By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – There was some good news regarding the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky on Monday as the number of new cases, deaths, and the state’s positivity rate all dropped.
A total of 406 new cases were reported to state health officials, down from 439 on Sunday, and just a fraction of Saturday’s 1,002, which was the second-highest total during the pandemic.
“This is around the same number we see every Monday, because the labs for the most part are closed on Sundays,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a Capitol press briefing. “Sixty-seven of the cases are kids under 18, so again, we continue to see an increase in that area.”
Nine of the cases among children were those who are 5 and younger with the youngest one being a 5-month-old.
“Last week, we had our second-highest number of cases by week,” the governor said. “We really want to see this overall number of cases come down. Our positivity rate is going down, which is great news. But those overall numbers are too high. We’ve got to do what it takes to have fewer new weekly cases.”
He also reported one death Monday, a 77-year old woman from Scott County, which raises the total to 1,112 Kentuckians lost due to COVID-19.
“Thankfully, today we only have one new death to announce,” he said. “But her family is going to be missing her. Let’s light our homes up green tonight and ring those bells at ten o’clock tomorrow just as much when we lose one individual.”
There have been 1,126,235 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate fell to 3.62 percent, and at least 11,259 Kentuckians had recovered from the virus.
Beshear also announced that the state has applied to the federal government for three more weeks of an additional $300 in unemployment benefits, to which the state will add $100, making it a total of $400 per week, for those who qualify.
“If accepted by the federal government,” he stated, “those who qualify would receive their $400 extra for the weeks of August 22, august 29 and September 5.”
He noted, “We want to do this to help our people get through it, and we’ve also seen that these dollars cycle through our economy. It’s truly helping to make sure that this recession can, hopefully, be short termed and we can really bounce back.
Gov. Beshear again encouraged all Kentuckians to make a plan to vote, either by mail, in person during early voting or in person on Election Day and to fill out a U.S. Census form.
“Remember, you have to register to vote by Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. local time,” he said. “Democrats and Republicans have stepped up this year to come up with a plan to let you vote safely.”
Beshear reminded Kentuckians that if they have concerns about COVID-19, they can go online and request an absentee ballot at GoVoteKy.com.
He also spoke of 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.
“We only have a limited number of days left to fill out the 2020 census. If we don’t fill this out, our dollars go to another state,” the governor said.
He also stressed the importance of all Kentuckians who are able to receive a seasonal flu shot do so. “Because we are still engaged in a very active fight against the coronavirus, health experts are warning that a bad seasonal flu outbreak might spark a ‘twindemic’ that could overwhelm health care systems.”
Beshear added, “This season, more than ever, we need to ensure that every Kentuckian who can gets that flu shot. “We don’t want to be dealing with COVID-19 and a widespread flu outbreak this season.”
You can read about other key updates, actions and information from the Beshear administration on the response to the pandemic at kycovid19.ky.gov.
The governor’s next scheduled press briefing is Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. and will be livestreamed on his Facebook page and YouTube channel.