Gov. announces 234 new COVID-19, discusses unemployment

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced 234 new cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth during Thursday’s update and says cases remain manageable.

That puts the state number at 13,197 since the pandemic began and the Governor says while those numbers are little up, many other states are being hit much harder by the coronavirus. He says the evidence continues to show that Kentuckians are working hard to stay healthy and safe. As testing continues to increase, there are now 336,267 people who have been tested and the Governor says as long as testing continues to increase and give them a good idea of existing cases, then the reopening plan can continue.

About 3,506 people have recovered so far, and three more Kentuckians have died—including an 87-year old man from Logan County—putting the state death total at 520.

Speaking on the issue of unemployment, Governor Beshear says they continue to work to address all pending claims—with many people waiting in line for hours on Wednesday only to be turned away at 7 p.m. He says part of the problem is antiquated equipment and lack of in-person unemployment offices across the state.

He says they intend to have people going out into those previous unemployment offices to help correct the problem, hopefully within the next week or so, so people won’t have to drive to Frankfort.

The Governor signed a proclamation during Thursday’s update to recognize June 19th—otherwise known as Juneteenth—as National Freedom Day. It celebrates the day in 1865 when Union Army General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and read the federal orders proclaiming all slaves as free. Many celebrate it as the day slavery truly came to an end in the United States. Governor Beshear says it is his plan to introduce a motion to celebrate Juneteenth as a state holiday, though it would have to pass the state Senate and House of Representatives before being established.

The Tennessee Department of Health is reporting 636 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 there, putting that total at 32,839 and 12 additional deaths, up to 509. Montgomery County is now at 356, Robertson County is up to 670 and Stewart County gained one to 17 cases.