Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The Governor and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, also advised Kentuckians on how to celebrate Halloween safely this year.
“We have put together the best guidance we can for Halloween to be safe. But we can’t do things exactly like we did them before, and we all ought to know that,” said Gov. Beshear. “Having a big party right now during COVID puts everybody at risk. Let’s not ruin Halloween for our kids by it spreading a virus that can harm people they love.”
‘The Fast 4 at 4’
Gov. Beshear on Thursday highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.
- Preventing Child Trafficking
Today, Gov. Beshear announced the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has received a $1 million federal grant to prevent child trafficking and provide support to survivors.
“Human trafficking is modern slavery. Almost their very soul taken from them,” said Gov. Beshear. “Remember, this is happening in every community across Kentucky. It’s our job as responsible adults to stop it.”
DCBS, an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, received the Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking award as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s $101 million investment to combat and research human trafficking through specific programming to enhance local and state services.
Gov. Beshear said the three-year grant will help state government work with its social services and law enforcement partners to provide crucial resources.
“I have been fighting human trafficking – and especially trafficking of children – since I served as Kentucky’s Attorney General,” he said. “As Governor, I remain committed to protecting children and youth and to serving those who have been victimized by this heinous crime. This grant will help us to seek justice and create a well-supported network of services that support survivors and promote healing.”
For more information, read the full release.
- Honoring Safe Employers
Today, Gov. Beshear announced the Governor’s Safety and Health Award has been given to 37 businesses across the state for achieving more than 59 million hours worked without a lost-time injury by the employees at these locations during 2019-2020.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet presents the Governor’s Safety and Health Award to highlight outstanding safety and health performance in Kentucky’s workplaces. A business may qualify for the award if its employees achieve a required number of hours worked without experiencing a lost-time injury or illness. The required number of hours is dependent upon the number of employees.
“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthy and safe work environments. My top priority is the health and safety of all Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear. “Congratulations to all team members who I know will continue to lead by example.”
Gov. Beshear once again encouraged all Kentuckians to make a plan to vote, either by mail, in person during early voting or in person on Election Day.
“I’ve already voted. My wife, Britainy, has already voted. Right now you can vote by absentee ballot. Time is running out to request that ballot. I encourage you if you have received your absentee ballot, fill it out when you get it,” said Gov. Beshear. “Follow all the directions. Easiest election in our history, I think, to vote in. No excuses. Make sure your voice is heard, not just on Facebook but how our founders intended.”
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.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9. Kentuckians can do so by visiting GoVoteKy.com.
If residents don’t have internet access to register to vote or request an absentee ballot online, they can call their county clerk to do so.
In addition, Gov. Beshear highlighted that more than 190,000 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 eligibility.
- Mask Up Kentucky!
Gov. Beshear continues to stress the importance of everyone wearing face coverings, calling it the single most important action all of us can take to fight COVID-19.
“Masking up has been important but it’s more important than ever right now,” said Gov. Beshear. “Masking up is critical to stopping that escalation of cases.”
He 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. Oct. 1, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 69,728 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 910 of which were newly reported Thursday. One hundred forty-six of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 26 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was 3 months old.
“Our case numbers continue to be higher than any of us would like,” said Gov. Beshear. “I got a text from a friend that his father had died of COVID. Anybody who wants to suggest this isn’t real ought to talk to him.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported 17 new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 1,191 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Thursday include a 63-year-old woman from Boyd County; a 72-year-old woman from Calloway County; two women, ages 29 and 67, from Clark County; an 84-year-old woman and two men, ages 71 and 76, from Jefferson County; a 92-year-old woman from Lewis County; a 94-year-old woman and a 88-year-old man from Mercer County; three women, ages 82, 93 and 95 from Scott County; and two women, ages 84 and 90, and two men, ages 76 and 85, from Warren County.
“Nine hundred and ten cases is hard, but today we’re reporting 17 deaths. That’s pretty sad when 17 is just the fifth highest day,” said Gov. Beshear. “By the end of the week we will probably hit 1,200. When we have a lot of cases, sadly a lot of death follows. There are 17 families who have been struggling before today, but today, let’s light our homes up green for them.”
Gov. Beshear urged people to look over and take to heart updated guidance on 10 Steps to Fight COVID-19.
As of Thursday, there have been at least 1,483,960 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 4.11%, and at least 11,970 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.
Eviction Relief Fund
Today, Gov. Beshear provided an update on his administration’s effort to keep people from being evicted during the pandemic and help qualified landlords who are experiencing loss of income.
“On Aug. 24, I issued an executive order to provide protections and clarity on the issue of evictions during the coronavirus crisis,” the Governor said. “At that same time, I directed $15 million in federal CARES Act dollars to support the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund, which began accepting applications on Sept. 8.”
Then, in early September, Gov. Beshear updated the state’s executive order on evictions to reflect the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratoriumon residential evictions through Dec. 31.
Under the CDC order, a tenant who signs and submits a declaration to his or her landlord about the inability to timely pay rent cannot be evicted. Like the Governor’s prior executive orders on evictions, the CDC order does not relieve anyone of the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation under a tenancy, lease or similar contract. The CDC order allows landlords to charge and collect fees, penalties and interest for failure to timely pay rent, but prohibits evictions for nonpayment or late payment of such fees, penalties or interest.
Under the Governor’s executive order, the CDC order applies in Kentucky through the end of the year and helps keep Kentuckians Healthy at Home.
An estimated $8 million of the eviction relief program’s funds have been committed to provide rent relief for individuals and landlords. The fund does not apply in Jefferson County, which has its own federally funded eviction relief initiative.
Gov. Beshear urged tenants and landlords to continue signing up to take advantage of the program.
“The funds not only include payment for past due rent, but also reflect the estimated payments to assist with one to two months of future rent to keep families stable during the pandemic,” the Governor said. “Payments to landlords began going out last week, and that volume will continue to increase.”
For more information or to apply for the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund, click here.
“I’m excited in a short period of time, we are helping out a large number of individuals,” said Gov. Beshear.
Dr. Stack Update
Today, Gov. Beshear and Dr. Stack shared new guidance on how Kentucky families can celebrate Halloween safely.
“Let’s keep Halloween for the kids. Let’s all come together and make sure the kids can have a good, safe experience and have fun. This is not the year to have all the adult Halloween parties. Adult Halloween gatherings are not the same things as the kids’,” said Dr. Stack.
Kentuckians should wear masks, socially distance and wash hands often.
If trick-or-treating is permitted in your community, please trick-or-treat the safe way:
- Place individually wrapped candy outside on the porch, driveway or a table.
- Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from anyone not within your household.
- Always wear a face covering. Halloween masks DO NOT count as a face covering.
- Clean hands before and after touching the wrapped candy.
- Trick-or-treat in family groups and don’t congregate in large groups.
- Trick-or-treat in your own neighborhood. Do not travel to other neighborhoods.
- Use hand sanitizer often, especially after contacting frequently-touched surfaces and before eating anything.
To view all the guidance Halloween guidance, including recommended safer alternatives, high-risk activities to avoid and helpful reminders visit, https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/cv19halloweenguidance.pdf.
Dr. Stack also highlighted where Kentuckians can find the K-12 COVID-19 dashboard and how to use it.
“This is where schools are supposed to go every Monday through Friday when school is in session,” said Dr. Stack. “This is only day four of this being rolled out, and we already have 1,454 schools who have reported data. In the last 24 hours we had 1,348 schools who reported data. So, thank you. The vast majority of schools are trying to comply and doing the best they can.”
Finally, Gov. Beshear and Dr. Stack announced that KDPH has added Florida to the commonwealth’s travel advisory due to the especially high risk of contracting COVID-19 in the state.
“Despite the fact that its rate is below 15%, as we are now going into fall break in many schools, and Florida has lifted just about every restriction that’s out there. It is a subjective decision that right now, going to the beach with 100% capacity in a restaurant is just as dangerous as going to some of the other areas that may have a higher positivity rate but have taken steps to lower the risk,” said Gov. Beshear. “Also, Florida right now is without any real mask requirements. We can’t keep our schools open if people go to the beach and they bring it back, and it spreads throughout the school.”