FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirms 322 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths in the state, bringing the Bluegrass State’s totals to 3,779 positive cases and 200 deaths as of 5:30 p.m. April 24, 2020. Beshear asks people across the state to light their homes green in honor of those who have died from the virus.
The governor says while today is Kentucky’s single-highest number of cases reported, the state data is still showing that it is starting to plateau, and the increased number of testing has played a factor in the number of positive cases reported. Beshear says yesterday saw the largest number of people tested in a single day.
He also said 1,341 Kentuckians have recovered from their illness. 44,962 tests have been conducted across the state. The state is also working to make testing more widely available, including through a new partnership planned with Walmart, which will bring a new drive-thru testing site to Louisville.
Beshear also announced a new measure allowing all registered voters the option to vote by mail. Secretary of State Michael Adams says the state is planning for an expansion of absentee voting and is also looking into ways to limit person-to-person contact for voting for those who are unable to vote by mail. These plans include looking into curbside or drive-thru voting options.
The governor is also working toward steps to release 352 at-risk prisoners at county facilities who are serving sentences for non-violent and non-sexual offenses and are within five years of the end of their sentences. He says these prisoners will have rules to follow after they are released, and must not commit any new crimes.
Beshear says the state is also still working to get through the large volume of claims that have come in from unemployment. Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Deputy Secretary Josh Benton says the state has processed more than claims than ever before in the state and has had an increased uptick in the number of calls they are able to answer. He says a few weeks ago, they only had the capacity to take roughly 12,000 calls a day and this week, that has increased to around 50,000 calls. They are also working to train more people to take calls on the claims.