FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the commonwealth.
The Governor said he was feeling better a day after he and First Lady Britainy Beshear felt ill and the family was tested for the coronavirus.
“I am happy to report that both the First Lady and I and our kids and everybody that’s working around us tested negative for COVID yesterday, but we tried to take every precaution that we would want other people to take,” said Gov. Beshear.
As of 4 p.m. Aug. 12, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 36,945 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 1,163 of which were newly reported Wednesday. Thirty-nine of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger.
“I believe today will be our single highest number of positive cases that we’ve had. Today we’ve set a record that we never wanted to set, going over 1,000 cases,” the Governor said. “Now, if there is good news in this, it is with the number of tests with the seven-day average, our positivity rate is actually down a little bit. But we need to get that much, much lower.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported seven new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 790 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
The deaths reported Wednesday include a 71-year-old man from Barren County; a 73-year-old woman from Christian County; a 75-year-old woman from Fayette County; two women, ages 85 and 87, from Jefferson County; a 71-year-old man from Meade County; and an 80-year-old man from Oldham County.
In an effort to show the human stories behind the numbers, Gov. Beshear has highlighted some of the Kentuckians taken from us too soon by the deadly coronavirus. On Wednesday, he spoke about William “Curtiss” Ice of Nelson County, who passed away at age 72 after fighting COVID-19.
Ice served in the Kentucky National Guard Battalion 138th Field Artillery, before a career as a manufacturing engineer with General Electric. After retiring, he returned to his passion of farming where he remained active in agriculture and beef cattle.
“Above all else, Curtiss was proud of his family and loved helping serve people in need,” the Governor said. “Those who knew him described Curtiss as intelligent, amiable and ‘downright jolly.’ You’d often see him supporting his grandchildren in their sports or academics, or using his leadership qualities in organizations throughout the area.”
Ice is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Wanda, his three children, seven grandchildren and 10 siblings.
As of Wednesday, there have been at least 717,370 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.62%. At least 8,893 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.
$6 Million to Aid Kentucky Area Development Districts
Gov. Beshear announced today that Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts will have access to $6 million through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to reimburse costs associated with the fight against COVID-19.
“Our Area Development Districts are critical parts of our local communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “These funds come at a crucial time when we are looking for ways to strengthen our communities and thoughtfully provide new opportunities, while continuing to keep Kentuckians safe. I am confident their guidance and this funding will help our cities and counties develop recovery plans that will help us come out of COVID-19 stronger than before.”
The funding will be split equally among the ADDs, totaling approximately $392,000 each. The remaining 1% each year will cover administrative costs for Department for Local Government. A list of Kentucky ADDs and their areas of service is available here.
Travel Advisory Update
Gov. Beshear offered an update on his administration’s travel advisory, which recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%.
The current areas meeting this threshold include Washington State, Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama and Arizona.
For an updated list of areas meeting that threshold, click here.
School Opening Guidance
On Monday, Gov. Beshear, in consultation with Kentucky teachers and school administrators, announced new guidance asking schools to wait until Sept. 28 to begin in-person classes.
The Governor said the decision was driven by four factors: Kentucky’s cases being near a peak, an increase in infection rates among children across the U.S., the experience of school districts in other states and families continuing to travel to hotspots for vacations against the advice of health officials.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at teamkentuckytranslations.com.