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COVID-19: 3,053 New Cases Statewide; 323 in NKY; Unemployment Program Announced

All but one county in Kentucky is currently classified as being in the "red zone" on the state's COVID-19 incidence rate map, which denotes an average of 25 or more daily positive cases of the coronavirus per 100,000 people.

Only Hickman County, in far western Kentucky, is two ratings down, averaging 22.8 cases per 100,000 people each day, classifying it as "accelerated".

Northern Kentucky counties are averaging their highest ratings since the pandemic started.

Boone County's rating is 89.8, Kenton County's rating is 86.7, Campbell County's is 75.7, Pendleton Co.'s is 56.8, and Grant Co.'s is 55.3.

Governor Andy Beshear announced 3,053 newly confirmed cases of the virus statewide, and twenty-two additional deaths.

The five Northern Kentucky counties reported 323 new cases with 139 in Kenton, 94 in Boone, 62 in Campbell, 17 in Pendleton, and 11 in Grant.

“We are sure that this is a surge caused by gatherings through the holidays, but there is a chance from what we are seeing in the data that while people gathered during the holidays, maybe now they’ve changed their behavior back to be being very careful," Beshear said. "If that’s the case, hopefully we’ll see a leveling off, but only the data over the next week is going to let us know.”

The state's positivity rate is 12.23%.

There are currently 1,733 people hospitalized across the state including 397 in intensive care units and 205 on ventilators.

Beshear also expressed concerns Tuesday about the Kentucky House of Representatives moving forward with an impeachment petition even though it was filed by four individuals who have made threatening comments and organized extremist rallies, including those where heavily armed men hanged the governor in effigy and another held at the state Capitol last weekend.

Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program

Beshear signed an executive order creating the Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program to be administered by the Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) and funded by Coronavirus Relief Fund money for up to $48 million. The program will provide one-time supplemental payments to claimants:

  1. $400 to claimants under any OUI program who: (a) would otherwise have qualified for 2020 FEMA Lost Wages Assistance but their weekly benefit amount was below $100, and (b) who had an approved claim in November and December 2020 but a weekly benefit amount of less than $176. Approximately 25,000 Kentuckians are eligible for this payment; and
  2. $1,000 to claimants under any OUI program between March 4 and Oct. 31, 2020, with verified identities and no indication of fraud, but whose claims were not yet adjudicated and paid. Approximately 16,500 Kentuckians are eligible for this payment.

“For those who were able to file a claim, we want to help these people until we can get to their claims,” said Beshear. “And we want to help the people who were working regular, full-time jobs before this crisis but still didn’t make enough to qualify for Lost Wages Assistance when they lost their jobs.”

-Staff report

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