As of Friday, Sept. 3, McLean County had 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the daily report generated from Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There have been 1,183 total cases in the county, with 31 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported on Sept. 3 that the county’s incident rate was 88.4, keeping the county in the red zone.

Statewide, there have been 592,489 positive COVID-19 cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There have been 7,845 deaths, and the state’s incidence rate is 89.89 per 100,000 population. A majority of counties in the state are in the red zone, meaning high daily cases of the virus, with the exception of two counties that are in the orange, or substantial, zone.

Gov. Andy Beshear held a briefing on Sept. 4 and was stern about where the state is at.

“The Commonwealth is in a state of emergency,” Beshear said. “The Delta variant is spreading at a rate never seen before — impacting businesses, shuttering schools and worse — causing severe illness and death.”

Beshear said in previous COVID surges, he would be responsible and “empowered to act” in order to keep the virus’ rates of transmission down. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision to limit the emergency powers granted to the governor by state law in August does not give Beshear that ability.

“Now that burden will fall in large part on the General Assembly,” Beshear said. “They’ll have to carry much of that weight to confront unpopular choices and to make decisions that balance many things, including the lives and the possible deaths of our citizens.”

Beshear signed a proclamation during the session, calling for Kentucky’s General Assembly to meet in special session at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.

“Now is the time to act,” Beshear said. “As with every special session, it is limited to the call itself. Under the call, the General Assembly will be asked to extend the state of emergency to Jan. 15….”

Gov. Beshear said the special session would also ask the assembly to review executive orders, agency and cabinet orders, Beshear’s ability to require masking in certain situations, funding and providing school districts flexibility in their calendar year.

“I hope we can have a constructive, if we can, a low-drama experience …,” Beshear said, “... where we try to do the work and get us close to agreements as we can.”

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

Freddie Bourne, fbourne@mcleannews.com

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