Beshear updates fight against COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. – FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman on Thursday highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.

  1. CARES Act Funding for Local Governments
    The Lieutenant Governor reminded Kentuckians that today, in collaboration with the Department for Local Government (DLG), Gov. Beshear announced 22 Western Kentucky governments were approved for $14,905,621 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.

    “As a rural Kentuckian, I know that communities big and small are what make Kentucky special,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and our local governments are no exception,” said Gov. Beshear. “These reimbursements from the CARES Act will help alleviate some of the strain on their budgets and ensure they can provide necessary services to our families.”

    To read the full release, click here.

  2. Team Kentucky Fund
    Lt. Gov. Coleman also gave an update on the Team Kentucky Fund (TKF) today. She encouraged Kentuckians, especially from three specific regions, who have suffered financially due to COVID-19 to visit to apply for assistance.

    “There are three areas that have pots of money waiting and need applications from Kentuckians who qualify: They are the Owensboro area, the counties that surround Louisville and the Big Sandy area,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “To date, over $900,000 of aid has been given directly to Kentuckians through the TKF.”

    Tax-deductible donations to TKF can be made at 100% of donations go directly to Kentuckians.

  3. Positive Stories from Schools
    Lt. Gov. Coleman shared five positive stories from schools and school districts across the commonwealth and encouraged Kentuckians to share even more of these stories on social media, as the Governor has previously requested.

    “I want to highlight a few of the many schools who are working diligently to protect their students, teachers and staff as they transition to in-person instruction,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

    The schools and school districts highlighted today were: East Jessamine High School in Nicholasville (Jessamine County); DuPont Manual High School in Louisville (Jefferson County); Boone County High School in Florence; Henry Clay High School in Lexington (Fayette County); and Burgin Schools in Burgin (Mercer County).

  4. Kentucky School Boards Association Mask Donation
    Finally, the Lieutenant Governor thanked the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), which is donating 80,000 cloth masks to Kentucky’s public school students, in partnership with the National School Boards Association and the KSBA Educational Foundation.

    “The KSBA’s Team Kentucky spirit is evident with this donation,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

    KSBA will donate the masks directly to the state’s Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs), a division of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The FRYSCs of Kentucky are tasked with reducing barriers to learning relating to student environment, emotions and experiences.

    “There is evidence that social and emotional challenges, past and reoccurring trauma and certain family and economic situations can have an impact on student learning and success in school,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “In Kentucky, we are fortunate to have a dedicated place in our educational system that focuses on these barriers to learning as an equally important part of student success.”

Voting Update
Today, the Lieutenant Governor also urged Kentuckians to make a plan for voting in the November general election. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bipartisan state and local election officials have made voting easier than ever before by providing numerous ways Kentuckians can cast their ballot.

She introduced Secretary of State Michael Adams and State Board of Elections Executive Director Jared Dearing, who echoed the call for Kentuckians to use one of many voting options.

Secretary Adams offered an update on the state’s plan for upcoming elections. He also encouraged Kentuckians to vote as early as possible and to sign up to be poll workers.

“Gov. Beshear and I agree that the best way to ensure that we have a safe and successful election is to give voters choices,” said Secretary Adams. “And now, you can track your absentee ballot the way you track an Amazon package.”

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. local time. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 9. Visit for more information. Voters can mail in an absentee ballot or bring it back to their county clerk – in person or at a drop box.

Kentuckians can also vote in person at various sites during early voting, which begins on Oct. 13, or on Election Day.

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Sept. 17, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 59,370 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 628 of which were newly reported Thursday. Seventy-six of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 14 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was only 2 months old.

“Good news: We are still below 4% in our positivity rate at 3.82%. So again a couple of notes: It means that we have significant testing going on. It means our positivity rate is going down, which is a good thing,” said Gov. Beshear. “But remember, it’s not because we are testing folks that we do better, it’s because of our actions. It’s because of social distancing, it’s because of wearing a mask. We believe that mask mandate is working and without it our numbers and our positivity rate would go up.”

Gov. Beshear reported 11 new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 1,093 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday include a 70-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man from Daviess County; three men, ages 75, 83 and 93, from Fayette County; an 84-year-old man from Franklin County; a 76-year-old woman from Jackson County; an 82-year-old woman from Jefferson County; two women, ages 77 and 90, from Madison County; and an 83-year-old woman from Webster County.

As of Thursday, there have been at least 1,101,279 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 3.82%, and at least 11,109 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.

Information about COVID-19 and schools is also being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.