FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced seven new virus-related deaths in Kentucky and 824 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 134 cases in children under age 18.
“In Kentucky, we’re now 1,119 (total dead) and growing, and growing because of the number of cases that we have. This is a major challenge of our lifetimes and we’re going to be judged in many ways -- we’re going to be judged in part by how many Kentuckians and how many Americans we let die," he said.
With the new cases, Kentucky's coronavirus positivity rate jumped to 4.52% Tuesday after marking one week since Kentucky has seen a positivity rate above 4% on Monday.
“That’s difficult to comprehend, that this virus -- that pretty much didn’t exist or to our knowledge until the beginning of this year, in really a period of about six months when most of these deaths occurred -- would take 200,000 Americans," the governor said.
Beshear again asked Kentuckians to mask up in public and refrain from hosting large gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19 and in turn to get back to normal activities.
Kentucky has seen at least 62,731 total cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. So far, more than 11,361 people who had the virus have reportedly recovered. The governor said Kentucky has now administered more than 1.1 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic began.
NKY Health reported that 4,352 people across Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties have tested positive for COVID-19, and 92 people have reportedly died of the virus. The health department reports 874 active cases and 3,386 people who have recovered from coronavirus as of Tuesday.
Ky. approved for extra unemployment aid
Kentucky has been approved for an additional three weeks of federal assistance for people facing unemployment, Beshear said Tuesday. For the weeks of Aug. 22, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5, those who qualify would net an extra $400 for each week they meet the criteria
Those who qualify include people who have self-certified as unemployed and those who are already eligible for $100 in unemployment assistance in Kentucky.
The application for FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance program is similar to an application the state filed in August.
Beshear said his office would issue a timetable for when Kentuckians can expect those payments soon.
NKY counties remain in White House's 'yellow zone'
Several Northern Kentucky counties, including Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, continue to show positivity rates between 5% and 10%, according to the latest White House report on Tuesday.
That keeps them in the White House's "yellow" zone, a step below the "orange zone" and two steps below a "red" zone denoting a 10% or greater positivity rate.
Now, 17 of Kentucky's 120 counties are currently in the red zone, slightly up from 13 on Sept. 14. Beshear has said the Trump administration's rating system may determine future actions in different counties, possibly including another recommended delay for in-person schooling in red counties.
The White House report also advised that Kentucky keep its mask mandate, which was renewed for another 30 days on Sept. 4. The full White House report will soon be available here.
COVID-19 cases in schools
In Northern Kentucky schools as of the latest report Monday, Beechwood Elementary School (Beechwood Independent Schools) reported one active case of COVID-19. Campbell Ridge Elementary School (Campbell Co. Schools) reported one staffer tested positive for COVID-19, and Ft. Wright Elementary School (Kenton Co. Schools) also reported one staff case.
There are now five total active cases out of Diocese of Covington schools, including two student cases at Covington Catholic, one case at St. Paul Catholic School, one at St. Mary Catholic School and one at St. Patrick Catholic School in Maysville.
Lindeman Elementary School, part of the Erlanger-Elsmere Independent School District, reported one COVID-19 case in a staff member. Bracken County High School reported a staff member who tested positive has recovered.
Northern Kentucky University reports six active COVID-19 cases in students as of the most recent report on Monday. Two students there have recovered from the virus, and the university has not reported any staff cases of COVID-19. Thomas More University also reported two active student cases and zero staff cases. Gateway Community & Technical College reports one active staff case.
Where to find free COVID-19 tests
The CDC, which had reversed its guidance on getting tested after exposure to someone with coronavirus, reversed guidance back over the weekend. The health organization recommends people who come in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus get tested themselves.
In Northern Kentucky, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Covington's Gravity Diagnostics offers free, appointment-only drive-thru testing at 25 Atlantic Ave in Erlanger, the former Toyota HQ building off Mineola Pike.
The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You will be able to collect your own sample without leaving your vehicle and receive results within three to five days.
Additionally, appointment-only drive-up testing is available through St. E at 7200 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria. The free testing site is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Schedule an appointment at those sites online at www.stelizabeth.com/covid-testing.
To find all coronavirus testing locations near you, click here.
Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below.