Health

Gov. Andy Beshear said he would lift several capacity restrictions currently in place across the state once 2.5 million Kentuckians get at least a first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. He said that represents about 70% of Kentucky residents currently eligible to get a vaccine.

As of Sunday, about 1.5 million Kentuckians had gotten at least a first shot. Beshear said it could take four to six weeks to reach the threshold he announced on Monday.

“We’re boosting capacity across the state. There are now clinics in every single community,” Beshear said. “No matter where you live, you can likely get a shot of hope in the next week, all you gotta do is get online or pick up the phone and sign up.”

He spoke at the opening of the state’s largest mass vaccination site, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, which he said could vaccinate about 4,000 people a day.

Anyone aged 16 and up is eligible for a vaccine at that site. Appointment registration is available online and by phone at 502-681-1435. The vaccination site is run by UofL Health.

Beshear appealed to business owners who have struggled during the pandemic due to capacity limits.

“If you are a restaurant, a bar, a store, a public pool, a country club, a grocery, a funeral home, a wedding venue, a concert hall, a museum, if you put on festivals, if you are a distillery, this is what you’ve been waiting for: a clear number and a clear goal to hit,” he said.

Once the state reaches 2.5 million people vaccinated, Beshear committed to lifting limits at most venues, events and businesses serving fewer than a thousand people, as well as the physical distancing requirements at restaurants and curfews at bars and restaurants.

Beshear said the statewide mask mandate will remain in place even after he lifts these capacity limits.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Editor.