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Beshear reports 258 new COVID cases, 2 deaths; urges caution to find ‘new normal’

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday updated Kentuckians on the state’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“I’m so proud of Team Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “As we realize that this fight will be a marathon, not a sprint, we have not lost heart. We have not lost our determination to protect each other. Instead, we have steeled ourselves to live in this new normal until we get a vaccine.”

Case information

As of Friday afternoon, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 13,454 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 258 of which were newly reported Friday.

“I know Kentuckians have what it takes to reopen as safely as possible,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must continue to strike the balance between supporting our local economies and still cutting our contacts significantly.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported two new deaths Friday, raising the total to 522 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Friday include a 95-year-old man from Franklin County and a 68-year-old man from Harlan County.

“This year has been tough for everyone. But just imagine, in addition to all this fear and uncertainty and sudden change, also losing a loved one, and not being able to grieve with extended family and friends,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s unimaginable for those of us who haven’t experienced it. We might not understand these families’ pain, but we will still be there to support them.”

At least 3,516 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Unemployment Insurance

Beshear said that the state continues to work to help Kentuckians resolve unemployment insurance claims.

He also explained that the state’s unemployment office budget went from $41 million in 2010 to $25 million in 2018; in addition, in 2017, the state cut 31 out of 51 local unemployment offices and 95 employees. These financial, geographic and staffing challenges have made it more difficult to provide in-person services throughout the commonwealth, but the governor said he was determined to find a path forward.

“So we take offices that were cut almost 50%, an antiquated system that was designed to tell people no, and claims that went in 2019 from 190,000 unemployment claims all year long to having 900,000 claims in just three months and it is a perfect storm that results in so many people who have had to wait far, far too long that haven’t been helped and I know are at their wits end,” said Gov. Beshear on Thursday.

“And I’ve been saying it for weeks and I know it’s not a solace to those who are struggling, but we are working our hardest. We will continue to do better.”

Governor’s Communication Office

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