COVID-19: 688 New Cases in Ky.; 15 in NKY
688 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky were announced by Governor Andy Beshear on Tuesday. The Northern Kentucky Health Department reported 15 new cases in our four-county region.
Beshear said that 96 of the new cases involved children aged 18 and under, including two involving 8-month olds.
“This continues to grow the percentage of kids testing positive, and we know not as many kids are being tested. But with people going back to sports, go get your kid tested,” Beshear said. “Don’t show up to a big group activity if they haven’t been tested in the last couple of weeks. Please make sure they get tested.”
There have been 44,568 total cases in Kentucky since March.
The governor reported ten new deaths on Tuesday bringing the state's total to 895 since the pandemic began.
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 831,302 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.07%. At least 9,594 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
Information about COVID-19 cases related to schools is being collected and is posted online, the governor said.
“This is a highly contagious, aggressively spreading virus. We need to be very very careful, and this is one of the reasons I still don’t think it’s safe for schools to open before Sept. 28,” Beshear said. “It’s just very important when it’s our kids’ health that’s on the line that we have this at a place that where if we’re going to put 15, 20 or 30 kids potentially in a room and expose one adult to all of them in some way or another that we want to make sure we have this under the best control that we can.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced a plan to allocate $8 million to provide “Last Mile” internet service to all Kentucky students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
“COVID-19 has not only created new and unique challenges we must confront, it has brought to surface issues that have been plaguing our communities for generations. These underlying issues disproportionately affect communities of color and Kentuckians who live in poverty,” Coleman said. “One of these issues is lack of access to high-speed internet.”
Coleman noted that as schools have transitioned to using more nontraditional-instruction (NTI) days, it has broadened the educational gap for many communities. She said before the pandemic, approximately 90% of Kentucky’s K-12 students had internet access. That has grown to 95% over the past five months.
“We have to do better for the remaining 5% of students who do not have internet access in their homes,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said.
The $8 million in federal Cornavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding aims to reduce the monthly cost for low-income parents to pay for internet access for their K-12 child. A request for proposalse is being sent out with a goal by Sept. 15 of identifying providers that can supply high-speed internet service for all Kentucky K-12 students in low-income homes at no more than $10 per month for the next two to three school years.
Students currently without internet access from low-income homes will be eligible to have the full $10-per-month cost paid through the next school year. Students with internet access from low-income homes will be eligible to have nearly all of the monthly cost paid through the federal Lifeline program for the next two or three school years.
The “Last Mile” internet service includes wireless options like hotspots connected to a student’s cellphone, satellites and fixed wireless capabilities. It also includes wired options like traditional services from a cable, telephone or utility company.
Details will be posted to the Kentucky Department of Education website early next week.