Beshear: Kentucky will keep K-12 schools closed for rest of academic year

State hires 1,000 to process unemployment claims
WCPO andy beshear ap image.jpeg
Posted at 4:18 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:58:17-04

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FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Education announced Monday the state's recommendation to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year, in line with White House guidance for states' COVID-19 response.

At his briefing Monday, Beshear said Kentucky has yet to meet certain benchmarks just to make it to Phase I of federal guidance, which still advises schools and daycares remain closed.

“Every healthcare professional advised us that this is the correct course of action to take," Beshear said.

Beshear said he recognizes this is challenging news for students and parents looking forward to in-person proms, games and graduations as the school year wraps up.

Watch a playback of the press conference in the player below:

“It’s not fair. A worldwide pandemic has hit us, and those of us missing out on these opportunities: we need your help and need your sacrifice … in order to save lives,” Beshear said.

Kentucky originally decided to close classrooms due to coronavirus concerns in mid-March.

Ohio and Indiana have also decided to continue remote learning through the rest of the school year.

At Monday's press briefing, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced that Kentucky had just hired another 1,000 people to process unemployment claims.

For those waiting on their claim, Coleman said if you've already filed a claim, do not file another claim, as that will slow the process.

Beshear on Monday reported six new virus-related deaths and 102 new cases for a total of 3,050 total positive COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth.

By Monday, 32,830 people total had been tested for the virus, though Kentucky has mainly reserved limited tests for first responders and people who are already ill.

“It’s more likely that that person needs that care and needs it immediately," Beshear said before adding that he hopes Kentucky will soon be able to expand testing to include people not showing virus symptoms.

So far, 1,134 people in Kentucky have recovered from coronavirus.