On Monday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that there had been a substantial decrease in new COVID-19 cases, but deaths continue to skyrocket.
"For the most part, we have good news today. Cases are significantly, if not rapidly, declining," said Gov. Beshear. "We believe the weather and a lot of places closing for a number of days last week did have an impact. This may make the drop in cases look a little bit larger than it would otherwise be. Regardless, we are definitely moving in the right direction."
The Governor added, "This is still the fifth-highest week in our entire COVID experience. So, while we are moving in the right direction, there is still a whole lot of virus out there. We ask people to be careful in the next couple weeks. Next month we may see really serious reductions which might get us to a place we can all be really excited about.”
Super Bowl Guidance
The Governor provided tips to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday safely. Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to:
- Stay home if sick;
- Require attendees to be vaccinated and boosted;
- Get tested that day, or as close as possible;
- Wear masks if everyone is not vaccinated; and
- Maintain a smaller attendance size.
Gov. Beshear Announces Team Kentucky Homeowner Assistance Fund
The Governor announced that he partnered with Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) to launch the Team Kentucky Homeowner Assistance Fund, a program that can help homeowners impacted by the pandemic avoid foreclosure. The program is funded through $85.4 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that the Commonwealth received to protect homeowners impacted by COVID-19.
The Governor also reminded Kentucky renters who suffered financially due to COVID-19 that the $264 million Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund is still in place to assist them with housing and utility payments. At least $95.7 million remains available to assist Kentucky renters. To learn more and apply for assistance, visit TeamKYHHERF.ky.gov.
Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund
The Governor also said that the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund has now paid more than $1.2 million in assistance payments to 425 uninsured homeowners and more than $559,000 in assistance payments to 693 uninsured renters who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In January, the Governor announced that the state would apply the funds to add 20% on top of what FEMA awards in individual assistance for uninsured homeowners and renters impacted by the storms. The FEMA registration deadline is Feb. 11, 2022, so additional payments may occur. The first fund expenditures paid for the funerals of the 77 storm victims. More than $43 million remains in the fund, and the Governor will continue to provide updates on how the fund will be used to support long-term recovery efforts.