Gov. Beshear extends mask mandate, announces 1,054 cases
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear gave his Tuesday COVID-19 update.
You can watch that live below:
The governor announced 1,054 new cases and four new deaths in Kentucky.
“We are experiencing an escalation, our third major escalation in this COVID crisis, and it is significant,” the Governor said. “Last week we had 6,126 positive cases and we are on pace to have more than that this week.”
114 of the 1,054 are children under the age of 18. The positivity rate is now at 4.29%.
At least 74,194 Kentuckians have contracted the virus. The death toll is now at 1,218.
“Yesterday I said more cases equal more people we lose. I want to bring that home a little bit,” the Governor said. “In the United States there is a 2.8% mortality rate for people who contract COVID. I’m proud that in Kentucky, we’ve got some great doctors and nurses and health care workers, and we’re at 1.7%, 1.1% less than the national average. But 6,126 cases of COVID-19 with the mortality rate we have would be 104 Kentuckians just from last week’s cases, we will lose. That’s just one week.”
12,721 people have recovered from the virus.
1,552,667 Kentuckians have received tests.
Gov. Beshear extended the mask mandate for another 30 days.
“We saw with the last escalation that we have the power to stop it if we simply do what we know works and that is wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing,” the Governor said. “If we are honest with ourselves, we know that fewer people are wearing masks right now than they were when we took steps in July on the mask mandate to stop that escalation.”
Gov. Beshear pointed to the latest guidance for the state from the White House, noting that it says: “Masks should be worn indoors in all public settings, and group gatherings should be limited.”
Amy Cubbage, general counsel of the Officer of the Governor, provided an update on the Commonwealth’s efforts to help unemployed Kentuckians.
“The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance has paid in excess of $4.1 billion in benefits to Kentuckians, benefits for the most part that get spent at our businesses and have an economic impact multiple times more than that $4.1 billion,” she said.
Cubbage did not that some claims have been denied or are still being processed. She said that the rules governing unemployment insurance payouts come largely from the federal Department of Labor.
“The eligible claims payment rate is staying at the same level as pre-pandemic, about 80%” she said.
She also provided an update on the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides an additional $400 per week for those who qualify. She said Kentucky’s Office of Unemployment Insurance has paid out about $245 million in LWA benefits, covering the weeks of August 1 through September 5.
WYMT independently confirms all coverage area positive COVID-19 cases, along with any coronavirus-related deaths, with local health departments before publishing any details.
If you have any questions about the coronavirus in Kentucky, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
You can also find more information, including how to protect your family, by visiting Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
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