Beshear warns of new restrictions as Kentucky cases skyrocket

Local News

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) Governor Andy Beshear announced on Friday 797 new cases of COVID-19, the second highest total of single-day cases since the pandemic began. Seven more Kentuckians have died due to COVID-19.

There are also 19 new cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of five, including a one-month-old girl. Additionally, the positivity rate is now 5.28%, a significant rise in the past 24 hours.

Governor Beshear said changes will have to be made early next week if numbers and positivity rate do not stabilize or decrease. The decisions to scale back or implement new measures will be based off of data over the past two weeks.

On Thursday, he indicated these changes may follow the White House surge guidelines that suggest closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity to 25%. The state has already instituted a travel advisory to hot spot states, another guideline laid out by the White House. Governor Beshear said he would also recommend schools beginning in early August to push back start dates or implement virtual learning.

Governor Beshear also discussed Indiana’s new mask mandate and the opposition Governor Holcomb has received, saying Governor Holcomb “did the right thing”.

“This is a matter of life and death,” said Beshear. “I’m with Governor Holcomb in that argument and will support him in any way that I can.”

Governor Beshear was also asked about the Rupp Arena name change letter penned to UK President Eli Capiluto, saying he is listening but has not yet gathered enough information to provide his opinion on the issue.

Beshear also announced an five-week extension with Ernst and Young to continue to catch up on Kentucky unemployment claims. Ernst and Young has already surpassed the goal of completing 50,000 claims, surpassing 56,000 total claims on Thursday. The $4.2 million extension contract will come directly from CARES Act funding.

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(This story was originally published on July 24, 2020)

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