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FRANKFORT, Ky. - In his Friday news conference, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that he commuted the sentences of 352 prisoners. 339 of those are state inmates. All were convicted of non-violent or non-sexual crimes and all had criteria which put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.
As a condition of their release, the inmates cannot commit other crimes, must not be presenting symptoms of coronavirus, and must have an address where they must quarantine for 14 days.
Beshear also announced that, as of Friday, May 1, emergency services can apply for $9 million in funds for local public safety agencies as part of the money from the U.S. Department of Justice's Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, or CESF. That includes $6.2 million for law enforcement which can be used to pay overtime, for new hires, training or equipment used to combat the coronavirus.
Another $450,000 from the CARES Act was donated to arts organizations throughout the state, helping to fund those agencies and pay employees.
Beshear also reported 322 new cases and nine new virus-related deaths Thursday for a total of 200 total deaths and 3,779 total positive COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
By Thursday, roughly 45,000 Kentuckians have been tested for the virus. 1,341 people have recovered from COVID-19 symptoms.
NKY Health reported Friday 17 additional cases of COVID-19 for a total number of 387 in Northern Kentucky counties. There have currently been 28 deaths associated with the coronavirus in the Northern Kentucky region.
On Friday, Beshear signed an order allowing residents to submit mail-in absentee ballots in the upcoming primary election. The governor's office said that state elections officials also are working on a plan for limited in-person voting and possible drive-thru voting.
The primary is set for June 23.