FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear reported 3,053 new coronavirus cases and 22 virus-related deaths Tuesday. The governor said Kentucky continues to see high cases two weeks after holiday gatherings, leading to last week's record-high 26,799 new cases.
Kentucky's positivity rate now sits at 12.23%, and it has been in that range for several days. The hope is, Beshear said, that as Kentuckians change their behavior after the holidays and attend fewer gatherings, cases and positivity rate will stabilize.
"We at least hope that this is a sign of it leveling off," Beshear said.
Hospitalizations remained high Tuesday, with 1,733 Kentuckians currently hospitalized for COVID-19, 397 people in intensive care units and 205 on ventilators. The state's coronavirus fatality rate now sits at 0.96%.
Since March, 308,729 COVID-19 cases and 2,944 virus-related deaths have been reported in Kentucky.
Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 3,460 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, and 23,522 people have recovered from the virus as of Tuesday. Since the pandemic began, 184 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus.
Through $48 million in CARES Act funds, Kentucky will soon disburse new unemployment payments to two groups.
About 16,500 Kentuckians who applied for unemployment between March 1 and Oct. 31 and who are still unemployed will receive a one-time $1,000 payment; another 25,000 Kentuckians who did not qualify for $400 bonus payments over the summer because they made too little will receive a one-time payment of $400.
Kentucky continues to roll out initial COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care facilities and frontline health care workers. As of Tuesday, 108,816 doses have been administered statewide. Kentucky plans to start giving vaccines to first responders, K-12 school personnel and people age 70 or older starting around Feb. 1.
Beshear plans to give a more thorough update on vaccines on Thursday.
During his Tuesday press conference, Beshear also decried a petition signed by four Kentuckians toimpeach him for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The governor derided the petition as divisive, and shared images and posts from the petitioners’ social media accounts which called for killing politicians.
“We cannot as a county and as a government lift these folks up. It is dangerous, it is fanning the flames of their hate,” Beshear said.
Republican House leaders appointed a committee to consider the petition on Monday.
Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below: