We want to inspire you to do the right thing. Please listen to the public health professionals, here and around the nation. Every single one of us is saying the same thing: Wear masks, wash your hands, social distance.”

Unemployment Assistance
Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday that the state is applying for additional unemployment insurance assistance from the federal government. On Aug. 8, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum seeking to extend some additional benefits to Americans whose jobs have been harmed or eliminated by the global pandemic.

“Originally the federal government provided an additonal $600 for those on unemployment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” the Governor said, noting that that benefit ended without being renewed by Congress.

The Governor said that on Thursday the Labor Cabinet will file an application for the Lost Wages Assistance Program that is being operated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“This program will allow all Kentuckians receiving unemployment benefits for the weeks of July 26-Aug. 15 to receive an additional payment of $400 if they are unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Beshear said. “The $400 will apply to all programs: traditional UI, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the extended benefits programs.”

He said only seven states – Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah – had been approved for the program and all have chosen to fund the program solely with federal dollars, meaning recipients will receive $300.

“We have decided to provide an extra $100 using CARES Act money. Kentucky’s portion will be approximately $8 million per week, for a total of $24 million over the three-week initial grant period,” Gov. Beshear said. “We believe this will make us the first state to apply that plans to fund the full $400 promised in the President’s memorandum.”

He cautioned that while FEMA should approve the application in 48-72 hours, reconfiguring the computer systems to pay the added $400 is likely to take about two weeks. Therefore, benefits recipients should not expect the payments until sometime in early September.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - UPDATE from Governor Beshear:

NEW CASES: 655, 627 yesterday (Total: 40,926 cases)

> NEW CASES PER COUNTY:
- Campbell County: 4 (Total: 633; 1.55% of all cases)
- Kenton County: 10 (Total: 1,555; 3.8% of all cases)
- Boone County: 8 (Total: 1,182; 2.89% of all cases)

Context provided top three counties:
- Jefferson County (180 new cases, 9,901 total cases)
- Fayette County (42, 3,534)
- Warren County 30, 2,859)


**The White House has included all three NKY counties on a ‘Yellow’ category positivity rate list. This means the positivity rate in EACH of these counties is in the 5-10% range.**

>CASES IN CHILDREN:
91 new cases in kids 18 and under

> DEATHS: 12 (Total Deaths: 842)
Long-term care facilities total deaths: 510 (total recovered 3,495).

- No deaths reported today in NKY

>TESTING / HOSPITALIZATIONS:
- Total Tests Completed in KY: 785,138
- Ever Hospitalized: 4,301
- Hospitalized currently: 640
- Ever in ICU: 1,332
- In ICU currently: 155
- On Ventilators: 90
- Recovered Patients: 9,331

>POSITIVITY RATE: 5.41%

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