COVID-19 contacts

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 166 new COVID-19 cases and 10 new deaths Wednesday.

The total number of state cases stand at 8,167. A total of 376 Kentuckians have died from the virus.

The deaths reported Wednesday include a 73-year-old woman from Breckinridge County, a 90-year-old woman from Oldham County, a 70-year-old man from Boone County, a 79-year-old woman from Graves County, and 46, 70, 76, and 88-year-old women and 71 and 77-year-old men from Jefferson County.

At least 2,919 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Long-term care testing

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, said Wednesday that coronavirus testing was being conducted this week at 23 long-term care facilities.

All the major providers are assisting: Signature, Genesis, Exceptional, Christian Care Centers and Trilogy. Norton also will be doing on-site testing at two facilities this week.

So far, more than 4,300 tests have been conducted, including 2,324 staff members and 2,003 residents. Officials plan to conduct another 2,100 tests over the next two days.

“I know we can’t get to everyone immediately. We would like to, it’s just not possible with the bandwidth, but we are working very methodically to get to all the nursing homes and support that community and the residents who live there, who are the most vulnerable among us,” Stack added.

Beshear also announced the state is delivering PPE to long-term care facilities in the commonwealth. In total, they possess 870,000 K-N95 masks, 279,000 face shields, 200,000 extra-large exam gowns, 140,000 HHS/FEMA cloth masks, 186,000 medium gloves, 186,000 large gloves and 186,000 extra-large gloves.

Memorial Day Weekend

Keeping safe while celebrating together is crucial as we enter the traditional start of the summer season. Beshear and state health officials are asking all Kentuckians to keep gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

“This weekend, think about hands, face and space. So, hands clean and to yourself. Face covered if you’re close and don’t touch it. And, finally, space,” Beshear stated. “We’re going to be really excited to see folks we haven’t in a while, but stay six-feet apart, do it outside if you can, it’s going to make it very safe comparatively.”

Other guidance includes wearing masks, gathering outside instead of inside, washing hands frequently and covering food and individually wrapping plates.

Testing expansion

Beshear said that Walmart is greatly expanding its testing operations in the state.

Today, he announced that there will be new testing partnership with Kroger with locations in Henderson, Bowling Green, Louisville and Lexington next week.

“Let’s make sure we fill every spot. Let’s not have any no-shows,” said Gov. Beshear. “Let’s make sure that we get as much testing as possible. We have the capacity, now we’ve got to have the will.”

Information on how to register at more than 70 sites throughout the commonwealth can be found at kycovid19.ky.gov.

CARES Funding to City and County Governments

Beshear announced a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

“Local governments have been instrumental in the fight against COVID-19 and are a lifeline in our local communities,” he said. “During this fight, they have sacrificed so much to protect others by supplying PPE, enforcing guidelines, keeping the public informed and looking out for our most vulnerable. This funding will help them better protect all Kentuckians.”

To apply, eligible local governments with COVID-19-related expenses from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020, must complete an application with expense documentation, which will be available on DLG’s website tomorrow at 8 a.m. (EDT). For a detailed list of eligible expenses and guidelines, visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website.

The funding will be allocated to city and county governments based on approximate population size as recorded in the most recent census data.

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