FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - On Tuesday, Governor Beshear announced updates for new COVID-19 cases in the state, and addressed outstanding unemployment claims by hiring an outside firm to help get unprocessed claims filed faster.
Beshear first announced 282 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the commonwealth to 15,624.
“While we are not seeing the type of very concerning spike like in so many other states, we are seeing ourselves continuing to be in that plateau area between about 150 and 300 cases,” Beshear said. “It’s something we’ve got to watch carefully.”
The update also confirmed 5 additional deaths due to COVID-19. The total number of Kentuckians lost is now 565.
The five deaths reported were a 70-year-old male from Campbell County, a 71-year-old male from Hardin County, and three residents from Jefferson County, a 77-year-old female, an 86-year-old female, and a 92-year-old male.
Dr. Steven Stack mentioned that despite surging cases in the South and Southwest that came from reopening and easing restrictions, Kentucky had remained plateaued in terms of new cases.
“Ladies and gentleman, we have undeniably blunted the curve in the state of Kentucky,” Dr. Stack said. “Over the last 120 days or so, since we started this on March 6, we have undeniably kept that curve flat. This is a success in the middle of a very, very difficult situation.”
Beshear said that outstanding unemployment claims would begin to be handled faster due to a new partnership with globally renowned firm Ernst & Young.
The firm is expected to help overcome gaps in filing due to cuts of funding and personnel in the Office of Unemployment Insurance. 200 staffers from Ernst & Young will begin processing outstanding claims on Monday, with an additional 100 coming in soon.
Governor Beshear said the goal is to process all unresolved claims between March 6 and May 31 by the end of July. At this time, about 56,000 initial claims from March, April and May have not been processed.
“We must fix this right, right now,” Governor Beshear said. “I am taking decisive action because we must get this matter resolved for our Kentucky families.”
The deal with Ernst & Young will begin July 1 and run for four weeks, helping to file claims over the phone and in person. Officials estimate the firm will help process at least 50,000 claims while also reviewing the state unemployment insurance processes, data, and technology architecture.
Other totals on COVID-19 in Kentucky include:
- 404,871 tested in Kentucky so far
- 2,621 patients ever hospitalized / 408 currently hospitalized
- 1,019 patients ever in ICU / 75 currently in ICU
- 3,990 recovered
- Under 60% occupancy at the moment for hospital beds / 73% for ICU
- Long-term care facilities: 189 new resident cases, 100 new staff cases, 19 new deaths
For additional information on positive cases and breakdowns on county, race and ethnicity, visit the Team Kentucky COVID-19 website.