Governor Andy Beshear says the effort to vaccinate police and firefighters is moving along “quickly” while the state continues to see high numbers of new COVID cases. Tuesday’s report included 3,053 new cases, the fourth highest number for that day of the week. The positivity rate was 12.23%.
The governor indicated that state public health officials believe the increase in cases resulted from an anticipated holiday spike. However, he added, “We’re trying to determine where these numbers are going.” Public health officials hope to see cases level off over the next couple of days.
While the governor reported 22 additional deaths, he stressed that at least seven from Boyle County were late submissions and had occurred earlier in 2020. “These did not all occur in December,” he clarified.
Beshear promised to provide what he called a significant update on the state’s vaccine rollout at Thursday’s COVID briefing. While Kentucky continues to vaccinate people through a tiered system, the governor noted that the logistics have been a challenge. “We’ve got to put this puzzle together,” he stated. You can read more on Kentucky’s vaccination plan here.
The governor signed an executive order to create the Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program that will be administered by the Office of Unemployment Insurance. Beshear is using $48 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for people still waiting on unemployment or those who earn too little to qualify for some federal aid.
People who filed for unemployment between March 4 and October 31 but have not yet had their claim resolved will receive a onetime payment of $1,000. Kentuckians whose income was below the level allowed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lost wages assistance program will receive a payment of $400.