The Franklin County Health Department reported 26 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday.
There have been 1,190 cases of the virus in the county since the start of the global health pandemic eight months ago.
Franklin County currently has 168 cases active in the community, schools (K-12, college students and staff) and long-term care facilities.
There are eight county residents who are hospitalized with COVID-19 with one person in the ICU.
Deaths from COVID in the county remain at 16, and the number of recovered coronavirus patients is 1,006.
The state’s current incidence rate map shows Franklin County is still in the red zone at 25.5 average new daily cases per 100,000 population.
FCHD will be conducting drive-thru COVID testing on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, both Tuesdays, at the Public Health Center on the East-West Connector.
Testing will be 2-6 p.m. each day, and registration opens at 8 a.m. the Friday prior to the testing date. Register online at fchd.org, click on the blue button.
Community members with transportation barriers are urged to call the FCHD clinic at 502-564-7647 to discuss options with staff.
Across the state, 2,753 new coronavirus cases were confirmed Wednesday. The total number of Kentuckians ever diagnosed with the virus stands at 144,753.
Currently, 1,553 state residents are hospitalized including 359 in ICU and 176 on ventilators.
With 15 additional COVID-19-related deaths reported Wednesday, the state death toll has reached 1,712.
The state’s testing positivity rate rose to 9.13%.
“Since March 6 – the day Kentucky had its first confirmed case – we have been under attack and at war with the coronavirus. It has upended our routines, damaged our economy, threatened our children’s education and taken far too many lives,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.
“Now, it is time for Kentucky’s third counterattack on the coronavirus. Let me be clear about a few things. This is not, and will not be, a shutdown. Our economy is open, and there will be no closings based on essential or nonessential services. But today we are announcing significant, but surgical and targeted, steps designed to slow the spread of the virus and protect our people.”
The state has experienced a 400% increase in positive cases over the past nine weeks, and the third spike shows that Kentuckians need to buckle down and comply with existing orders, like wearing a facial covering, while adopting new requirements.
Beshear said requirements for restaurants; bars; social gatherings; indoor fitness and recreation centers; venues and theaters; and professional services are effective at 5 p.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.
No indoor food or beverage consumption; carryout and delivery encouraged; socially distance outdoor seating.
To help offset the financial impact on restaurants and bars, the governor also announced he is dedicating $40 million in CARES Act funding to provide qualifying entities $10,000 in relief for various expenses, with a maximum award of $20,000 per business entity. Businesses with at least 50% of their sales via drive-through will not be eligible.
To focus on locally owned businesses, publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply. Applications are scheduled to open Nov. 30 and close Dec. 18. Businesses will be required to remain in compliance with all public health orders. Applications will be processed in the order they are received, and funds will be awarded until they are exhausted. Additional details on where to apply will be forthcoming.
Earlier this month, Beshear also waived alcoholic beverage renewal fees for Kentucky restaurants, bars and temporary venues for 12 months to help during the pandemic.
Private social gatherings
Up to eight people from a maximum of two households.
Gyms, fitness centers, pools, other indoor recreation facilities
33% capacity limit; group classes, team practices and competitions prohibited; masks must be worn while exercising.
Venues, event spaces and theaters
Each room will be limited to 25 people. This applies to indoor weddings and funerals, but excludes in-person worship services, for which the governor will provide recommendations Thursday.
Office-based businesses limited to 33% of employees; all employees who are able to work from home must do so; all businesses that can close to the public must do so
In addition, new requirements for schools will begin Monday.
All public and private schools (K -12) to cease in-person instruction:
- Middle and high schools will remain in remote or virtual instruction until at least Jan. 4.
- Elementary schools may reopen for in-person instruction Dec. 7 if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at School guidance.
“As for our schools, I want to thank everyone who is working to continue to educate our children and to make sure they have access to healthy meals,” Beshear said. “Our children are resilient, but they are sacrificing so much and we need them to sacrifice even more right now so we can protect them from this surge in cases.”