Foundation grants available; Travel ban, gathering dates moved up to May 22

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state is lifting the ban on travel May 22 going into the Memorial Day weekend. And social gatherings of 10 or fewer people can begin May 22 instead of May 25, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday during his daily briefing.

The ban was lifted and the gathering date moved up because of the weekend and because the state’s number of cases continue to show signs of plateauing.

“I trust we can do this right, I encourage people to do it well,” Beshear said, urging residents to take steps to follow social distancing, avoiding large groups, be cautious in traveling, and at events, wear masks, avoid sharing utensils, containers and other items and take other steps.

“We want to reopen and we want Kentuckians to enjoy the holiday, but we want to do it safely,” he said.

The state also has posted guidelines on its web site for opening retail on May 20 and restaurants on May 22.

The state also has received $47.3 in federal grant funding with $30 million going to K-12 schools to reimburse non-traditional instruction and related program costs and prepare for future use. The remaining $13 million will go to higher education, Beshear said.

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman spoke during the briefing Thursday, announcing applications for assistance through the Team Kentucky Fund will be available starting 8 a.m. Friday.

Up to $1,000 in assistance in the form of a voucher will be available to Kentuckians who have lost their jobs or had a reduction of 50% or more in income. They can be used for several basic needs including rent, utilities, mortgage payments, and groceries.

Coleman said there is currently $3,000,000 in the fund and donations will continue to be accepted at Community Action will distribute the funds. She added donations are tax deductible and 100% of the money will go to Kentuckians in need.

The governor also announced 199 new cases, pushing the state’s total since the outbreak began in early March to 7,225. That equals 5.96 percent of the 1212,246 people tested.

That percentage is slowly declining from earlier this month.

Overall, 385 people remain in the hospital and 220 are in ICU while 2,712 people have recovered. The recovery number is 37.5 percent of the total cases.

Of the new cases, 37 were in Jefferson, 32 were in Fayette with almost all those at the Federal Medical Center, 26 were in Warren, 21 in Boone, seven in Kenton, two each in Grayson, Letcher, Madison, Pike and Pulaski and one each in Boyd, Campbell, and Jessamine counties, among others.

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