Gov. Beshear reports more than 3,000 total COVID-19 deaths, announces Kroger vaccine partnership
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear reported more than 3,000 total COVID-19 deaths in his Thursday update.
You can watch that here:
The governor announced 4,084 new cases bringing the total case count to 317,345.
504 of Thursday’s new cases were children 18 years old or younger. 1,661 Kentuckians remain hospitalized, with 548 in the ICU. 196 patients remain on a ventilator.
Beshear reported 51 new deaths in Kentucky, bringing the death toll to more than 3,000. There are 3,042 total deaths from COVID-19.
39,998 people have recovered from the virus. 3,709,482 Kentuckians have received tests.
The positivity rate again ticked up slightly to 12.34%.
Gov. Beshear said that the first round of vaccinations for K-12 will be complete by the week of February 1st.
Kentucky is also teaming up with Kroger to get more people vaccinated. Beshear announced that Kroger will provide drive-thru vaccinations. He also said by the week of February 1st, individuals who fall in between Phase 1a to 1c will be able to get vaccinated.
“Last year, when we were wondering when anybody who wanted a COVID-19 test would be able to get one, Kroger made that a reality. That testing partnership created the national model for surge testing,” said Gov. Beshear. “These drive-through vaccination sites are fantastic news all Kentuckians, and we’re grateful to the entire Kroger team for making it possible. Your help in this effort will save countless lives.”
Secretary of Transportation Jim Gray was named Director of the Vaccine Distribution Project.
“This is all about Team Kentucky delivering on an ambitious, life-saving project,” said Secretary Gray. “This regional system will grow over time to reach even more Kentuckians. As we speak, we are working to get sites evaluated and secured. We are committed to ensuring equitable distribution of the vaccine and everyone will have their turn.”
You can see a full list of who is included in each phase here.
Vaccines have already begin for K-12 school personnel through individual school districts and will continue to ramp up over the next few weeks. Gov. Beshear expects to finish administering initial doses for this group by the week of February 1.
“The great news is, we expect to finish first dose vaccinations for school staff the week we said we would start,” said Gov. Beshear.
The governor said so far, 172,537 people have been vaccinated.
“I know people are understandably anxious and want to get the vaccine as soon as they can, especially those who are high-risk. We want to do our very best to put those people in the front of the line, but we also need to move quickly so vaccines don’t just sit in a freezer, helping no one,” said Gov. Beshear. “The faster we increase our vaccination numbers, the safer we all will be, because we will get closer to herd immunity as a state more quickly. That’s the overarching goal, so we ask Kentuckians to bear with us if they have to wait a little while in order to get an appointment.”
Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, also gave an update on virtual appointment scheduling for unemployment insurance, federal Continued Assistance Act implementation and the number who have received unemployment insurance payments.
“The virtual appointment schedule is an 18-calendar day rolling schedule,” Cubbage said. “For instance, day 1 is today, Jan. 14. Day 18 is Jan. 31. Appointments for Feb. 1 should be on the website tomorrow for claimants to schedule. Appointment hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily. There are currently 16 staff working 125 appointments a day.”
“The programming for the federal Continuing Assistance Act is largely finished. Additional $300 per week payments should start going out next week,” Cubbage added. “Additional PUA/PEUC weeks should be ready to claim without opening a new claim, even if you had exhausted your full number of weeks previously. We are changing the way we report numbers to give a more accurate context for the work done by the Office of Unemployment Insurance since the beginning of the pandemic.”
As of Thursday, 119 out of 120 counties are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map.
You can see how your county is doing right now here.
If you have any questions about the coronavirus in Kentucky, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
You can also find more information, including how to protect your family, by visiting Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
Copyright 2021 WYMT. All rights reserved.