Beshear: COVID cases are skyrocketing

Also discussed new tornado-relief legislation, proposed budget investments to help public safety
Beshear: COVID cases are skyrocketing
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:28 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 12:41 PM CST
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Governor Andy Beshear gave his weekly Team Kentucky update Thursday.

You can watch that full update below.

Governor Beshear updated the state on COVID-19 as it continues to skyrocket across the Commonwealth.

Currently, every county in Kentucky is in the red on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map.

COVID-19 Current Incident Rate map.
COVID-19 Current Incident Rate map.(Kentucky Department for Public Health)

Beshear said they expect this week’s COVID total to exceed last week’s, which was the largest week for cases that they’ve had at this point in the pandemic.

The state’s positivity rate is also higher than it’s ever been.

Beshear says 21% of residents have now been vaccinated and boosted.

Kentucky residents can visit to find vaccine locations.

He briefly discussed the Red Cross report on how they are experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. Beshear encouraged residents to give blood if they are able to.

[Red Cross declares ‘first-ever blood crisis’ in US]

Beshear spend the majority of his Team Kentucky update discussing another aspect of his proposed budget ahead of his full budget address.

[Gov. Beshear outlines budget plan for health care]

He said a big part of his budget will focus on how the state can improve public safety.

Right now, Kentucky State Police is experiencing a shortage of troopers. Officials say the agency is at its lowest number in over 30 years.

His budget would increase pay for KSP troopers by $15,000 and $8,000 for telecommunicators, which he says will help in both recruitment and retention efforts.

It would also fund body cameras for state troopers for the first time.

There are plans in the budget to help replace the existing statewide emergency radio networks that he says has reached the end of its life.

Local and state law enforcement officers and local firefighters will receive a stipend increase.

The budget also plans an hourly pay increase to sheriff’s offices for employees who provide security at courthouses.

Beshear also wants to invest in the state’s corrections system by putting $171 million to construct the system’s statewide medical facility.

The budget will take steps to help the state’s social workers and will continue their 10% raise. The budget would also aim to add 350 more staff members to reduce the average caseload.

State employees would also get what Beshear calls a significant salary increase.

Beshear wants to put $100 million in the state’s Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to be better prepared for future natural disasters.

The governor will deliver his full budget address Thursday night.

Governor Beshear signed tornado-relief legislation during the Team Kentucky update.

The measure will send initial aid into stricken communities for schools and residents displaced by the deadly storms last month.

Several Kentucky communities were devastated by the storms and 77 people died in the state.

The legislation includes $200 million requested by Gov. Andy Beshear.

Lawmakers agreed to pump in an initial $15 million for temporary housing and $30 million for schools.

Meanwhile, the Muhlenberg County Health Department reported 102 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death on Wednesday.

Health officials say they are currently managing 607 active cases.

Here are the all-time totals of confirmed positive cases and deaths in our area of Kentucky.

  • Daviess Co. - 21,865 cases, 322 deaths, 57.69% vaccinated
  • Muhlenberg Co. - 7,290 cases, 101 deaths
  • Hopkins Co. - 10,283 cases, 221 deaths
  • Ohio Co. - 5,540 cases, 91 deaths, 43.18% vaccinated
  • Henderson Co. - 9,546 cases, 139 deaths, 56.41% vaccinated
  • Webster Co. - 2,827 cases, 48 deaths, 50.27% vaccinated
  • McLean Co. - 1,871 cases, 45 deaths, 53.25% vaccinated
  • Union Co. - 3,120 cases, 48 deaths, 45.39% vaccinated
  • Hancock Co. - 1,773 cases, 21 deaths, 64.25% vaccinated

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