Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19
Governor highlights urgency of the moment as Kentucky records second-highest daily total of new cases
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and said the state has reported the second-highest daily total of new cases.
“I said yesterday I believe we’re at the start of a new escalation. We’re certainly seeing that in today’s numbers. That means we’ve got to work harder. This is a war and we’ve won many battles, but we can’t walk away from the battlefield,” the Governor said. “I really need your help. Right now, moving into the fall, has the potential to be the most dangerous time we have seen in Kentucky. But it doesn’t have to be, because we know there is a vaccine in our future, we just have to get to the point where we can prove that it’s effective and deploy it to enough people. Are we willing to do what it takes to protect one another until that point in time? I think the answer is yes, but we’ve got to prove it.”
‘The Fast 4 at 4’
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman on Tuesday highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.
- Business Expands to Mount Vernon
Lt. Gov. Coleman on Tuesday highlighted Chapin International Inc., a manufacturer of metal compressed air sprayers that plans to locate a production operation in Mount Vernon. The nearly $5.5 million investment will create up to 100 full-time jobs in the coming years.“The location will manufacture and distribute metal compressed air sprayers for industrial use, agriculture, home and garden and other applications,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “This is a great project located in Rockcastle County, and one that came together incredibly quickly.”Chapin plans to relocate segments of existing operations in New York and Ohio to a 175,000-square-foot building in the Rockcastle Business Park. The new location will position the company to better serve customers throughout North America.“Kentucky’s logistical advantages and ideal geographic location were major factors in our ability to bring Chapin to the commonwealth,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “We are at the center of a 34-state distribution area in the eastern U.S., with existing infrastructure necessary for companies to ship products to customers as quickly as possible.”
For more details and to view the full news release, click here.
Lt. Gov. Coleman encouraged all Kentuckians to make a plan to vote, either by mail, in person during early voting or in person on Election Day. On Tuesday, she showed that she was taking this advice herself.“As a former civics teacher, teaching students about the democratic process and elections was one of my favorite topics,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “As we all know, record turnout is expected all across the country for the 2020 General Election.”The deadline to register online to vote in the 2020 General Election is 4 p.m. local time on Oct. 5. Kentucky residents can register by visiting the state’s Online Voter Registration webpage.In addition, more than 170,000 Kentuckians have had their voting rights restored because of the executive order Gov. Beshear signed days after taking office. These Kentuckians, convicted of non-violent and non-sexual felonies, who have repaid their debts to society through completed sentences, can participate fully in our democracy. Visit CivilRightsRestoration.ky.gov to check your eligibility.
“GoVoteKy.com is the place to find information, like how to request your absentee ballot,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “Voting absentee is the safest way to vote this year because of COVID-19. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call your county clerk’s office to request your absentee ballot.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman provided great news on the commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to secure the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for Kentucky’s frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19.“Two weeks ago, Gov. Beshear and I visited the Department for Public Health warehouse to show the success in securing PPE for frontline workers and other Kentuckians. PPE is a vital part of protecting Kentuckians during this pandemic,” the Lieutenant Governor said. “As of this week, our Department for Public Health warehouse has completed the stockpile. There is enough PPE for a 120-day surge.”Lt. Gov. Coleman noted that she, Gov. Beshear and others have spared no effort from the start of the pandemic as they worked to secure more PPE.“He will tell you: He was not sure this day would come,” she said.
The Lieutenant Governor offered thanks and praise for the many companies and countless individuals who have made this effort one of the state’s success stories in the battle against COVID-19.
- Mask Up Kentucky!
Lt. Gov. Coleman also stressed the continued importance of everyone wearing face coverings, calling it the single most important thing all of us can do to fight COVID-19.“Even our youngest learners are willing to be leaders and to do their part wearing masks in school,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.She also encouraged Kentuckians to spread the word on social media using #MaskUpKY and #MaskUpKentucky hashtags. Starting next week, Kentuckians who use the hashtags will receive a #TeamKY mask if their post is featured as part of the Governor’s daily 4 p.m. news conference.
As of 4 p.m. Sept. 29, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 67,856 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 1,018 of which were newly reported Tuesday. One hundred and fifty-seven of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 27 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was only 2 months old.
“Today we are reporting our second-highest total of new COVID-19 cases that we have had since March 6,” the Governor said. “We need you to wear a facial covering. This ought to be a wake-up call. We can’t let this thing get out of control again because we’re tired. We know the steps that it takes.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported eight new deaths Tuesday, raising the total to 1,170 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Tuesday include a 93-year-old woman from Bell County; an 86-year-old man from Bullitt County; a 77-year-old man and an 85-year-old woman from Floyd County; a 71-year-old woman from Henderson County; a 68-year-old man from Hickman County; and two women, ages 86 and 87, from Kenton County.
“When we have 1,018 cases it means we’re going to lose more people moving forward. It’s far too many,” said Gov. Beshear.
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 1,446,385 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.24%, and at least 11,792 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.
Dr. Stack Update
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, offered insights Tuesday into the state of the pandemic and efforts to reopen schools.
Dr. Stack highlighted the state’s new online portal for school COVID-19 reporting.
“The K-12 cases dashboard is a tool for the public,” Dr. Stack said. “For those of you who have children in K-12 schools, you should be able to go to this dashboard, find your school by name and see the data that they’ve reported.”
Dr. Stack also announced a change to the state’s recommendations for schools about what modes of instruction they should employ depending on the positivity rate of the county. Previously, if a school was in the “red zone,” the guidance was that they needed to get back to the “yellow zone” before reopening to in-person instruction.
“The color-coding system to guide schools as to what precautions they should take in a given week is intended to identify when the disease is particularly active in your community – the entire community – so the whole community can come together to do what needs to be done to improve the situation,” Dr. Stack said. “The one change we made today is that if your county goes to red, you no longer have to go all the way back down to yellow to consider resuming in-person instruction.”
Today, Gov. Beshear announced that he will extend a renewal option for Kentuckians with driver’s licenses that are due to expire.
“This renewed executive order allows people to renew their driver’s license by a drop box or by mail,” the Governor said. “You still have to renew it by one of those fashions through February 2021. Now it doesn’t automatically extend, so make sure that either by that drop box or by mail you get this done.”