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How federal legislation breaks down for Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear outlined on Tuesday how the new federal COVID relief act passed by Congress will impact Kentucky.

During his final scheduled press briefing of the year, the governor said the federal legislation means at least $5 billion to Kentucky, although the timetable for distribution of the funds is not yet known. It breaks down as follows:

Assistance to Individuals                                                                                                                                                                                    • Direct Payments to Households – $2,265,302,000. That figure is based on $600 per person. If the Senate agrees with the House and President Donald J. Trump, that would be $2,000 per person adding more than $5 billion                                         • Unemployment Insurance, $300/week for 11 weeks – $489,614,031
• Rental/Utility/Energy Assistance – $297,396,819

Education
• Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – $928,275,000
• Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – $261,015,000
• Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund-2/3rds for private schools – $60,305,000

Families and Seniors
• Child Care Development Block Grant – $192,822,381
• Promoting Safe & Stable Families – $1,004,000
• Meals for Seniors – 2,259,000
• Chafee Foster Care Program – $5,879,000
• Chafee Education & Training Vouchers-Foster Youth – $899,000
• Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant – $19,221,000
• Mental Health Block Grant – $21,560,000

Fighting the Virus
• Testing, Tracing and Mitigation – $289,654,359
• Vaccine Distribution – $56,965,810

Transportation
• Federal Highways-Surface Transportation Block Grant – $164,914,864
• FAA-Airport Improvement Program – $28,249,556

A total of 2,990 new cases of the coronavirus were reported to state public health officials on Tuesday, 307 of them involving those 18 and younger; raising the pandemic total to 261,492. Three counties had over 100 cases: Jefferson 414, Warren 207, and Kenton 118. Hardin had 92, Boone 87, Fayette 84, Laurel 76, Oldham 76, Pike 73, and Campbell and Christian were tied for tenth with 71.

“This is too many cases, but is slightly less than Tuesday of last week,” Beshear said. “Again, it suggests that either we have plateaued, or we have decreasing cases. We certainly know we have stopped the exponential growth, that the steps taken and the sacrifices made by Kentuckians have worked for the third time. All that, we could say is success, but this is still a lot of cases.”

He said the success is very fragile, “and our actions, whether they were over Christmas or will be over New Year’s, can change success into failure. The steps we have taken toward triumph to tragedy, so please make the right decisions.”

There were also 31 new deaths on Tuesday, meaning 2,594 Kentuckians have now lost their lives to COVID-19. The latest victims ranged in age from 33 to 101. Four of them were from Jefferson County; there were three each from Pulaski, Taylor and Wayne counties; Perry County has two deaths; and there were one apiece in Boone, Clinton, Daviess, Floyd, Graves, Hopkins, Jessamine, Knott, Larue, Laurel, Marshall, McCracken, Ohio, Owen, Webster and Wolfe counties.

To view the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, details on holiday gathering guidance, school reopening and more, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

This was Gov. Beshear’s final scheduled press briefing of the week and of the year. He is expected to send out a report on Wednesday, then will observe the New Year’s holiday until Saturday, when another report should be generated.