A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY has 31 new COVID cases, state has 141 cases, 5 deaths; Beshear talks voting, youth sports, holiday

As of Friday afternoon, the NKY Health Department reported 31 additional cases of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky, for 1,065 total cases. There have been 504 cases in Kenton County, 141 cases in Campbell County, 386 cases in Boone County and 34 cases in Grant County. This includes 57 total deaths related to COVID-19. Four hundred fifty-five (455) individuals have recovered.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported in his daily briefing that there were 141 new cases and five new deaths, raising the state’s totals to 8,426 cases and 391 deaths. At least 3,069 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Absentee ballot online portal

Beshear said that a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal is now online. A link to the State Board of Elections’ portal can be found at govoteky.com. He urged everyone who plans to vote in the June 23 primary elections to go to the portal and request an absentee mail-in ballot.

“I am very proud to announce this new online portal,” said Secretary of State Michael Adams.

“As I have said before, I promised to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and this system does that. The best thing you can do is go online at govoteky.com and apply for your ballot.”

Jared Dearing, executive director of the State Board of Elections said, “I would like to thank the Governor, Secretary of State, my staff and the county clerks for all the work they have put in to make this possible. Over the coming weeks, it is important that everyone has time to make a plan to vote. I encourage you to visit govoteky.com to make a plan to vote safe from home.”

Dearing noted that some limited in-person voting will be allowed to ensure everyone has the right to vote.

The deadline to register to vote is May 26. You can register to vote at elect.ky.gov.

Voters in every county of the Commonwealth can request a mail-in ballot for the June primary elections. The last day to apply for a ballot is June 15. The primary elections in Kentucky will be held June 23.

Youth sports guidance

Beshear said that new guidance will be made available regarding youth sports.

The Governor previously said some youth sports would be allowed to resume June 15.

“That guidance is now posted. This is going to tell you the kinds of activities and youth sports that you can do and when you can do them,” said La Tasha Buckner, general counsel and chief of staff to Beshear. “And the important health and safety requirements that go along with them.

The guidance reflects advice from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, best practices from other states, as well as input from Kentucky youth sports leagues, professional teams and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

Healthy at Work

Beshear announced that new guidelines are now available for fitness centers, auto racetracks and movie theaters, which all can begin operating again June 1. Auctions also can be held starting June 1.

Horse shows can be held again starting June 8.

Bars, gatherings with 50 or fewer people and venues that hold 50 or fewer people can reopen June 29, if they meet guidelines.

Businesses that can open now at 33 percent capacity can expand to 50 percent capacity a month later, on June 22, if they meet the guidelines. For more information on the Healthy at Work timeline and industry requirements, click here.

Buckner talked about the continued reopening of businesses and government, including the Capitol.

“As of the 27th, we are going to open the Capitol to small groups of 10 or fewer, and this is on application,” Buckner said. “And the reason for that is we want to make sure we can keep the capacity to where need to under our minimum requirements and small group requirements.”
People can sign up to conduct self-led tours. Buckner said guests would be asked, but not required, to wear masks.

Memorial Day weekend

Beshear urged all Kentuckians to stay safe over the holiday weekend. The Governor and state health officials are asking all Kentuckians to keep gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

“I want to urge you though. This is a time that gets dangerous for us. People get complacent. We can have a tendency to reach the wrong conclusions sometime. We have taken our losses in Kentucky. We have families that have suffered because of this virus and because of the loved ones they’ve lost,” said Dr. Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Other guidance includes wearing masks, maintaining social distancing of six feet or more, gathering outside instead of inside, washing hands frequently, and covering food and individually wrapping plates.

“So please, Memorial Day is a time when friends and family come together to celebrate those who have sacrificed much before us and are grateful for their service to our nation, I am grateful to all of you, Team Kentucky, nearly four and half million of you who have sacrificed to help us get here today to a better place,” Dr. Stack said.

Kentuckians can now participate in gatherings of 10 people or less. As we celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, and get together with family and friends we may not have seen in a long time, it is important that we continue to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to NKY District Director of Health Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, “Just because we are now able to get together with others does not mean that COVID-19 has gone away. Now more than ever we need to keep taking steps to prevent COVID-19.”

Here are some actions you can take to stop COVID-19 from coming to your barbecue:

  Don’t go out or invite anyone to your home if you are sick. 

  Keep the festivities outside as much as possible. 

  Be sure you have enough supplies for frequent hand washing – soap, water and alcohol-based hand 

  Wear a cloth face mask when you are not eating/drinking. 

  Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

For additional details on COVID- 19 cases in Northern Kentucky, click here.

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