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Gov. Beshear signs executive order on evictions; reports 373 new COVID-19 cases

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 3:41 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear has provided a Monday update on COVID-19 in the state.

At the beginning of the governor’s news conference, he talked about his concerns about the state’s COVID-19 numbers, fearing another uptick in cases. He says there were more deaths announced last week in Kentucky since the pandemic began.

Gov. Beshear also announced his signing a new executive order to provide protections and clarity on the issues surrounding evictions during the coronavirus crisis. He will dedicate $15 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds to create a “Healthy at Home” Eviction Relief Fund. Landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice of their intent to evict for nonpayment of rent. During that 30 days, the landlord and tenant must meet and confer. This gives landlords and tenants a chance to work out agreements. The order says there will be no penalties, late fees or interest can be charged relating to nonpayment of rent from March 6 through Dec. 31, 2020.

“As this battle has taken many months, we now face three major concerns: one, wanting to make sure that people aren’t out on the street; two, wanting to make sure that these landlords aren’t bankrupted or aren’t being treated unfairly; and three, making sure that as people come out of this that they don’t have so much debt from their housing situation that they can’t ever dig out,” the Governor said. “We want a fair system that tries to address all three of these.”

Gov. Beshear reported 373 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and says the state is seeing a 4.77 percent positivity rate, which is continuing to drop.

There were four reported COVID-19 deaths on Monday, and there are 19 deaths pending. The state’s death total is now 885.

The deaths reported Monday include a 74-year-old man from Harlan County; an 82-year-old man and a 94-year-old woman from Jefferson County; and a 71-year-old woman from Marion County.

“We’ve been able to push our mortality rate almost a percentage point lower than the national average,” said Gov. Beshear. “But we had more deaths announced last week than in any week where we’ve been battling this virus.”

As of Monday, 564 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 149 are in the ICU and 82 are on a ventilator. There have been at least 822,904 COVID-19 tests performed in the state.

The governor gave an update on K-12 schools. 31 districts have had at least one positive COVID case. They believe 50 active cases. All cases are in some way related to the district — meaning the school was forced to take action since it involved them.

Gov. Beshear says the state will not overturn the decision by KHSAA to allow fall sports. Last week, the KHSAA voted 16-2 to allow practices to begin today for the fall sports of cross county, field hockey, football, soccer and volleyball. Regular season games will begin Sept. 7, with football starting Sept. 11.

“Let me start by saying we’re not going to overturn that decision, and it’s not because I think it’s a good decision or a wise decision,” the Governor said. “But if we’re going to defeat this virus, we need people other than me all over Kentucky taking responsibility to make good and wise decisions.”

However, the governor says that does not mean he agrees with the decision made by the KHSAA. Gov. Beshear is calling on all high school programs to ask for testing, and put the students first over desires.

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