Governor Andy Beshear reported that COVID-19 cases dipped to the lowest total Kentucky has experienced in 11 weeks. At a Monday news conference Beshear said, “Things continue to move in the right direction and move there quickly.”
Kentucky reported 9,749 COVID cases, down from recent weeks in which medical staff diagnosed more than 30,000 people with the virus. Beshear reported 81 additional deaths ‒ 30 on Saturday, 28 on Sunday, and 23 on Monday.
The case positivity rate is 5.84%. Beshear added that 919 Kentuckians remain hospitalized, 281 in intensive care units, and 157 breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold an advisory committee hearing later this week to discuss approving the Pfizer vaccine for children between 5 and 11. Beshear said the state is preparing to immunize children in the new age range as soon as regulating agencies approve. “We expect they will be authorized. In fact, they are already being shipped, so they are ready,” he said.
Beshear encouraged those eligible to receive booster shots. He said anyone over the age of 65, those with preexisting conditions, or anyone whose job exposes them to large numbers of people should get a booster.
“I would act with some urgency in all of this,” he added.
He also reminded Kentuckians that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting applications for funeral reimbursement from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020, are eligible for FEMA help.
Beshear explained that authorized expenses include:
- Transportation for up to two people to identify a deceased individual;
- Transfer of remains;
- A casket or urn;
- Burial plot or cremation ditch;
- A marker or headstone;
- Clergy or officiant services;
- Arrangement of a funeral ceremony;
- Use of funeral home equipment or staff;
- Cremation or internment costs; and
- Costs associated with producing multiple death certificates.
People can apply for the FEMA aid online by clicking here.
Beshear reported that the five FEMA Emergency Medical Services (EMS) strike teams that had responded to Kentucky were released from duty on Sunday. He thanked them for their service and said the teams have left the state for their next assignment because they are no longer needed in the commonwealth.