Monday, June 8, 2020

ov. Beshear Provides Update on Fight Against COVID-19

Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday updated Kentuckians on the state’s efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and address the deep societal problems laid bare by the deadly pandemic.

“Already with COVID-19, the world was going to be different afterwards, the United States was going to be different afterwards and Kentucky was going to be different afterwards,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our commitment is to make sure it’s not just different from a public health perspective, but it is truly different from an equality and a justice perspective.”

The Governor and top officials in his administration also spoke about racial disparities in health care access in the commonwealth, a review of criminal justice training protocols, changes in our education system, and updates on skilled nursing facilities and pandemic food benefits.

Case information
As of 4 p.m. June 8, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 11,476 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The Governor provided updated information about coronavirus cases newly confirmed Sunday and Monday in Kentucky.

On Sunday, 70 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed. On Monday, 120 new cases were reported.

“Both Sunday’s and Monday’s numbers are down, but we will have to be watching as this continues,” the Governor said. “Keep getting tested. Every week since the week of May 11, we’ve had over 40,000 tests conducted in the commonwealth.”

The total number of reported deaths attributed to coronavirus stands at 472 Kentuckians.

The death reported Sunday was of a 51-year-old woman from Daviess County. The death reported Monday was a 66-year-old man from Hardin County.

The Governor reminded Kentuckians to light their homes, places of business and places of worship green for compassion.

“While the number of deaths the past two days are so much lower than what we’ve been reporting recently, these are two other families who are grieving,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let’s make sure we don’t treat their loss any differently than we have treated others.”

At least 3,359 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus. 

Racial disparity in health care
Gov. Beshear announced today the launching of a new effort that aims to provide health care coverage for 100 percent of black and African-American people in the commonwealth.

“This is just the first commitment in making up for the inequality that Dr. King said was one of the most severe: inequality in health care,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re going to be putting dollars behind it, we’re going to have a multifaceted campaign to do it. It is time, especially during COVID-19.”

Skilled nursing facilities update
Today, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Eric Friedlander updated Kentuckians on the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in skilled nursing facilities.

One hundred twenty-seven out of 285 facilities have at least one COVID-19 positive resident or staff member. And 84.9% of Kentucky’s facilities have already been surveyed for COVID-19, compared to the national average of 54.1%. Kentucky’s resident case rate is 33.8 out of 1,000 compared with the national average of 62. Kentucky’s resident death rate is 11.8 out of 1,000 compared with the national average of 27.6.

Kentucky’s staff case rate is 20.7 out of 1,000 compared with the national average of 39.5. Kentucky’s staff death rate is 0.02 out of 1,000 compared with the national average of 0.05.

“The Governor was aggressive in shutting down visitation to long-term care facilities quite early in this process,” said Secretary Friedlander. “We’ve been strategic for how we test and have helped make sure facilities have a plan. We’ve been able to keep our resident case rate at just over half of the national average and our resident death rate at less than half of the national average. We want our numbers to be better, but when you compare them to the national averages, Kentucky has done a very good job.”

Food benefits update
Secretary Friedlander also provided an update on food benefits. Specifically, he spoke about the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT).

“The Kentucky Department of Education has been a fantastic partner,” said Secretary Friedlander. “In less than a week, we’ve been able to extend P-EBT to 359,330 kids who already receive other DCBS benefits and to an additional 99,000 kids who did not previously receive other DCBS benefits. Thousands of children are still eligible. Please apply at benefind.ky.gov or for households that don’t speak English or Spanish, call 1-855-306-8959.”

Kentucky National Guard, State Police units leaving Louisville
“The marches that have been going on in Louisville the last several nights, if not more, have been very peaceful,” the Governor said. “Because of that, neither the KSP or the National Guard are stationed in Louisville anymore.”

He stressed that the state’s efforts don’t begin or end with law enforcement alone.

“While those units are no longer stationed in Louisville, the calls for justice obviously continue and we need to listen,” said Gov. Beshear. “So today we’re going to talk about efforts that this administration is going to take to create equality and to start addressing some of the systematic racism that’s existed in our health care system, in our law enforcement training and in public education.”

More information
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 tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations​ (more than 20 additional languages).
 

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