FRANKFORT, Ky. — Officials hopes to double the number of Kentuckians vaccinated from COVID-19, and armed with a third type of vaccine plus more doses from the federal government, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky can do it by April.
Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky is set to receive 36,500 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine, with shots to be administered in the next week. Doses are bound for local health departments and 130 local independent pharmacies, the governor said.
Kentucky also expects to get about 98,000 more vaccines from the federal government next week, Beshear said Tuesday.
"We believe that with the Johnson & Johnson batch that we're getting now and with increases we expect, we hope to double the number of people vaccinated in this month alone," he said.
Since December, Kentucky has administered more than 845,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, with more than 100,000 doses administered in the last week. Now, residents in phase 1C, like essential workers, people 60 or older and people 16 or older with high risk conditions, are eligible to receive COVID shots.
To find out if you're eligible for a vaccine, schedule appointments and find transportation to your vaccine site, visit vaccine.ky.gov, or call Kentucky's vaccine hotline, (855) 598-2246 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Capacity jumps to 60% for Ky. businesses Friday
As COVID-19 cases and positivity rate continue to dip in Kentucky, the state will raise capacity limits for certain businesses to 60% effective Friday.
Bars and restaurants, fitness centers, salons and barber shops, houses of worship, retail and several other sectors with be allowed to increase their indoor capacity by 10% if they can do it with six feet of social distancing. Those businesses will still be required to enforce the statewide mask mandate and take other precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus.
As Texas and Mississippi lifted coronavirus restrictions like capacity limits and mask mandates Tuesday, Beshear said Kentucky will gradually "loosen" restrictions as long as local COVID-19 numbers continue to trend down to limit the spread of the virus.
"How many times are some going to make decisions that they know have enormous potential costs of human life?" the governor said.
New COVID-19 cases, positivity trending down
For the last seven weeks, Kentucky has seen new COVID-19 cases decline by 72%, and its positivity rate has fallen from roughly 12% to 4.7%
Kentucky recorded 1,080 new cases, the lowest Tuesday case count in four weeks, as well as 19 new coronavirus deaths, including a 96-year-old woman from Kenton County.
Since last year, 406,201 Kentuckians have tested positive for COVID-19 and 4,671 have died of the virus. Kentucky will also conduct an audit on COVID-19 death numbers comparing death certificates to state databases.
Hospitalizations continue to decline. Currently, 684 Kentuckians are hospitalized for COVID-19, with 178 people in intensive care units and 82 on ventilators. Kentucky's coronavirus fatality rate has risen to 1.15%.
Using the state's contact tracing database, NKY Health reports 1,157 active coronavirus cases in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, and 37,416 people have recovered from the virus as of Tuesday. Since the pandemic began, 264 Northern Kentuckians have died from the virus. Track the spread on Kentucky's COVID-19 incidence rate map.
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