Laurel County remains in the orange zone while Whitley, Knox and Bell counties each remain in the red zone based on their COVID-19 incidence rates.
The Whitley County Health Department announced six additional COVID–19 cases on Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 3,397.
There are currently 89 active cases, of which five are hospitalized.
With the new cases, Whitley County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 26.
The Laurel County Health Department only announces COVID-19 numbers on Mondays. According to the numbers released by the state, the Laurel County COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 22.8.
The Knox County Kentucky Health Department announced 12 additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county’s total to 3,201.
Three of the new cases involved children, officials stated.
There are currently 110 active cases in Knox County.
With the additional cases, Knox County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 42.7.
The Bell County Health Department announced 14 additional COVID–19 cases, bringing the county’s total to 2,791.
There are currently 73 active cases, of which five are hospitalized.
With the additional cases, Bell County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 28.5.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,068 additional COVID–19 cases in Kentucky on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 408,440.
Beshear reported 28 additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,732.
Beshear said 645 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized, of which 172 are in intensive care.
As of Thursday, 18 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have a COVID–19 incidence rate greater than 25, which places them in the red zone.
Sixty-nine counties are orange zones meaning they have an incident rate greater than 10.
Thirty-three counties are yellow zones meaning they have an incident rate less than 10 but greater than 1.
Monroe County has the lowest incidence rate at 1.3 which means that it is in the yellow zone.
Lyon County has the highest incidence rate at 280.1.
Rocky Adkins, senior advisor in the office of the governor, addressed Kentuckians regarding the damage that occurred as a result of the recent ice storm and flooding.
“We believe in personal contact,” said Adkins. “You’re not forgotten. We are here every step of the way to try to bring relief to this devastation.”
Adkins said that state is seeking federal relief for individuals who have been impacted by the ice storms and flooding. He said that an important part of submitting the application for the relief is having photos and documentation of damaged property.
The application is a 20 to 30-day process, said Adkins.
Director of Emergency Management Michael Dossett said, “This is one of the most prolific flash flooding and flooding events we have been in many, many, many years.”
Dossett said there are 61 national guard troops on the ground in eight counties.
FEMA will be on the ground on Monday, March 8 first to finalize the ice storm damage to utilities as well as home damage, said Dossett.
Dossett also announced help for individuals trying to clean up after the recent weather events in the form of Crisis Cleanup. Assistance through the cleanup program is free, but is not guaranteed because of the overwhelming need. Volunteers with the organization will be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, drywall, flooring and appliance removal, tarping roofs and mold mitigation.
Gov. Andy Beshear also announced a third round of Pandemic EBT benefits has been federally approved. The funding is for students in public or private schools that receive free/reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program and are affected by school closures due to COVID-19.
Eligible students may receive up to $136.40 if their district exclusively operate a virtual only learning model for all students in a given moth or up to $81.84 if their district offered a combination of in-person and virtual learning, said Beshear.
If a student receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, P-EBT will be added to the head-of-household’s EBT card. If a student does not receive SNAP benefits, the funds will be added to the previously issued cards in each student’s name, said Beshear. If individuals no longer have the card and their address has not changed, call 1-888-979-9949 to request a replacement. If the individual’s address has changed, call 1-855-306-8595 to report the change and request a new card.