A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 628 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths; voting information, Team Kentucky, and more

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday reported 628 new COVID cases and 11 deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 59,370 cases and 1,093 deaths. Of the new cases 67 were children ages 18 and under, of which 14 were ages 5 and under. The youngest was just 2 months old.

Fayette County reported 52 cases.

The deaths reported Thursday include a 70-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man from Daviess County; three men, ages 75, 83 and 93, from Fayette County; an 84-year-old man from Franklin County; a 76-year-old woman from Jackson County; an 82-year-old woman from Jefferson County; two women, ages 77 and 90, from Madison County; and an 83-year-old woman from Webster County.

Gov. Beshear

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.

“Good news: We are still below 4 percent in our positivity rate at 3.82 percent. So again a couple of notes: It means that we have significant testing going on. It means our positivity rate is going down, which is a good thing,” said Beshear. “But remember, it’s not because we are testing folks that we do better, it’s because of our actions. It’s because of social distancing, it’s because of wearing a mask. We believe that mask mandate is working and without it our numbers and our positivity rate would go up.”

“The end of this, once we survive it, is going to be an opportunity to write our future and write it in a way that we have always dreamed of. We do have to get through COVID, though,” said Beshear.

‘The Fast 4 at 4’

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the Commonwealth.

CARES Act Funding for Local Governments

Beshear announced 22 Western Kentucky governments were approved for $14,905,621 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.

DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene expressed appreciation for local governments during unprecedented times.

“We appreciate everything our local governments have done during the pandemic to keep Kentuckians safe,” said Keene. “And we are doing everything we can to ensure an efficient reimbursement process so our local governments can continue the fight against COVID-19.”

Team Kentucky Fund

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also gave an update on the Team Kentucky Fund (TKF). She encouraged Kentuckians, especially from three specific regions, who have suffered financially due to COVID-19 to visit teamkyfund.ky.gov to apply for assistance.

There are three areas that have pots of money waiting and need applications from Kentuckians who qualify. They are the Owensboro area, the counties that surround Louisville and the Big Sandy area,” said Coleman. “To date, over $900,000 of aid has been given directly to Kentuckians through the TKF.”

Tax-deductible donations to TKF can be made at donate.ky.gov. 100% of donations go directly to Kentuckians.

Positive Stories from Schools

Coleman shared five positive stories from schools and school districts across the commonwealth and encouraged Kentuckians to share even more of these stories on social media, as the Governor has previously requested.

“I want to highlight a few of the many schools who are working diligently to protect their students, teachers and staff as they transition to in-person instruction,” said Coleman.

The schools and school districts highlighted today were: East Jessamine High School in Nicholasville (Jessamine County); DuPont Manual High School in Louisville (Jefferson County); Boone County High School in Florence; Henry Clay High School in Lexington (Fayette County); and Burgin Schools in Burgin (Mercer County).

Kentucky School Boards Association Mask Donation

The Lieutenant Governor thanked the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), which is donating 80,000 cloth masks to Kentucky’s public school students, in partnership with the National School Boards Association and the KSBA Educational Foundation.

The KSBA’s Team Kentucky spirit is evident with this donation,” said Coleman.

KSBA will donate the masks directly to the state’s Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs), a division of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The FRYSCs of Kentucky are tasked with reducing barriers to learning relating to student environment, emotions and experiences.

“There is evidence that social and emotional challenges, past and reoccurring trauma and certain family and economic situations can have an impact on student learning and success in school,” said Coleman. “In Kentucky, we are fortunate to have a dedicated place in our educational system that focuses on these barriers to learning as an equally important part of student success.”

Voting Update

The Lieutenant Governor also urged Kentuckians to make a plan for voting in the November general election. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bipartisan state and local election officials have made voting easier than ever before by providing numerous ways Kentuckians can cast their ballot.

Secretary of State Michael Adams offered an update on the state’s plan for upcoming elections. He also encouraged Kentuckians to vote as early as possible and to sign up to be poll workers.

“Gov. Beshear and I agree that the best way to ensure that we have a safe and successful election is to give voters choices,” said Adams. “And now, you can track your absentee ballot the way you track an Amazon package.”

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. local time. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9. Visit govoteky.com for more information. Voters can mail in an absentee ballot or bring it back to their county clerk – in person or at a dropbox.

Kentuckians can also vote in person at various sites during early voting, which begins on Oct. 13, or on Election Day.

“Every single county in the state is going to have in-person, early voting. There’s no appointment needed – just show up and vote,” said Adams. “All day during business hours, every day, five days a week, and we’ve added Saturday hours. This is going to be the most voter-centric election we’ve ever had in Kentucky’s history.”

State Board of Elections Executive Director Jared Dearing explained exactly how Kentuckians can fill out an absentee ballot.

“Once you apply for an absentee ballot, you’ll be able to check your status at govoteky.com. You’ll receive in the mail a ballot packet with three envelopes: one outer envelope, a middle envelope and an inner envelope called a security envelope,” said Dearing. “You’ll also receive your ballot and ballot instructions. We highly recommend that you read through the ballot instructions first.

“Then you take your ballot out and mark it. Please bubble in everything effectively and correctly. If you make a mistake using a pencil, erase it completely and then bubble in the selection you would like. If you’re using a pen and you mark the wrong choice, bubble in the choice that you do want and then circle that choice to show voter intent.

“Then, you’re going to fold the ballot in half, place it inside the yellow security envelope. Please leave the flap that is on that envelope on. Do not detach that flap. On that flap, you will find a place for you to sign. We recommend that you use a signature that closely represents your driver’s license of voter registration signature.

“Sign and seal that envelope. Then take that yellow envelope and put it in the inner envelope. That inner envelope needs to be sealed and then also signed on the outside in the top left-hand corner.

“Then you have multiple options. You can put it in the mail, deliver it to a county clerk’s office or deliver it to your county’s dropbox. You can reach out to your county clerk to find out where that box will be.

“Please do not wait until the last day to turn these back in. We highly recommend that you take advantage of the ability to cast your ballot early. That way if you do have a ballot irregularity, we can reach out to you and give you an opportunity to cure whatever that error is and make sure that ballot is counted.”

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