Gov. Beshear: 94 Red Zone Counties Need to Act Now

Other states facing shortages of hospital beds, health care workers; adding mobile morgues

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2020) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 94 red zone counties and implored Kentuckians to follow red zone recommendations and school recommendations, as other states reach frightening milestones in our nationwide battle against COVID-19. Texas alone has surpassed 1 million cases; El Paso, Texas, is doubling its supply of mobile morgues; the Mayo Clinic Health System is reporting that 100% of its hospital beds are full in northwestern Wisconsin; and North Dakota is allowing COVID-19-positive health care workers to continue working in COVID-19 wings because of a significant health care worker shortage.

“Remember, what this is supposed to do is provide a way for communities to come together to stop the virus,” said Gov. Beshear. “The biggest employer in Franklin County is the state government, and we will be following the red zone recommendations next week. Anybody who can work virtually is going to work virtually. Any service that can be done virtually will be. We are going to live up to what we’re asking other people to do.”

Gov. Beshear also shared good news with Kentuckians.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says masks protect both the wearer and those around them from COVID-19 and reduce the risk of transmitting or catching the virus by more than 70% in various instances.

Three partner agencies of Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) have been awarded $1.4 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to assist with services that support prevention of abuse and domestic violence. To see the full release, click here.

The Governor also announced on Thursday that the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program awarded the City of Pikeville a $6 million grant for a new building in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park, which Wright Concrete & Construction Inc. of Pikeville will lease. The addition will immediately create 40 new jobs and 20 more jobs in the near future.

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases today: 2,342
  • New deaths today: 18
  • Positivity rate: 8.29%
  • Total deaths: 1,622
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,311
  • Currently in ICU: 299
  • Currently on ventilator: 163

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Christian, Kenton, Warren and Boone.

The red zone counties for this week can be found here.

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 77-year-old man from Allen County; an 86-year-old woman from Christian County; a 66-year-old man from Clay County; a 75-year-old woman from Clinton County; two 75-year-old men from Henderson County; two women, ages 89 and 96, from Jefferson County; a 76-year-old man from Lee County; an 80-year-old man from Lincoln County; two men, ages 57 and 90, from McLean County; a 78-year-old man from Oldham County; two women, ages 68 and 86, and an 82-year-old man from Pike County; and a 93-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man from Rockcastle County.

After recognizing Veterans Day yesterday, today, the Governor honored John Vereb of Mount Washington, a U.S. Army veteran and an emergency nurse and nursing instructor. Mr. Vereb tragically passed away from COVID-19 on Oct. 23 at only 52 years old and he leaves behind his wife, Angela, and their three children, Harrison, Conner and Alayna. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Vereb was detailed to the emergency department at the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in March, where he often treated COVID-19 patients. On Oct. 11, Mr. Vereb was diagnosed with COVID-19 and died just 13 days later.

“John was proud to serve his country and fellow veterans. To honor John, his family asks all Kentuckians to do their patriotic duty to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask and social distancing,” said Gov. Beshear. “It is a small sacrifice to make for those on the front lines who sacrifice, all to serve you.”

The Governor also thanked all Kentucky health care workers treating veterans during the pandemic, calling them “heroes serving our heroes.”

Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer
Today, CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander updated Kentuckians on the Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program that provides nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures.

Some Kentuckians enrolled in Medicaid who have been receiving P-EBT benefits are awaiting their new P-EBT card. A vendor with whom the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is contracted to produce and provide P-EBT, Fidelity Information Services LLC, is working through a backlog to get these cards issued so Kentuckians receive their benefits as soon as possible. This vendor works with other states, many of which were also issuing P-EBT cards.

“This week alone, over 100,000 cards were printed and mailed. Nearly a half-million cards have been mailed, with about 135,000 remaining,” said Secretary Friedlander. “Children in Kentucky will receive their new cards by the end of the month. Beneficiaries were auto-enrolled and do not need to make additional requests for these benefits.”

More Information
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit,