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Daily Announcements issued by the Governor's Office

Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 4, 2020) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear detailed the state’s concerted efforts to combat the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on new case numbers and Healthy at Work announcements.

Gov. Beshear also noted that he asked all Kentuckians to observe a moment of silence at 2 p.m. EDT to honor George Floyd as loved ones and leaders remembered him in Minneapolis. The Governor delayed his news conference Thursday until the memorial service concluded.

“Today, the best thing I can do is let the words of Mr. Floyd’s memorial lead the way and renew our commitment to make sure the world looks different moving forward,” Gov. Beshear said.

Given the memorial service, the Governor’s update on COVID-19 was brief.

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 4, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 10,705 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 295 of which were newly confirmed Thursday. Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported eight new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 458 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday include an 87-year-old woman from Boone County, a 72-year-old man from Franklin County, an 82-year-old man from Grayson County, a 92-year-old man from Kenton County, a 71-year old woman and 91- and 92-year-old men from Jefferson County and an 86-year-old woman from Metcalfe County.

“We need compassion in our world and in this commonwealth now more than ever. So turn on those green lights, ring those bells tomorrow at 10 a.m.,” Gov. Beshear said. “Let’s remind these families, ourselves and our neighbors that we are called be good people that care about each other, listen to each other, and comfort one another in our pain.”

At least 3,303 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.

Jefferson Davis statue
Responding to a reporter’s question about the statue of Jefferson Davis in the Capitol Rotunda, Gov. Beshear said Thursday that the statue has no place in the Capitol, which should be welcoming to all Kentuckians.

“I believe the statue of Jefferson Davis is a symbol that divides us. Even if there are those who think it’s a part of history, there should be a better place to put it in historical context,” Gov. Beshear said. “I don’t think it should be in the Capitol Rotunda.”

Healthy at Work
NASCAR returns with no spectators

Races have been on hold at the Kentucky Speedway due to COVID-19, but they will return for the annual July weekend, which includes the 10th anniversary of the NASCAR Cup Series, Quaker State 400. The full schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 9 – NASCAR Xfinity Series, Kentucky 300
  • Friday, July 10 – NASCAR Xfinity Series, Alsco 300
  • Saturday, July 11 – NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 (Sponsored by Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highway Safety to encourage seatbelt usage, especially in trucks)
  • Sunday, July 12 – NASCAR Cup Series, Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart
  • All four races will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1

These dates do not currently correspond with the dates on the Kentucky Speedway, NASCAR and Fox Sports websites. An announcement of date changes due to coronavirus is expected soon from NASCAR.

 

Historical horse racing

Gov. Beshear said that historical racing would begin June 8.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 3, 2020) – On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear detailed the efforts undertaken to combat the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Sadly, the Governor reported the tragic loss of one of the youngest Kentuckians to fall victim to the deadly virus.

“Today we’ve got to announce that we have on our list of deaths a 9-month-old child from Hopkins County,” Gov. Beshear said. “We grieve for everybody we have lost from COVID-19. This is a reminder of how deadly this virus can be, how precious all of our lives are.

“As a father of two kids, one of which I was scared at birth might not make it, I want this family to know – and it’s a family I have never met even in my dad’s hometown county – that we, regardless of what will ultimately be listed as the cause of death, we are grieving for you, we care about you, and I cannot imagine how you are feeling right now.”

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the Department for Public Health, said the child’s death initially was ruled to be a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. He said a later COVID-19-positive test requires the death to be included in the reporting. Dr. Stack said the death of such a young person to coronavirus was rare yet devastating.

“I would encourage parents to not worry overly, but that you should be concerned because for the individual, for the families, they suffer the illness or loss of child,” Dr. Stack said. “For them it is real. It doesn’t make a difference if it is rare. For them it was 100% occurrence. They lost their loved young one. So it’s important we are all careful with this disease.”

Early Action
Gov. Beshear spoke of the unimaginable loss suffered by all of the families and communities as this deadly virus has taken its toll. Deaths nationwide have surged to more than 105,000, with nearly 450 Kentuckians’ lives lost among them.

But months into the fight, several studies now show that the fast and focused response by the Governor’s administration, along with the sacrifices of people across the commonwealth, benefited Kentucky greatly.

“Every day I worried it would not be enough to blunt that curve,” Gov. Beshear said. “And we didn’t know when it was going to happen and thank goodness it did.”

Among other actions, on March 6, the day of the first confirmed coronavirus case in Kentucky, Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency and activated the Emergency Management Operations Center. In the weeks that followed, the Governor’s administration continued to take actions daily across a spectrum of issues to keep Kentuckians safe.

At all times, the guidelines and orders issued by Gov. Beshear and his cabinet officials have hewed closely to recommendations from the White House and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Beshear launched Healthy at Home on March 26, providing information, advice and restrictions aimed at ensuring social distancing and protecting the state’s health care operations. The results are in: studies by the CDC, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky all show that these early and decisive actions saved the lives of thousands of Kentuckians.

“Healthy at Home was a significant step. It was asking a lot of the people of Kentucky, and they did it and because of their efforts we saved thousands of lives. I believe when we look back on this it will be 10,000-plus lives,” the Governor said. “I remember that the first modeling suggested we would lose 80,000 Kentuckians, and in the first couple of weeks people were scared.”

As a result of this hard work, Kentucky is nationally recognized as among few states that are meeting the White House and CDC guidance for reopening the economy. Our cases are on a downward trend, our hospitals are able to handle the patient load, and our COVID-19 testing program is robust.

Gov. Beshear said while Kentuckians should be proud of the work we’ve all done, the road ahead remains challenging and requires resilience.

Kentucky was not spared from worldwide economic upheaval caused by this deadly virus. Gov. Beshear said getting through it together as Kentuckians will require managing unprecedented unemployment, deep budget shortfalls and steep growth in the use of public benefits.

No special session
Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement with legislative leaders to avoid the need for the General Assembly to return in a special session to resolve budget matters.

Previously, the Governor had said he had expected to call a “short, targeted” special session to allow lawmakers to pass a reduced budget proposal to account for revenue lost due to the global pandemic and response.

“All we are looking at is the Transportation Cabinet Budget. There is zero discretion in what needs to be done. It is a revision of a number,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is an agreement between all of the legislative leaders and the Governor’s office. So we do not believe at this time that there will be a need and there is agreement on the actions that have to be taken.”

Louisville update
J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, spoke about the state of an investigation into the death of David McAtee in Louisville.

“Yesterday, I reported that we believed from the preliminary autopsy that he died of single gunshot wound to the chest. We still are of that belief. We have not recovered a whole bullet, but we have recovered, I understand from today, some fragments,” Secretary Brown said. “We are now in the process of trying to identify the very nature of those fragments to determine if they indeed came from one bullet or might have come from more than one bullet and, hopefully, be able to determine the caliber of the bullet.”

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 3, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 10,410 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 265 of which were newly confirmed Wednesday.

“I don’t think this 265 is cause for alarm, though it is at least a reminder just like what we’ve talked about today that this virus is still out there and spreading,” the Governor said.

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported eight new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 450 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Wednesday include two women, ages 91 and 99, from Edmonson County; an 84-year-old woman from Gallatin County; the 9-month-old baby girl from Hopkins County; three women, ages 91, 92 and 93, from Jefferson County; and a 48-year-old man from Shelby County.

“We need compassion now more than ever: compassion for these families, compassion for our fellow human beings who are hurting,” the Governor said. “So let’s make sure we turn on those green lights, that we ring those bells at 10 a.m. and let’s ring them for these families who are in pain. Let’s ring them for all families who are in pain.”

At least 3,283 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.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear continues to urge Kentuckians to get tested for COVID-19. For information on how to register at sites throughout the commonwealth visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

“I know we are now in the upper half of states for the total number of tests that have been run, and that’s an incredible story, given where we started,” the Governor said about ongoing testing efforts.

Absentee Ballot Application Portal online
Gov. Beshear is encouraging all voters to use a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal now available online. A link to the State Board of Elections’ portal can be found at govoteky.com. He urged everyone who plans to vote in this month’s primary elections to go to the portal and request an absentee mail-in ballot.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Events in Louisville, COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 2, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on demonstrations in Louisville and the state’s continuing measures to address the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“As we move forward, we will be reducing our National Guard presence in Louisville,” the Governor said. “That is a recommendation by our adjutant general that we will be following.”

Gov. Beshear talked about the search for justice for Breonna Taylor, a Louisville woman whose death touched off the protests there.

“Yesterday, I met with Breonna Taylor’s mother before she came up here. I sat and I listened. What I heard was a mother in pain. She wants justice and the truth. She deserves both,” the Governor said. “Breonna’s death along with others across the country have led to thousands of people giving voice and a demand for truly equal treatment under the law and an end to injustices that permeate almost every part of our society.”

Gov. Beshear also spoke of the death of David McAtee. He noted that he authorized the Kentucky State Police’s Critical Incident Response Team to quickly investigate McAtee’s death.

J. Michael Brown, secretary for the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, spoke about the state of the investigation.

“I can tell you very preliminarily the first results of an autopsy seem to indicate that Mr. McAtee succumbed to a single – we believe – a single gunshot wound to the chest, but tests on bullet fragments will have to be conducted at the Kentucky State Police crime lab to see if we can determine what exactly type of bullet he was struck by,” Brown said. “At this time we do not know that. We do believe it was a single bullet.”

“It is our belief at this time that approximately 18 shots were fired between the Kentucky National Guard and the Louisville Metro Police that evening. Those weapons are also in our custody for further testing, and they will be tested for DNA and any other things we can get from them,” he added.

Brown said that the goal is to get all the facts, get them quickly and be able to present, as much as possible, a clear determination of what happened shortly after midnight on June 1.

The Governor said: “Our commitment is the truth, no matter what that truth is – good, bad, ugly – our commitment is the truth. That’s what the people of Kentucky deserve. That’s what the families involved in this deserve. And that’s what we’re going to ensure happens.”

Gov. Beshear pledged to continue to listen and to take action.

“I hope later this week we are going to announce some of our initial plans about trying to get with leaders in the African-American community and the actual providers – hospital systems, Medicaid, insurers, all in the same room together. Not to have a task force or a study but to see how we can actually get this done. How we can actually make change in the health of individuals,” the Governor said. “Just like in many ways it shouldn’t have had to take some terrible incidents around our country to wake people up or to get them to listen to the type of injustices that are occurring in our society, it shouldn’t take a one-in-every-100-year pandemic for us to see the same in health care.”

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 2, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 10,185 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 155 of which were newly confirmed Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported three new deaths Tuesday, raising the total to 442 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Tuesday include a 69-year-old woman from Clay County, a 94-year-old man from Jefferson County and a 92-year-old man from Muhlenberg County.

“Let’s keep lighting our homes up green,” the Governor said. “Let’s continue to ring our bells at 10 a.m. Let’s do it for those that we’ve lost from this and from senseless violence. Everybody that we’ve lost should still be here and deserves that same level of compassion.”

At least 3,275 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.

U.S. Supreme Court decision
Gov. Beshear spoke Tuesday about a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that confirms that his actions to protect public health are consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

In four federal court cases, plaintiffs – including Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron – argued that Kentucky’s executive order on mass gatherings, which prohibited people from congregating in groups, was unconstitutional. Gov. Beshear and officials with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services insisted that the restrictions were both legal and necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Late Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order agreeing with Gov. Beshear and confirming that the order limiting mass gatherings did not violate the Constitution.

In an opinion rejecting a church’s challenge to California’s order against mass gatherings, Chief Justice John Roberts said state officials have broad latitude to protect public health and admonished federal courts not to “second-guess” states’ temporary emergency measures.

“Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an ‘unelected federal judiciary,’ which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people,” Roberts wrote in his opinion.

The Governor’s Office of General Counsel is making the various federal courts aware of the Supreme Court’s decisive opinion, which should resolve all current cases challenging the Governor’s orders.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear continues to urge Kentuckians to get tested for COVID-19. For information on how to register at sites throughout the commonwealth visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

“I know we are now in the upper half of states for the total number of tests that have been run, and that’s an incredible story, given where we started,” the Governor said about ongoing testing efforts.

Absentee Ballot Application Portal online
Gov. Beshear is encouraging all voters to use a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal now available online. A link to the State Board of Elections’ portal can be found at govoteky.com. He urged everyone who plans to vote in next month’s primary elections to go to the portal and request an absentee mail-in ballot.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort. KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday updated Kentuckians on the state’s efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 1, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 10,046 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The Governor provided updated information about coronavirus newly confirmed Sunday and Monday in Kentucky.

“Kentucky has had 131 new positive cases with zero new deaths on Sunday and 214 new cases with eight new deaths on Monday,” reported Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner for Public Health. “We continue our efforts to expand testing, ramp up contact tracing and urge the public to practice social distancing and wear cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The total number of reported deaths attributed to coronavirus stands at 439 Kentuckians.

The deaths reported Monday include an 84-year-old woman from Campbell County; an 82-year-old woman from Gallatin County; a 98-year-old woman from Grayson County; three men, ages 33, 53 and 75, from Jefferson County; a 90-year-old woman from Kenton County; and an 88-year-old man from Logan County.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians to light their homes, places of business and places of worship green for compassion.

At least 3,232 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: for Sunday’s information, click here; for Monday’s information, click here.

Monday morning
Monday, the Governor addressed an event that occurred when the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched to 26th and Broadway around 12 a.m. Monday. While working to disperse a crowd, LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard were fired upon. LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in a death.

“Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event,” the Governor stated.

Gov. Beshear also joined Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, along with attorney Lonita Baker to speak about the search for justice in Taylor’s death and the need for calm on the streets of Louisville. To view the news conference, click here.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Louisville Demonstrations, COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 30, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday said, as the state continues to address the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), outside groups are poised to create violence against peaceful demonstrators and law enforcement, in the demonstrations related to the death of Breonna Taylor. 

This morning, the Governor issued a video message and signed a letter to deploy approximately 350 Kentucky National Guardsmen to help provide safety and protection to the citizens of Louisville.

In his message, the Governor said Breonna Taylor’s death was tragic and that he can never understand the depths of feelings many Kentuckians are experiencing, but he pledged to listen and do everything he could moving forward.

He added that the demonstrations started out peacefully, but especially last night, outside groups moved in and are trying to create violence and harm to everybody who is on the streets.

“We can’t let our streets turn violent,” the Governor said. “Breonna’s sister, Juniyah, has stated violence would disrespect her family’s wishes.” 

Case information
As of 4 p.m. May 30, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 9,704 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 247 of which were newly confirmed Saturday.

Friday’s cases were up a fair amount, the Governor said, “We have been reviewing the data from yesterday, and nearly half of the new cases were from long-term care, accounting for more than 37%, and another 9% of cases were from congregate care settings, mainly the federal prison in Lexington.”

He added, “We are reviewing today’s data to see if the pattern is continuing, which is largely a result of our expansive testing initiative in long-term care facilities.” 

The Governor also said more than 65,800 tests were reported this week, which to date is believed to be the most in one week. That includes 62,862 PCR and 2,994 serology tests.

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported 13 new deaths Saturday, raising the total to 431 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Saturday include 64-, 66- and 94-year-old men from Jefferson County; 86-, 93-, 67-, 84- and 90-year-old women from Jefferson County; a 72-year-old man from Nelson County; an 88-year-old woman from Gallatin County; a 81-year-old man from Metcalfe County; a 69-year-old man from Taylor County and a 70-year-old man from Hopkins County.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians to light their homes, places of business and places of worship green for compassion.

“In light of the events of the last couple days, compassion is something we need to have on full display,” Gov. Beshear said.

At least 3,232 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.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

Gov. Beshear also spoke about Louisville protest over Breonna Taylor’s death
Visit the Governor’s Facebook page to watch today’s news conference

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday updated Kentuckians on the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We will get through this together because we understand the different steps that it will take, especially being healthy at work, to make sure that we can reopen, that we can revive our economy, that we can create our economy of the future,” said Gov. Beshear. “We can do this in a way that makes sure we come out stronger than we were going into this pandemic.”

The Governor spoke about the Thursday night protest in Louisville over Breonna Taylor’s death.

Gov. Beshear and other officials also offered updates about remote driver’s license and I.D. card renewal, Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) contracts and long-term care facilities.

Case information
As of 5 p.m. May 29, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 9,464 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 283 of which were newly confirmed Friday.

“Today’s report is up, and up a fair amount, in cases. We’ll have to wait the next couple days to see whether it is just labs getting caught up from the weekend or whether it is in and of itself significant and something we’ll see moving forward,” said Gov. Beshear. “If you look at the last four days on average, it would be 158 cases per day.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported nine new deaths Friday, raising the total to 418 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Friday include 51-, 74- and 88-year-old men and 70-, 83- and 90-year-old women from Butler County; 64- and 68-year-old men from Gallatin County; and a 55-year-old man from Oldham County.

“These are nine families that again need us to light our homes, places of business and places of worship up green for compassion,” said Gov. Beshear. “With the events of the last couple days, compassion is something we ought to have on full display.”

At least 3,231 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.

Louisville protest
Today, Gov. Beshear spoke about Thursday night’s protest in Louisville over the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. Previously, he has called for further investigation of her death. Gov. Beshear encouraged all Kentuckians to seek justice peacefully and to listen to the concerns, fears and experiences of black or African-American community members.

“This is a very concerning shooting of an EMT, a young woman who worked to save lives of others here in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “In a broader context, this pandemic we’re facing has laid bare the inequalities that still exist in our society and that many times are fatal.”

He commended the protestors for largely following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He also highlighted the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among black or African-American Kentuckians and committed to doing everything he could to reduce health inequality.

“While I’m trying to provide the right words, I don’t claim to understand the depths of pain and frustration that I know so many people feel,” Gov. Beshear said. “I can’t. But what I can commit to do is to listen and to do my best. To tell you that I want to move this world into a better place.”

Remote driver’s license and I.D. card renewal
Today, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray signed an executive order temporarily authorizing circuit court clerk offices to process expired driving credential renewals and replacement requests remotely.

Cardholders whose operator’s license, permit or identification card was lost or expired between March 1 and June 30, 2020, may apply with their local circuit court clerk to receive a new card in the mail. For more information, click here.

“This order is the next right step to help clerks safely serve Kentuckians impacted by the office closures caused by the pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “The temporary measure will allow contactless service to help minimize crowding and help offices gradually return to full-service operations.”

Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) contracts
Gov. Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander today announced the Commonwealth of Kentucky has awarded the state’s Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) contract to five health care companies that will manage benefits for the state’s Medicaid enrollees.

The five companies are Aetna, Humana, Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare. Aetna will also serve children in Kentucky SKY, the Medicaid risk-based managed care delivery program for the state foster care program and the Department for Juvenile Justice.

“Health care is a basic human right, and ensuring coverage for approximately 90% of Medicaid’s 1.4 million population is of the utmost importance to my administration,” Gov. Beshear said. “The expansion of Medicaid in the commonwealth has been lifesaving for many families who struggled to find and afford coverage. As we move forward, we must continue to provide equal access for every Kentuckian who needs quality care.” 

For more information, click here.

Long-term care facilities
Secretary Friedlander said the state has acted swiftly and aggressively when long-term care facilities have been in distress. After testing indicated an outbreak at a Louisville facility over the weekend, state agencies and Louisville Metro worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the residents and staff at Nazareth Home Clifton. They moved 39 residents who tested positive into local hospitals.

“This is an aggressive disease in long-term care. These are our most vulnerable citizens. These are our moms and our dads,” the secretary said. “We are testing over 1,000, sometimes 2,000 folks a day and we’ll continue to do that until we get every last person tested, and that’s our commitment.”

He said they have tested about 15,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities so far and will test another 5,000 to 10,000 next week. By the end of next week, they will have tested residents and staff at 100 facilities.

“We have been very aggressive and deliberate,” Secretary Friedlander said.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear continued to urge Kentuckians to get tested for COVID-19.

For information on how to register at sites throughout the commonwealth, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

Absentee Ballot Application Portal online
Gov. Beshear is encouraging all voters to use a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal now available online. A link to the State Board of Elections’ portal can be found at govoteky.com. He urged everyone who plans to vote in next month’s primary elections to go to the portal and request an absentee mail-in ballot.

Today, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentuckians have already made 190,000 requests through the new portal announced a week ago.

“It’s not just your duty as an American to fill out the Census, it’s your duty to vote,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have our primary election coming up in June, and there is a safe way for you to do it. Go online and request your absentee ballot.”

The total number is well over 200,000 after including counties like Jefferson and Kenton that started their sign-up process earlier.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians to please be patient with clerks, as they are working very hard to get ballots out.

For those who just registered to vote, it takes a couple of days for their registration to be processed and for them to show up in the system to apply.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Beshear Administration Authorizes Renewing Licenses, ID Cards Remotely

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

Cardholders with expiration dates between March 1 and June 30 or those needing a replacement may apply to receive mailed credential

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear today announced an official order temporarily authorizing circuit court clerk offices to process expired driving credential renewals and replacement requests remotely.

The move is in keeping with Gov. Beshear’s emergency declaration related to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and Healthy at Work guidance meant to keep all Kentuckians healthy and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“This order is the next right step to help clerks safely serve Kentuckians impacted by the office closures caused by the pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “The temporary measure will allow contactless service to help minimize crowding and help offices gradually return to full-service operations.”

Cardholders whose operator’s license, permit or identification card was lost or expired between March 1 and June 30, 2020, may apply with their local circuit court clerk to receive a new card in the mail. The order allows the remote application process to remain through July 31, 2020.

Applicants requesting a card renewal must not require any testing. Circuit court clerks in the applicant’s county of residence will administer the application process and mail the credential directly to the applicant. More information is available on the Administrative Office of the Courts COVID-19 web page.

The March emergency order is still in effect that extends the validity of cards by 90 days if the printed expiration date is March 18, 2020, or later.

“We’re driven to offer innovative solutions during this unprecedented time that provide Kentuckians safe options to maintain and renew credentials they rely on for more multiple uses,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has reopened the Frankfort regional licensing office to offer select in-person services for residents of any Kentucky county. REAL ID applications cannot be accepted through the mail due to strict federal security standards. Applicants may visit  realidky.com to schedule an appointment online and to learn more about the services offered. Walk-ins are welcome during office hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here to view the order.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, K4  0601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 28, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We are going to get through this together because we’ve got what it takes, we are strong enough, and no matter what they throw at us, we will make sure that we make the right decisions, that we do the right things and protect the lives of Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear.

Gov. Beshear and other officials also offered updates about unemployment insurance, the Green River Correctional Complex, Kentucky Kingdom, public pools, Kentucky State Parks and the Kentucky Horse Park.

Case information
As of 5 p.m. May 28, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 9,184 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 113 of which were newly confirmed Thursday.

“We don’t want 113 new people to have this virus, but in a day where we are testing so many, this number continues to show a decrease that we should all be very grateful for, but very committed to making sure that it continues,” said Gov. Beshear. “At one point, we expected by May 4 we’d have 16,000 new cases in a week. You prevented that. That’s what you did.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported nine new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 409 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday include a 74-year-old woman, an 80-year-old man and two 85-year-old men from Boone County, a 71-year-old man from Grant County, a 66-year-old man from Jefferson County, a 72-year-old woman from Warren County, a 67-year-old woman from Butler County and a 70-year-old man from Kenton County.

He also honored the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus.

“We have to recognize the toll that this virus has taken and the toll that it’s going to take until we get to that vaccine,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have to honor these families by committing to reduce the loss going forward.”

To recognize the souls lost in Kentucky, the nation and the world, Gov. Beshear asked the Rev. C.B. Akins Sr. of First Baptist Church Bracktown in Lexington to lead Kentuckians in a prayer.

“I pray God that you strip us of the false assurance that grows from pride in our powers and ignorance of our ignorance,” said Rev. Akins. “After you strip us, then bathe us in compassion so our shared pain will generate a powerful passion that will reach a divine purpose. As dark as this day may be, I am assured that you did not bring us this far to leave us now. We cling to an infinite hope. You have not given us the spirit of fear, but a power of love.”

At least 3,181 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.

Unemployment insurance
Today, Deputy Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Josh Benton announced that more than 15,000 March and April pending claims were processed this week.

Deputy Secretary Benton said, “We are putting our most seasoned staff on the most difficult claims.”

He also explained what it means when a claim is “under investigation.”

“That simply means that there’s something missing or a piece of information that is inaccurate that has to be investigated and reviewed in their claim before a determination can be made,” said Deputy Secretary Benton.

Finally, he updated Kentuckians on a security incident that took place in the unemployment insurance system and the actions taken to address it.

A potential vulnerability in the online Unemployment Insurance Portal was reported to the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Office of Technology Services (OTS) on April 23, 2020, at 9:17 a.m. 

According to the report, some Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants could have been able to view the identity verification documents uploaded by other UI claimants. To date, no reports of identity theft or financial harm have been received.

“OTS prevented any further incidents by taking the UI Portal completely offline at 11:30 a.m. By noon, OTS had changed the system to ensure no one was able to view any uploaded documents,” said Deputy Secretary Benton. “By midnight, the security team had patched the software to correct the problem permanently.”

While the Governor’s Office of General Counsel has been told the breach has been corrected, the Governor is concerned with the situation and asked the Transportation Cabinet inspector general – who is independent from the Education Cabinet – to conduct a full review. The Governor is also reorganizing the office, which will soon be under the Labor Cabinet, and bringing in new leadership.

“It is time for better results,” the Governor said.

Green River Correctional Complex
After all mass testing results were received, Green River reported 358 inmate and 50 staff COVID-19 cases. The prison was divided into distinct housing areas and inmates are housed based on the results of their COVID-19 test: positive inmates, negative inmates with direct exposure, negative inmates with no exposure and medically vulnerable inmates.

Retesting is underway and, to date, six new inmates and one new staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.

Nearly 80% of staff have recovered from the virus. As of now, zero inmates are hospitalized. There is one employee in the hospital.

Secretary of the Executive Cabinet J. Michael Brown commended actions by the local health department, correctional officers and Green River inmates for helping level off the number of cases.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Sec. Brown. “We now have no inmates and only one staff member in the hospital out of the Green River Complex. This is an example of a plan implemented under stress, but one that worked. Hopefully the lessons learned here can be applied in the future for the safety of the entire state.”

Kentucky Kingdom
Today, Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky Kingdom will reopen June 29 with extensive precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Based on talks we’ve had over the last several days, we can announce that Kentucky Kingdom will be able to open the week of June 29,” said Gov. Beshear. “We appreciate the operators of the park for working on the reopening plan.”

To see the state’s full reopening timeline and industry-specific guidance, visit healthyatwork.ky.gov.

Public pools
Today, Gov. Beshear announced that he is hopeful the state will be able to open a limited number of public pools the week of June 29 with extensive precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He emphasized that local leaders may choose to keep pools closed based on their assessment of whether or not safety requirements can be met.

“That does not mean that a city will or will not open pools. There is a huge hit on budgets, and even states that have allowed it cities have not done it,” said Gov. Beshear. “I ask you to trust in your local leaders on how they choose to do that.”

Kentucky State Parks
[Editor’s note: Earlier today, Gov. Beshear announced four state parks would open June 1, which was accurate as 5 p.m. approached; however, the date was moved to June 8.]

Today, Gov. Beshear announced that the state will reopen the four Kentucky State Park lodges on June 8 that were previously designated to provide temporary housing for low acuity COVID-19 patients.

The four parks are:

  • Lake Cumberland State Resort Park;
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park;
  • Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

“Thanks to where we are, we are now going to be able to add every state park to our reopening,” said Gov. Beshear.

As the state continues to see a decline in cases, officials have determined that state park lodging is no longer necessary for future COVID-19 response efforts. Safely reopening the parks will create more in-state tourism opportunities for Kentuckians to enjoy and will help local economies rebound. 

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park will open with limited occupancy as a result of ongoing construction renovations. To make reservations at one of our parks, visit parks.ky.gov.

The Governor also announced that in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools, the Kentucky Horse Park will host a Senior Send Off on May 28 and 29. Each night will feature different schools with teachers and administrators along the 3-mile Southern Lights route.

“People are making these celebrations really special for our graduates,” said Gov. Beshear. “I know they’re different and I know there’s sacrifice, but I think students will carry these experiences with them for their entire lives.”

The Kentucky Horse Park will reopen on June 11, and host its first competitive horse show event without spectators from June 17 to June 21.

For more information on the commonwealth’s full reopening schedule, visit healthyatwork.ky.gov.

Informational videos for kids
Gov. Beshear opened today’s news conference with two videos to help kids learn about the importance of wearing masks and other strategies to stay healthy at home and at work.

The Governor said, “Our children are bearing the brunt of some of this trauma, we need to provide advice for parents about how to talk to kids about the virus.”

To view the videos, go to our website or click here.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear continued to urge Kentuckians to get tested for COVID-19.

Information on how to register at sites throughout the commonwealth visit kycovid19.ky.gov.

He announced that the state has seen a downward trajectory of cases within a 14-day period, even with increased testing. Kentucky was recognized today as one of the top three states prepared for a safe reopening.

Absentee Ballot Application Portal online
Gov. Beshear is encouraging all voters to use a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal now available online. A link to the State Board of Elections’ portal can be found at govoteky.com. He urged everyone who plans to vote in next month’s primary elections to go to the portal and request an absentee mail-in ballot.

More information
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 daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 27, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We are going to get through this together because no matter what this virus or anybody else throws at us, we are strong enough, we are united and we are ready to do what it takes,” the Governor said. “This is perhaps one of the most important moments that we will ever face, one of the biggest challenges that we will ever have to rise to. It’s one where we are fighting for the lives of so many and we are rewriting history about how we respond.”

Gov. Beshear and other officials also offered updates about the Team Kentucky Fund, a reorganization of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission and the use of masks.

Team Kentucky Fund
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman highlighted the Team Kentucky Fund Assistance application, which was launched a week and a half ago. She said the site already has received more than 1,900 applications for assistance.

She said the funds are available to those who have been financially burdened through job loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

EDITOR’S NOTE: This news release has been updated to correct the mislabeling of newly reported COVID-19 positive cases, which were listed as deaths.

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 26, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We are going to get through this together because we are strong, we are resilient, and for the most part over this Memorial Day weekend, we showed that we can continue to do the right thing,” said Gov. Beshear. “Even with the ability to see more people, we know that COVID-19 is still out there, it’s still deadly, it’s still dangerous, but if we can take the Healthy at Work precautions and put those in our muscle memory, we can successfully reopen our economy.”

Gov. Beshear also offered updates about a weekend protest at the Capitol, the need continued social distancing and efforts to address an outbreak at a Jefferson County facility.

Capitol protest
Gov. Beshear addressed a weekend protest at the Capitol that garnered national attention when a small group marched onto the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion and hung an effigy in a nearby tree.

The Governor talked about the decision to move his family to Frankfort, the first governor’s family – kids and all – to do so in over 30 years.

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