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COVID-19 Cases Increasing In Kentucky As Cities Get Financial Relief From Pandemic Costs

Corinne Boyer
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.


On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced local governments will soon receive funds from the American Rescue Plan. He also warned that the Delta variant is prompting a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Beshear said $157 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act is on the way to 360 cities in Kentucky. The money is to help local governments recoup the cost of COVID-19 expenses like vaccine clinics, lost revenue and financial losses from the pandemic.  

Beshear made new masking recommendations earlier this week encouraging vaccinated people with compromised immune systems and people who work with the public to wear masks as more cases of the Delta variant have been reported. 

About 52% of the state’s population is vaccinated. But many rural counties, which have fewer and smaller hospitals, have much lower vaccination rates. Beshear said hospitals have new treatments and communicate with each other, but a surge in hospitalizations could further strain resources.

“I believe that our hospitals are in as good of shape, if not better, than at any point in the pandemic,” Beshaer said. “Now, we have other issues moving forward, we’ve got to address. We have a huge nursing shortage. We have over 6000 nursing positions open in Kentucky.”

Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the public should be supportive of anyone who wants to continue masking. 

“It eliminated most of these diseases in kids last year. And so the common cold and pinkeye and all sorts of other infections effectively, and  the flu, disappeared,” Stack said. “And that's because they wore masks and people physically distanced it really worked.”

Stack also recommended that large public events be held outdoors.


More than 2,200 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported this week. ICU beds in southern and southeastern Kentucky are at 80% capacity. More than 7,300 Kentuckians have died from the virus.


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