Unemployment claims surge in Kentucky due to virus outbreak

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The number of Kentucky residents filing for unemployment benefits has surged in the past week.

The U.S. Labor Department says 48,847 Kentucky residents applied for unemployment assistance last week. It reflects the dramatic economic disruption caused by the virus. In the prior week, 2,785 claims were filed in Kentucky.

Many businesses have closed or scaled back due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, federal and state law enforcement agencies in Kentucky will be on the lookout for scammers seeking to profit during the coronavirus outbreak. They're forming a coronavirus task force to investigate and prosecute fraud cases.