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Three more COVID-19 vaccine sites coming to NKY; some long-term care visitation limits lifted

Andy Beshear
Posted at 3:57 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 17:56:14-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Starting next week, Kentucky will have 291 COVID-19 vaccination sites open statewide at regional hubs, non-regional sites, health departments, and Kroger and Walmart sites, plus Walgreens and independent pharmacies.

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday announced three new vaccination sites that will open in Northern Kentucky next week:

You can find a full list of vaccination sites on this interactive map.

Kentucky is currently in vaccine phase 1B, focusing on people age 70 and older, first responders, K-12 school staff and childcare providers.

Nearly 556,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Kentucky since December.

Some nursing home visitation restrictions relaxed

Kentucky will allow indoor visitation to resume for non-Medicare certified long-term care facilities -- including assisted living, personal care, intermediate care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and independent living -- for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Visitors must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the scheduled visit. These visits will be limited to one individual, or two if they are from the same household.

Group activities, communal dining and visitation among long-term care facility residents will also resume for vaccinated individuals in non-certified care. First doses have been offered to all residents and staff at Kentucky’s long-term care facilities, and more than 83,000 have received at least one dose.

“What this means, is once someone is better protected from this disease, we want them to be able to see their loved ones,” Beshear said.

The new visitation protocols start Saturday.

The loosening of visitation restrictions does not apply to Medicare certified long-term care facilities, Beshear said. Kentucky still needs approval and guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) before relaxing restrictions for certified facilities.

COVID-19 cases continue decline

Beshear reported 963 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily case count since October. The governor also reported 37 deaths, including a 101-year-old woman from Kenton County.

Since March, 392,729 Kentuckians have tested positive for COVID-19 and 4,373 have died of the virus. The state's test positivity rate rose to 7.07%, and new COVID-19 cases have declined for five straight weeks.

Hospitalizations have been on the decline for several weeks. Currently, 935 Kentuckians are hospitalized for COVID-19, with 260 people in intensive care units and 130 on ventilators. Kentucky's coronavirus fatality rate has risen to 1.10%.

Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 2,003 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, and 35,179 people have recovered from the virus as of Thursday. Since the pandemic began, 247 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus.

As of Monday, there are also four confirmed cases of a more contagious variant of COVID-19 in Kentucky, four in Northern Kentucky and one in Jefferson County. The first two cases, both out of Kenton County, were first reported Jan. 26.

Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below: