FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
“We want to try and emerge from COVID as whole as we can be, and it’s going to be hard,” the Governor said. “We have got to work as hard as we can every day to be as close to whole as we can.”
‘Fast 4 at 4’
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman began today’s briefing highlighting a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.
- The Lieutenant Governor provided an update Wednesday on the Team Kentucky Fund.
“Because of this partnership, not only are we able to immediately help Kentuckians, we are also able to help them in the long run,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “I want to thank Community Action for your help and for everyone who has donated $5, $10, $15 to help their fellow Kentuckians.”
To date, $3,545,027 has been donated to the Team Kentucky Fund. Lt. Gov. Coleman noted that through the state’s partnership with Community Action Kentucky, for every $1 given to the Team Kentucky Fund, $1.70 goes to Kentuckians in need.
Team Kentucky Fund top categories: electric: $101,952.49; food: $123,209.34; mortgage: $102,287.30; rent: $410,290.74; for a grand total: $789,658.77.
Lt. Gov. Coleman said 2,421 vouchers had been issued that aided 1,032 households.
- Today, the Lieutenant Governor encouraged all Kentuckians to make a plan to vote in the upcoming general election. Thanks to a bipartisan agreement between Gov. Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams, Kentuckians can go to www.GoVoteKy.com right now to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, if they are concerned about COVID-19 and voting.
“The sooner you request your ballot, the better,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “I would recommend as soon as you get your ballot, you fill it out and send it back in and that will help fight any worry that you may have leading into this election.”
- Lt. Gov. Coleman again spoke about the importance of every Kentuckian taking time to fill out a U.S. Census form, stressing the once-per-decade count’s link to funding for schools and child welfare.
“Many schools across Kentucky have started back this week in some form or fashion and it is really important to remember that as we fill out the census, we are provided funding based on those census numbers. One of the areas that we support with that is public education,” she said. “Please keep in mind that for those that believe we need more and better resources in our schools, make sure that you fill out the census and move us up the line.”
- Today, Lt. Gov. Coleman thanked educators, students and staffers across the commonwealth for making nontraditional-instruction (NTI) days work as most districts begin the school year with remote learning.
“I know so many teachers across Kentucky have missed being able to hug those kids and welcome them into their classroom,” she said. “I hope everyone got off to a great first day or first week of school and continues to mask up Kentucky.”
As of 4 p.m. Aug. 26, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 45,230 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 696 of which were newly reported Wednesday. One hundred and fourteen of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 22 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was a 1-month-old from Fayette County.
“We hope people out there are making good decisions, especially those that are in charge of our youth. I know this is a difficult time, but we need to be wise,” the Governor said. “We need to make sure that we make decisions based on science and on what’s in the best interest of those we serve and not just based on complaints.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported seven new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 902 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Wednesday include an 89-year-old woman from Boone County; an 81-year-old woman from Graves County; a 79-year-old woman from Greenup County; two men, ages 50 and 89, from Jefferson County; a 91-year-old woman from Oldham County; and an 83-year-old man from Whitley County.
“The virus doesn’t care that we get tired or frustrated, it doesn’t care if we want to go back to our lives, it is just as aggressive, it is just as deadly and it is killing people we know,” Gov. Beshear said. “So it’s up to us to be strong and resilient enough.”
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 839,454 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 4.64%. At least 9,691 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. To see all recent daily reports, click here.
CDC Testing Guidelines
Today, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, offered analysis and insight on new coronavirus testing guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I would encourage you to still follow our guidance here in Kentucky,” Dr. Stack said.
“I want to be a little more explicit about the CDC’s sudden change saying those who have had direct and high-risk exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should not get tested,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s reckless. It contradicts everything that we have learned about this virus. It’s inexplicable. I mean come on, it’s common sense. Let’s make sure we’re doing the right thing in Kentucky.”
Dr. Stack also said the administration is now sharing the weekly reports for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which can be found on the main Team Kentucky COVID-19 webpage.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and summaries of the Governor’s news conferences at teamkentuckytranslations.com.