FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The number of new coronavirus cases in the state followed recent trends Thursday while some other states continued to see big spikes.
In addition, the number of felons who’ve had their voting rights restored has topped 175,000.
And Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth and vowed to ask the General Assembly to make the day a holiday. Juneteenth actually is required to be recognized each year in the state under a measure approved by the Legislature in 2005.
Called Juneteenth National Freedom Day, the act states “the nineteenth of June each year shall be observed in Kentucky.” It goes on to state, “The Governor shall proclaim June 19 of each year as ‘Juneteenth National Freedom Day’ and will encourage all Kentuckians celebrating this day to honor and reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in the history of the United States.”
“During these times when again we have heard voices and we have seen the frustration of hundreds of years of ramifications of slavery, discriminations, Jim Crow, of segregation, I think it’s more and more important that we remind everybody of this dark chapter in our history and that its impacts continue to linger,” Beshear said.
“It’s a chance to proclaim liberty and equality for every citizen,” he added.
As for voting rights, Beshear signed an executive order on his third day in office restoring the voting rights of non-violent and non-sex-related offenders who had completed their sentences. The restoration occurred automatically.
At the time, Beshear estimated the order impacted 80,000 people. During his daily briefing Thursday, he said that number had reached 175,053 people.
Those people still have to register to vote.
“It was the right thing to do, people deserve second chances…to give them the dignity to rebuild their lives,” Beshear said.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also gave an update on the Team Kentucky Fund, noting grants totaling $350,215 have been awarded to 421 families. Another 398 applications are pending.
People can apply at www.capky.org. The application also gives them access to job training and education, job placement and a variety of other services.
Beshear reported 234 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 13,197 since March 6.
He also reported three additional deaths, bringing the total to 520. The deaths were one each in Perry, Jefferson, and Logan counties.
A minim of 3,506 people have reported recovering from the virus. The state now has confirmed 336,267 tests with 400 people still in the hospital and 68 in ICU.
Of the new cases, 43 are in Jefferson, 13 in Fayette, 14 in Harrison, 12 in Scott, 5 in Madison, 4 in Clay, 3 each in Woodford, 2 in Clark, Jessamine and Laurel, among others, with one each in Boyle, Pike, Adair, Casey, Edmonson, Fleming, Mason, Mercer, Montgomery, Pulaski, Wolfe, Rockcastle, Leichter as almost every county in the region is again seeing cases.