A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 948 COVID-19 cases, third-highest in single day, nine deaths; help on unemployment

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday reported 948 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 55,794 cases and 1,044 deaths. One hundred fifty-one of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 24 were ages 5 and under. The youngest was a 1-month-old from Jefferson County.

Fayette County reported 82 cases.

“We’ve got to come together and never make one another the enemy,” said Beshear. “Let’s step up and meet our challenge. We’re all called to be heroes in our time. This is the third-highest number of positive cases we’ve ever had in a single day. Our positivity rate is also going up.”

Gov. Andy Beshear

The deaths reported Friday include a 67-year-old woman from Barren County; an 85-year-old man from Christian County; a 62-year-old man from Hopkins County; an 82-year-old woman from Lincoln County; a 76-year-old woman from Marion County; a 58-year-old man from Oldham County; a 76-year-old man from Pulaski County; and two women, ages 78 and 82, from Todd County.

“Remember other people’s health and lives are on the line and we need you to do your part,” said Beshear. “Do your patriotic duty. Wear your mask. Social distance. So little is being asked of us in this crisis. It just takes a little bit to be a hero right now.”

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 Help

After Beshear pushed for the additional help for unemployed Kentucky workers, the Office of Unemployment Insurance on Friday began processing the first week of FEMA’s Lost Wages Program for the weeks of July 26 to Aug. 15.

Kentuckians who are eligible will begin receiving those funds in their accounts in the next two to three days.

“COVID-19 has caused the loss of millions of jobs across the nation, and unfortunately Kentucky is no exception,” the Governor said when the state’s application for the aid was accepted. “I am committed to fighting for every dollar to help our people survive this global pandemic and our workforce return to full strength.”

Week in Review

Earlier Friday morning, the Governor held a moment of silence to honor those fallen, and ordered all flags to half-staff to commemorate 9/11.

“Sept. 11 forever changed us all,” Beshear said. “Today we mourn the thousands of lives lost, and grieve with those in pain, while also celebrating the courage of the day’s many heroes. We will never forget, and we lift our people in prayer.”

Kentucky Health News roundup

▪ The state’s daily report on Thursday showed 565 people hospitalized in Kentucky for covid-19, and 133 of them in intensive care.

▪ The daily long-term care facility report on Thursday showed 30 more residents and 26 more staff have tested positive for the virus and 496 residents and 325 staff have active cases of it. The death totals from the facilities are 588 residents and five employees.
▪ Lexington reported three new deaths Thursday, all from Pine Meadows nursing home, which now has lost 25 residents to COVID-19, Jeremy Chisenhall reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. The long-term-care report shows this facility has one of the highest covid-19 death tolls.
▪ The K-12 school report shows 33 more students and seven more staff have tested positive for the virus and 378 students and 156 staff have active cases of it.
▪ The college and university report shows 32 institutions now have at least one case of the virus, with 28 more students and six more staff testing positive for the virus. It shows 1,070 students and 46 staff have active cases of the virus.
▪ “Democrats blocked Senate Republicans’ whittled-down $300 billion coronavirus aid package from advancing Thursday, as the prospect of passing more relief to households and businesses by Election Day continued to dim,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a deficit hawk, was the only “no” GOP vote.

▪ The University of Kentucky has announced it will allow 12,000 fans, or about 20 percent of the Kroger Field capacity, at home football games this season. Masks will be required, a maximum of 10 persons will be allowed in suites, and tailgating will not be allowed. The plan is still subject to Beshear’s approval. Other in-state schools like the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University (which will play Saturday night at U of L) have also limited capacity to 20 percent. No season tickets will be issued, Derek Terry reports for CatsPause.
▪ Alex Acquisto of the Herald-Leader reports on the many challenges faced by local health departments as they work to share factual information with their communities about the novel coronavirus. Josh Embry, director of the Grayson County Health Department, told her that comments on social media got so bad that he quit providing daily updates on such platforms. Updates still go to Leitchfield’s radio station and two newspapers. Embry wrote on Facebook on Aug. 21, “Due to aggressive comments toward staff at GCHD, inappropriate comments unsuitable for others to read, the GCHD will cease releasing covid-19 data on our social media accounts.” Other health departments shared similar stories, Acquisto reports.

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