GLASGOW – Gov. Andy Beshear announced during his press conference Wednesday that Kentucky cities and counties are eligible to apply for $300 million in funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Cities and counties can apply for the funding, which will be administered through the Kentucky Department for Local Government, and use it for the reimbursement of expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible cities and counties are those with expenses due to the pandemic from March 1 to Dec. 30 that were not included in an approved budget as of March 27.
Applications for the funding must be accompanied by expense documentation. Applications will be available on DLG’s website starting Thursday morning.
“Local governments have been instrumental in this public health response. Their leadership has been incredible and it’s required everybody from their police, their firefighters, their EMS (and) their public health units. It has been everybody on board. You do not have the success we’ve had since COVID-19 without strong local leaders and the expenses they put into it,” Beshear said.
The funding will be allocated based on population size as recorded in the most recent census.
Glasgow will be among the cities seeking the funding.
“We will use it to pay back for the extra expense we were out up to this point,” said Mayor Harold Armstrong.
The grant funds will be used as reimbursement for hand sanitizer, face masks and “... odds and ends, that stuff that we normally would not have (purchased).”
The city also plans to use the grant funds to recover some of its losses, such has not having the income of the people working.
“Hopefully, that will be the big thing. Right now, it’s just minor things like masks, hand sanitizer and re-equipping city hall to where we can start back up,” he said.
Other expenses incurred by the city during the pandemic was the cost to install plexiglass on city buses and at the landfill.
“Things like that we normally wouldn’t have done,” Armstrong said. “It’s really to cover the basic costs of those things.”
Also during his press conference, the governor gave guidance for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. He asked that Kentuckians remember “hands, face and space” as they celebrate the holiday.
“It’s more important than ever that you wash your hands, that you use hand sanitizer and that everybody else that either comes over or you go over to their place does as well,” he said. “Also, don’t touch people who aren’t in your family unit. This is still out there. We need to make sure we are still following those good practices.”
The governor also asks that if Kentuckians find themselves in close quarters during the holiday to wear face masks, and to remember not to touch their faces.
“We are going to be really excited to see folks we haven’t in a while, but stay 6 feet apart. Do it outside if you can. That’s going to make it very safe comparatively,” he said. “Those are things you can do to mitigate your risk.”
In giving his numerical update, Beshear reported 166 new cases of COVID-19. After removing duplicated and out-of-state cases, the total number of confirmed positive cases for the state is 8,167.
Included in the total number of cases for the state are 108 “probables,” meaning it is possible those people may have the coronavirus.
“Once they are lab tested they may move to lab confirmed, or they could be ultimately removed to a later date,” he said.
The total number of tests given statewide is 158,672.
“Again, our capacity, our growth in testing is a major accomplishment and just about everything we’ve done to defeat this virus has been done right here in Kentucky, with advice from the outside done by Kentuckians for our citizens,” he said. “That’s pretty special. That’s who we are. We are a resilient, strong people who band together and when we have to, we take care of ourselves.”
New confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus for the southcentral Kentucky area are: Barren, 4; Allen, Hart and Edmonson, 2 each.
The Monroe County Health Department also reported one additional case of COVID-19.
The new number of Kentucky deaths due to COVID-19 is 10 and the number of people who have recovered is 2,919.
Beshear remembered Marilyn Thompson during his press conference. Thompson died Tuesday in Bowling Green due to complications from COVID-19.