Governor’s COVID-19 update

Gov. Andy Beshear

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday updated Kentuckians on the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

“I’m so proud of Team Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “As we realize that this fight will be a marathon, not a sprint, we have not lost heart. We have not lost our determination to protect each other. Instead, we have steeled ourselves to live in this new normal until we get a vaccine.”

Thursday, the governor signed a proclamation recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day. He will encourage the legislature to adopt it as a state holiday in the next regular session.

“In recent months, we’ve faced troubling reminders that justice is not always blind,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve also seen the Black and African-American community suffer disproportionately from COVID-19. We have so much more to do to ensure that all men and women are treated equally, but today we can also commemorate how far we’ve come.”

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 19, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 13,454 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 258 of which were newly reported Friday.

“I know Kentuckians have what it takes to reopen as safely as possible,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must continue to strike the balance between supporting our local economies and still cutting our contacts significantly.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported two new deaths Friday, raising the total to 522 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Friday include a 95-year-old man from Franklin County and a 68-year-old man from Harlan County.

“This year has been tough for everyone. But just imagine, in addition to all this fear and uncertainty and sudden change, also losing a loved one, and not being able to grieve with extended family and friends,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s unimaginable for those of us who haven’t experienced it. We might not understand these families’ pain, but we will still be there to support them.”

At least 3,516 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
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear said that the state continues to work to help Kentuckians resolve unemployment insurance claims.

He also explained that the state’s unemployment office budget went from $41 million in 2010 to $25 million in 2018; in addition, in 2017, the state cut 31 out of 51 local unemployment offices and 95 employees. These financial, geographic and staffing challenges have made it more difficult to provide in-person services throughout the commonwealth, but the governor said he was determined to find a path forward.

“So we take offices that were cut almost 50%, an antiquated system that was designed to tell people no, and claims that went in 2019 from 190,000 unemployment claims all year long to having 900,000 claims in just three months and it is a perfect storm that results in so many people who have had to wait far, far too long that haven’t been helped and I know are at their wits end,” said Gov. Beshear on Thursday. “And I’ve been saying it for weeks and I know it’s not a solace to those that are struggling, but we are working our hardest. We will continue to do better.”

For more information from the Labor Cabinet at the Kentucky Career Center portal, click here.

Testing expansion
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians yesterday that the state’s partnership with Kroger is bringing testing for coronavirus to several new locations.

Kroger will provide testing next week in Fayette County at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (500 Newtown Pike, Lexington); in Jefferson County at Southern High School (8620 Preston Highway, Louisville); in Shelby County at Milestone Academics (1361 Frankfort Road, Shelbyville); and Warren County at Basil Griffin Park (2055 Three Springs Road, Bowling Green).

Information on how to register at more than 180 sites throughout the commonwealth can be found here.

Census Update
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians of the critical importance of filling out their U.S. Census forms. Those who have not can fill out the Census at or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

Week in Review
Click here for other recent updates from Gov. Beshear, including those on voting rights, the Team Kentucky Fund, FAFSA, health care exchange, PPE for election workers, Department for Community Based Services leadership, contact tracing and the importance of wearing masks.

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