Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday expanded the number of employees who can receive workers’ compensation due to high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and the potential need to be quarantined. He also announced an update on unemployment insurance payments.
Workers compensation order
The coverage now will be extended to child care workers, grocery workers, corrections officers, domestic violence shelter workers, child advocacy workers, rape crisis center workers, military, active National Guard, postal workers and Department of Community Based Services workers.
“This is a group of people who have been on the front lines as well,” said La Tasha Buckner, the Governor’s general counsel and chief of staff. “Now we have a larger category of people who are required because of their jobs to have a lot of interaction with other people. And because of that they are at a higher risk for COVID exposure.”
The coverage previously had been extended to health care workers and first responders.
Unemployment insurance update
Beginning Thursday, Kentuckians collecting unemployment insurance will receive an additional $600 payment. No one has to apply for the extra payment. Officials also are working to address the unprecedented number of claims.
“We are going to keep adding staff until we can answer every call,” said Deputy Secretary Josh Benton from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “Our system is taking in about 14,000 claims a day. To date, we have paid more than 208,800 Kentuckians more than $107 million in unemployment insurance and we are working to keep up each week and pay claims on time.”
The additional $600 federally funded benefit, which is retroactive to March 29, will be disbursed automatically and will come as a separate payment from other unemployment payments.
As of 4 p.m. April 9, Beshear said there were at least 1,452 coronavirus cases in Kentucky — 134 of which were newly confirmed. The new total includes some revision after the discovery of duplicate reports.
The governor said 426 total COVID-19 patients have needed hospitalization, with 228 currently in the hospital and 105 of those being in intensive care.
At least 395 Kentuckians have recovered from the coronavirus. Six new deaths were reported Thursday, raising the state’s toll to 79 deaths related to the virus.
The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.
For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.
For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.