A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 2,342 COVID cases, 18 deaths, 8.29 positivity; follow red county recommendations

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 94 red zone counties and implored Kentuckians to follow red zone recommendations and school recommendations, as other states reach frightening milestones in the nationwide battle against COVID-19.

Texas alone has surpassed 1 million cases; El Paso, Texas, is doubling its supply of mobile morgues; the Mayo Clinic Health System is reporting that 100 percent of its hospital beds are full in northwestern Wisconsin; and North Dakota is allowing COVID-19-positive health care workers to continue working in COVID-19 wings because of a significant health care worker shortage.

“Remember, what this is supposed to do is provide a way for communities to come together to stop the virus,” said Beshear. “The biggest employer in Franklin County is the state government, and we will be following the red zone recommendations next week. Anybody who can work virtually is going to work virtually. Any service that can be done virtually will be. We are going to live up to what we’re asking other people to do.”

Case Information

Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

• New cases today: 2,342
• New deaths today: 18
• Positivity rate: 8.29 percent
• Total deaths: 1,622
• Currently hospitalized: 1,311
• Currently in ICU: 299
• Currently on ventilator: 163

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Christian, Kenton, Warren and Boone.

Fayette County reported 285 cases.

Those reported lost to the virus Thursday include a 77-year-old man from Allen County; an 86-year-old woman from Christian County; a 66-year-old man from Clay County; a 75-year-old woman from Clinton County; two 75-year-old men from Henderson County; two women, ages 89 and 96, from Jefferson County; a 76-year-old man from Lee County; an 80-year-old man from Lincoln County; two men, ages 57 and 90, from McLean County; a 78-year-old man from Oldham County; two women, ages 68 and 86, and an 82-year-old man from Pike County; and a 93-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man from Rockcastle County.

Some good news

Beshear also shared good news with Kentuckians.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says masks protect both the wearer and those around them from COVID-19 and reduce the risk of transmitting or catching the virus by more than 70 percent in various instances.

Three partner agencies of Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) have been awarded $1.4 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to assist with services that support prevention of abuse and domestic violence.

The Governor also announced that the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program awarded the City of Pikeville a $6 million grant for a new building in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park, which Wright Concrete & Construction Inc. of Pikeville will lease. The addition will immediately create 40 new jobs and 20 more jobs in the near future.

Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer

CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander updated Kentuckians on the Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program that provides nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures.

Some Kentuckians enrolled in Medicaid who have been receiving P-EBT benefits are awaiting their new P-EBT card. A vendor with whom the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is contracted to produce and provide P-EBT, Fidelity Information Services LLC, is working through a backlog to get these cards issued so Kentuckians receive their benefits as soon as possible. This vendor works with other states, many of which were also issuing P-EBT cards.

“This week alone, over 100,000 cards were printed and mailed. Nearly a half-million cards have been mailed, with about 135,000 remaining,” said Secretary Friedlander. “Children in Kentucky will receive their new cards by the end of the month. Beneficiaries were auto-enrolled and do not need to make additional requests for these benefits.”

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