Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation Saturday calling lawmakers into a special session next week to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency in Kentucky.
The Kentucky General Assembly will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. The full proclamation is available here.
The governor is asking lawmakers to extend the state of emergency until Jan. 15, 2022, which would allow for public health officials to continue to create orders meant to contain COVID-19. Beshear is also asking lawmakers to consider legislation regarding his ability to require facial coverings in indoor settings during the extended state of emergency.
Other legislation Beshear lists in the proclamation includes providing flexibility to school districts for the 2021-22 school year. This would allow schools to use alternatives to in-person instruction, such as remote or hybrid instruction. The legislation would also reimburse schools for the cost of allowing additional sick days to staff members.
Gov. Beshear is also asking lawmakers to make an appropriation from the American Rescue Plan Act to further fund COVID-19 prevention efforts, such as testing sites and vaccine distribution.
"This is one of the most dangerous times we've experienced this entire pandemic, with the delta variant burning through Kentucky and taking more of our loved ones and neighbors," Beshear said in a press release Saturday. "It's also overwhelcming more and more of our hospitals and shutting down our schools."
Beshear said in the proclamation that in the last seven days, Kentucky has average more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. The state currently has a 13.29% positivity rate. On Thursday, Kentucky reported 5,457 new COVID-19 cases, with 1,774 new cases for those 18 years and under.
Beshear is also asking for a 30-day extension of the state of emergency declared in response to the flash flooding in Nicholas County on Aug. 3. The press release Saturday said an extension is necessary to provide emergency services.