Gov. Beshear: Hopeful that by July businesses will be at full capacity

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that on May 28, all events and businesses with 1,000 or fewer people present can increase to 75% capacity.

In addition, starting May 28, indoor and outdoor events with more than 1,000 people can be held at 60% capacity.

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“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now projecting a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases by July. I’m hoping we’ll be fully done with all capacity restrictions by July. That is my expectation,” said Gov. Beshear. “We don’t have to be patient for that much longer, but we do have to finish our work and protect the people around us.”

The Governor also clarified that small groups of individuals are no longer mandated to wear facial coverings indoors in private businesses or homes if all individuals present have received the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior.

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles issued the following statement after Governor Andrew Beshear announced he would be increasing some capacity restrictions on May 28:

“Governor Andrew Beshear continues to ignore the bipartisan consensus emerging across the nation, in which far-left leaders like California’s Gavin Newsom, self-avowed socialists like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and strong conservatives like Florida’s Ron DeSantis have either set reopening dates for their states or have already fully reopened them.

Governor Beshear should have already lifted restrictions, or should have set a full reopening date at the very least. Nothing less than a 100 percent, full reopening is acceptable. We must send a clear signal of confidence towards our small businesses across the state by joining our neighbors and fully reopening Kentucky’s economy.”

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

People vaccinated in Kentucky (have received at least one dose): 1,842,521

New cases today: 655
Positivity rate: 3.51%

For more information on cases and hospital capacity, see the full daily COVID-19 report. To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

FEMA Awards Flooding Public Assistance to 16 Additional Counties
Today, Gov. Beshear announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency made 16 additional Kentucky counties eligible for public assistance after severe storms and flooding Feb. 27-March 14. The counties include: Bell, Calloway, Clark, Edmonson, Graves, Harlan, Leslie, Letcher, Menifee, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski, Union and Whitley. Clay and Estill counties also were awarded public assistance; these two counties were already designated for individual assistance. These counties reached the qualifying threshold after the initial submission of the request for a Major Disaster Declaration and before the declaration was granted.

Update on Unemployment Insurance
Today, Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, updated Kentuckians on unemployment insurance (UI). Cubbage said claimants have made over 12,000 in-person appointments at the 13 Kentucky Career Centers across the state. In addition, UI staff have received more than 2,300 phone calls from claimants since May 1. More than 125,000 claimants have completed registrations since the UI system temporarily shut down to prevent fraud.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available for Nine Counties
Individuals who became unemployed or those who are self-employed and had work interrupted as a direct result of the severe flooding between Feb. 27 and March 14, in the nine counties included in President Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration, are eligible to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits. The deadline to apply for DUA assistance is June 5.

Work Search Requirements
The Office of Unemployment Insurance is reinstating work search requirements, effective May 9. To learn more, see the April 22 release where the reinstatement was initially announced.

More information on DUA and work search requirements will be posted tomorrow on kcc.ky.gov.