Health

Bookmark this page for the latest news related to the coronavirus and its ramifications in our region. It’ll be updated as the news happens.

 

Visit our COVID tracker for positivity rates, hospitalization rates and more. Find resources here.

May 13

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 674 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Thursday.

Daily case totals have steadied in recent weeks as more Kentuckians get vaccinated. The positivity rate dropped for the ninth day in a row, to just over 3.04%. Beshear reported seven deaths, including three from the state’s auditing process.

Nearly 1.9 million residents have received at least a first dose of a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that fully vaccinated adults no longer need to wear masks or social distance, except for in certain settings, such as health care facilities and public transportation.

Beshear plans to hold a press conference Friday morning to change Kentucky’s restrictions to match the new guidelines.

May 9

Kentucky reported 195 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday and eight more deaths. The positivity rate is 3.28 percent. More than 1.86 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Indiana reports 913 new and confirmed COVID-19 cases

Indiana health officials are reporting 913 new and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths. Overall, the state has reported nearly 730,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections and logged over 13,000 deaths. At the same time, the Indiana more than 2.1 million people in Indiana have been fully vaccinated, but the rate is slowing. All residents age 16 and older are eligible. A vaccination site in Gary is offering vaccinations each day until June 2.

–via Associated Press

May 5

Kentucky reported 710 new coronavirus cases and 10 more virus-related deaths on Wednesday. Gov. Andy Beshear is continuing to stress the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 1.8 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of vaccine. Beshear said as more people get vaccinated, it will “be safer” to lift more virus-related restrictions. The state says 420 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky, including 111 in intensive care units. The statewide rate of positive cases was 3.57%. –via Associated Press

May 4

Louisville health officials announced the highest weekly COVID-19 case count since early March.

Chief health strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer reported 859 new cases from last week. She said more cases stemming from Kentucky Derby celebrations will likely show up in the near future.

“Just like our case count from July 4, it started out really small just with a few people infected, but as it grows exponentially and finds more people, that case count grew at the end of July,” Moyer said. “We’ve got to be able to test, isolate and vaccinate or that same thing might happen again.”

Moyer said more than 45% of Louisville residents have received at least a first dose of the vaccine.

If vaccination rates don’t improve, Moyer said those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine could require annual booster shots, similar to the flu, in the future.

Moyer also reported nine new deaths. Louisville’s total death toll due to COVID-19 is now 1,079.

May 3

Gov. Andy Beshear has signaled he will consider loosening more coronavirus-related restrictions before the state reaches a key vaccination target. He said Monday that nearly 1.85 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. That’s slightly more than half the statewide population age 16 and older. Once 2.5 million of the state’s residents receive at least their first shot, Beshear has pledged to lift capacity and physical distancing restrictions for nearly all businesses, venues and events catering to 1,000 or fewer patrons. Anyone 16 or older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky. –via Associated Press

 

April 30

April 28

Gov. Andy Beshear says Kentucky’s expanded COVID-19 vaccination campaign is aimed at making it convenient for people to get the shots needed to defeat the coronavirus. The governor visited a newly opened community vaccination center in Henderson.

Beshear said that no matter where people live, there’s a convenient place to get the COVID-19 shot. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said Wednesday that the smaller vaccination sites opening statewide will help reach the governor’s goal of 2.5 million Kentuckians receiving at least their first COVID-19 shot.

The state reported 747 new coronavirus cases and nine more virus-related deaths Wednesday. –via Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

April 27

Louisville officials celebrated adminstering the 100,000th dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Broadbent Arena mass vaccination site on Tuesday.

LouVax will permanently close the location on Thursday to focus on its mobile program. Broadbent Arena has served as the city’s main mass vaccination site since January.

Mayor Greg Fischer said the University of Louisville’s mass vaccination site at Cardinal Stadium, which opened earlier this month, will allow the city to focus on neighborhood pop-up clinics.

“We’re in a place with this vaccine effort right now where there’s many people that are not as interested in getting the shot,” he said. “So we want to make it as easy as possible by going into the community, and we’re already doing that, in as many locations as possible.”

Louisville health officials reported 599 new COVID-19 cases from last week. There were 15 new deaths, bringing the city’s death toll to 1,081.

April 25

Gov. Andy Beshear says there was a nearly 14% drop in the total number of coronavirus cases over the last week compared to the week before.

Beshear announced 325 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, capping of a week with a 13.99% decrease in the total number of cases.

He also announced four new deaths Sunday and nine deaths reported from the ongoing audit of coronavirus-related deaths, bringing Kentucky’s virus death total to 6,449.

Beshear is still urging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus. More than 1.7 million people have received at least the first dose of the vaccine in Kentucky.

Beshear says he will lift more restrictions on businesses and venues once 2.5 million people are vaccinated in the state.

Here are Sunday’s numbers:

New cases: 325

New deaths: 4

New deaths from audit: 9

Positivity rate: 3.18%

Total deaths: 6,449

Currently hospitalized: 381

Currently in ICU: 99

Currently on ventilator: 45

April 24

Governor Andy Beshear reported 489 new coronavirus cases in the state Saturday.   He also reported 22 new deaths, plus 11 more deaths revealed by a state audit of death certificates.

Kentucky’s test positivity rate Saturday was 3.21%, down slightly from Friday’s rate of 3.26%.

As of Friday, 1,708,318 Kentuckians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.   Beshear has said he’ll lift many of the capacity restrictions imposed last year when 2.5 million Kentuckians have been vaccinated.

People ages 16 and up are now eligible to be vaccinated in Kentucky.

Here are the numbers from Saturday’s report:

New cases: 489
New deaths: 22
New audit deaths: 11
Positivity rate: 3.21%
Total deaths: 6,436
Currently hospitalized: 404
Currently in ICU: 102
Currently on ventilator: 45

 

April 21

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 785 new cases of coronavirus in the state on Wednesday as he continued to encourage Kentuckians age 16 and older to get vaccinated.

Beshear has set a goal of vaccinating 2.5 million Kentuckians before he will lift most capacity restrictions on businesses during the pandemic.

Almost 1.7 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far.

Beshear said Wednesday’s new cases show the virus isn’t going away on its own.

“We have to come together to stop it. Hundreds of Kentuckians are still getting sick every day. Our people are still dying from COVID-19,” Beshear said in a statement.

“But we have the power to defeat this pandemic now, and the way we can do that is by choosing to get vaccinated.”

Kentuckians can find vaccination sites at vaccinemap.ky.gov. Here are the numbers from Wednesday’s report:

New cases: 785
New deaths: 7
New audit deaths: 6
Positivity rate: 3.39%
Total deaths: 6,373
Currently hospitalized: 417
Currently in ICU: 113
Currently on ventilator: 52

April 20

CITY: Louisville health officials said COVID-19 cases increased again last week. Chief health strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer reported 750 new cases. Cases have increased two weeks in a row after declining for nearly three months. Moyer said more young people are getting infected recently, and she encouraged them to get vaccinated now that anyone 16 and older is eligible.

“That 20 to 44 age group is really a majority of that increase in new cases that we’ve had in the last two weeks,” Moyer said.

Moyer reported 16 deaths from last week, bringing the city’s death toll to 1,063. She said hospitalizations have plateaued in the past month. Fewer than 100 Louisvillians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 22 are in the ICU and 11 are on ventilators as of Tuesday.

A record 60,600 vaccine doses were administered in Louisville last week. More than 326,500 Louisvillians, or about 43% of the population, have received at least a first dose of a vaccine. Nearly 210,500 have completed a vaccine series.

April 19

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 231 new coronavirus on Monday evening. He also announced nine new deaths, five of which were due to the state’s audit of previously unreported COVID deaths.

The positivity rate is relatively flat at about 3.46 percent.

April 16

Gov. Andy Beshear said the state’s latest COVID-19 report illustrates why every Kentuckian should get vaccinated. Beshear announced 714 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and 10 related deaths. The positivity has risen to 3.51%.

As of Friday afternoon, Beshear said more than 1.6 million Kentuckians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s the numbers from Friday’s report:

New cases today: 714
New deaths today: 10
New audit deaths: 5
Positivity rate: 3.51%
Total deaths: 6,317
Currently hospitalized: 418
Currently in ICU: 94
Currently on ventilator: 42

April 15

Gov. Andy Beshear warned of rising COVID-19 numbers in Kentucky on Thursday.

Beshear reported 834 new cases during a press briefing. He said daily cases, the test positivity rate and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have all increased in recent days.

“It is at least a warning that a fourth wave is possible here,” Beshear said. “We can prevent it. We should prevent it. But it requires people to get vaccinated and continue to mask up.”

Beshear announced 17 new deaths Thursday. There were no deaths reported from the state’s auditing process.

UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM BACK ONLINE

About 30,000 Kentuckians have registered their unemployment accounts once again after the system was shut down last week.

Officials took the system offline for four days to slow attacks by hackers. Claimants were required to sign up again, with new PINs that the state mailed last week, to file new claims.

People who haven’t received the letter yet can call 502-564-2900 to register over the phone. The call center is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

April 13

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 799 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and three related deaths. Kentucky’s positivity rate is 3.20%. There are currently 405 people hospitalized in Kentucky with the illness; 96 are in ICU and 53 people are on a ventilator.

Beshear temporarily halted use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky. He pointed to a recommendation from the CDC after the agency found cases of blood clotting in six women. More than 6.8 million people have received the shot nationwide since it was approved in February.

“It looks like the risk here is very, very small versus the really significant risk of being harmed by COVID,” Beshear said during a Tuesday news conference, adding that he believes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be “back in the fold soon.”

In a news release, Beshear said 1,586,411 Kentuckians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose so far.

April 10

Kentucky has reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases and a slightly higher statewide rate of positive virus cases. Eighteen more virus-related deaths were reported Saturday in Kentucky. That includes eight deaths from the state’s audit as it strives to get a comprehensive count of coronavirus deaths.

The state reported 505 more COVID-19 cases in its daily report. It says the statewide rate of positive cases rose slightly to 2.99%. The report says 370 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky, including 92 in intensive care units. –via Associated Press

April 7

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,028 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky on Wednesday, though 300 of the cases are from earlier in the week and weren’t reported due to a technical glitch.

Beshear also announced 10 new coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday and four deaths from the ongoing audit of death records, bringing the total to 6,198. Beshear said the latest  report is a reminder that the pandemic isn’t over yet.

“Please, if you’re 16 or older, get vaccinated. Keep masking up in public spaces even if you have been vaccinated. None of us want to throw away our progress,” Beshear said in a statement.

Here are Kentucky’s coronavirus numbers for Wednesday, April 7 2021:

New cases: 1,028
New deaths: 10
New audit deaths: 4
Positivity rate: 2.87%
Total deaths: 6,198
Currently hospitalized: 383
Currently in ICU: 112
Currently on ventilator: 66

April 2

Kentucky reported 690 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

Gov. Andy Beshear also reported three new deaths from the virus, plus another 18 deaths found through a state audit to correct the pandemic’s actual death toll in Kentucky.

He said there are 393 people in the hospital due to COVID as of late Friday afternoon, with 89 in the intensive care unit and 66 on ventilators.

About 1.4 million people in Kentucky have received a COVID-19 vaccine, Beshear said.

April 1

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 972 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky on Thursday, and 13 related deaths. Beshear said the positivity rate is just below 3%.

Those eligible can now schedule vaccine appointments at Cardinal Stadium, the state’s largest vaccination site. According to state officials, the site will have capacity to vaccinate 4,000 Kentuckians each day while supplies are available. The drive-through clinic opens April 12.

March 29

State health officials have opened up COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to all Indiana residents 30 and older. The Indiana Department of Health said Monday the state’s latest vaccine expansion makes the vaccine available to more than 840,000 additional Hoosiers.

Gov. Eric Holcomb had announced last week that the state would also open up vaccine eligibility for all residents 16 and older, starting Wednesday. The state had previously limited eligibility to Hoosiers 40 and older, along with health care workers, long-term care residents, first responders and educators up to grade 12.

Other school workers such as classroom aides, bus drivers and cafeteria workers are also eligible.

March 27-28

Over Saturday and Sunday, there were 998 new cases of the coronavirus reported and 23 new deaths.

Governor Andy Beshear says new confirmed cases of coronavirus declined for an 11th week following a peak in mid-January. The state’s positivity rate has fallen to about 2.8 percent. However, despite the declining cases, data from the CDC shows most Kentucky counties are still seeing substantial to high transmission of the virus.

March 26

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 646 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 new deaths on Friday. In a news release, Beshear encouraged eligible Kentuckians to get vaccinated. Beginning Monday, people 40 and older will be eligible for the vaccine.

Here’s are the numbers from Friday’s COVID report:

New cases today: 646
New deaths today: 27
New audit deaths: 11
Positivity rate: 2.8%
Total deaths: 6,008
Currently hospitalized: 383
Currently in ICU: 88
Currently on ventilator: 46

City Continues Vaccinating Unhoused Population, Expects More Single-Dose COVID Vaccines

Family Health Centers, Wayside Christian Mission and Salvation Army shelters have collectively vaccinated more than 570 people experiencing homelessness in Jefferson County, according to Andy Patterson, director of health care for the homeless at Family Health Centers. 

That’s out of an estimated homeless population of between 1,200 and 1,500 people “at any given time,” Patterson said during a Friday morning news conference at the LouVax mass vaccination site.

They’ve been administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to people experiencing homelessness and carried out  their first encampment vaccinations earlier this week. This vaccine requires only one shot, whereas the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are two doses.  

“So we’re very pleased with the reception that we’ve been getting from our homeless neighbors to take the vaccine,” Patterson said.

Delanor Manson, CEO of the Kentucky Nurses Association, spoke about pop-up vaccination clinics, an effort to meet people where they are in the city.

They’re holding a clinic at the Hope Wellness Center, at 26th and Broadway, on Saturday. 

She said a big part of this effort has been about vaccine education. 

“We did have some people who were reluctant to get the vaccine,” Manson said. “They wanted it, but they just weren’t sure.”

Manson encouraged people to continue to get tested for COVID-19 even as vaccines become more readily available. 

“We want to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccination,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville’s chief health strategist. “And while these drive-thru mass vaccination sites are very efficient, we know that they’re not easy and convenient for all residents of our community.”

The city’s associate medical director, Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, said they’ve depleted their initial shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, also known as Janssen. But they expect another 1,500 doses next week. 

Moyer added that they anticipate an additional 1,500 “to come every week after that to help with our local mission going forward.” 

She encouraged people to sign up to get vaccinated when eligible.  

“Just a reminder that it’s really a modern-day miracle that just one year after the pandemic started we now have three vaccines available that are effective at preventing serious complications from COVID, including illness, hospitalization and death,” Moyer said.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that all Kentuckians 40 and up can sign up for vaccines starting next week. 

According to Hartlage, about 37% of the area’s population over the age of 16 have received at least their first shot, and about 20% have received both doses or the single-dose vaccine. 

March 25

Kentuckians 40 and older will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting Monday.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the expansion at Thursday’s coronavirus briefing. He said vaccinations in the state will continue to ramp up as more people become eligible.

“That was a priority group below 1c,” Beshear said. “We’re trying to thread this needle just right to make sure that we don’t open to everybody too quickly, and thus frustrate folks, but also continue the demand.”

About 1.25 million Kentuckians have received at least a first dose of the vaccine. Beshear said that accounts for nearly 40% of Kentucky’s adult population.

Beshear reported 726 new COVID-19 cases. He said that’s the lowest total for a Thursday in at least a month. The positivity rate was below 3% for the fifth day in a row.

He also announced 19 new deaths reported from local health departments, and 88 previously unreported deaths identified through the state’s auditing process.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced $19.3 million in federal funding for Kentucky schools. The money is part of the second round of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund 2 (GEER II).

Funding will be divided between early childhood education, child care, higher education and mental health services.

“The governor and I pride ourselves on being an education-first administration,” Coleman said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things in Kentucky, but it hasn’t changed our priorities. If anything, it’s strengthened them. We are going to make sure that Kentucky educators and students have the support they need through this pandemic and long after it’s over.”

March 24

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reported 695 new cases of coronavirus in the state and 24 deaths. In a news release, Beshear said by April 12, Kentuckians 16 and older will be eligible to sign up for vaccination appointments. He said as more people get the vaccine, Kentucky gets closer to defeating the virus.

“We’re not just going to meet the president’s goal that every American adult will be able to sign up for vaccination appointments by May 1, we’re going to beat that goal by more than two weeks at least,” he said.

Here are the numbers from Wednesday’s report, including additional COVID-related deaths from the state’s ongoing audit:

New cases today: 695
New deaths today: 24
New audit deaths: 25
Positivity rate: 2.85%
Total deaths: 5,863
Currently hospitalized: 438
Currently in ICU: 103
Currently on ventilator: 87

March 23

Gov. Andy Beshear said more than 198,000 Kentuckians received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the week starting March 16, beating the previous weekly record of approximately 165,000. About 1.2 million Kentuckians have now gotten the vaccine, according to the state’s reporting site.

March 22

Louisville health officials said there were 793 new COVID-19 cases in the last week, the lowest weekly case count since July. That followed ten straight weeks of decreasing numbers, according to Louisville Metro chief health strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer.

“This number is starting to start plateauing a little bit, so [it’s] just another reminder and reason to make sure we’re all getting testing regularly if we’re not vaccinated yet, wearing your masks and avoiding large gatherings,” she said.

Moyer said 31,000 Louisvillians received a first vaccine dose last week, bringing the city’s total to 209,000.

Officials also reported seven new deaths. Nearly 800 Louisvillians have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. As of Monday, 111 Louisvillians were hospitalized with COVID-19, and 24 were in the ICU.

March 21

Governor Andy Beshear reported 316 new coronavirus cases and 16 new deaths Sunday.  There were two additional deaths reported from an ongoing state audit of death certificates.  Beshear says Kentucky has had ten straight weeks of declining COVID-19 cases.

He says the state’s test positivity rate has dropped to 2.97%, the lowest since July.  Kentucky has recorded a total of 5,738 deaths.   As of Sunday, 463 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 111 in the ICU and 71 on ventilators.

March 20

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported 644 new COVID-19 cases and 25 new deaths Saturday.  The test positivity rate has dipped to 3.07%.

Here are more COVID-19 numbers from Saturday:

Total deaths: 5,720
Currently hospitalized: 457
Currently in ICU: 111
Currently on ventilator: 65

March 19

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 731 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, as well as 25 new deaths. In a news release, Beshear reported 166 additional deaths following an audit of Kentucky’s death certificates recorded during the worst months of the pandemic.

Here’s more COVID numbers from Friday:

Positivity rate: 3.40%
Total deaths: 5,695
Currently hospitalized: 463
Currently in ICU: 101
Currently on ventilator: 60

Norton Healthcare Updates Its COVID Visitor Policies

Norton Healthcare has updated its visitor policies, allowing even patients hospitalized with COVID-19 to have guests.

In a news release Friday, the health care provider said the changes are due to local vaccination efforts, improved coronavirus numbers and an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE.

Patients in isolation can now have one visitor; those on ventilators or “continuous aerosol therapy” still cannot have visitors.

Other hospitalized patients can have up to two guests during visiting hours and one overnight visitor. 

Adult patients can also now have someone accompany them to the doctor’s office or an outpatient medical facility. Kids may have two adults with them for doctor’s appointments. 

Additionally, hospital cafeterias have reopened at 60 percent capacity. 

Face masks are still required.

“We know that patients and families have struggled with separation during this pandemic,” said Douglas A. Winkelhake, division president, hospital operations, in the release. “Hopefully these new guidelines will help everyone, though we know there are still instances in which families may not be able to visit due to treatments that create a situation in which COVID-19 is more likely to be spread.”

Metro Louisville To Expand Vaccine Eligibility, Vaccinate Unhoused Population

Metro Louisville public health officials say they support the governor’s actions to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

During a news conference Friday, the city’s associate medical director, Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, reiterated who will be newly eligible soon. That includes all Kentuckians 50 and older starting Monday, plus all essential workers and anyone over 16 with a medical condition. 

“The end goal is for all of us to vaccinate anyone and everyone who wants to be vaccinated, just as quickly as possible,” Hartlage said. “That’s how we get back to doing all the things that we love, like traveling, visiting family and friends… going to concerts and sporting events, and having kids thriving in school.”

Gov. Andy Beshear also said he wants to open vaccinations up to residents 16 and older by April 12.

Hartlage encouraged companies that employ essential workers to reach out to the city to coordinate getting their workers registered and vaccinated. She said if people are having a tough time getting an appointment online, they should call the COVID helpline at 502-912-8598.

The city is continuing work to vaccinate the unhoused population in the Metro.

Hartlage said the city started by vaccinating shelter staff and other workers serving people experiencing homelessness. Now they’re working to get people using the shelters vaccinated, and will continue “visiting those groups on a repeated basis to be able to capture that population effectively.”

“Then there are plans to reach out directly into encampments with a more specific mobile mission there,” she continued. 

Those efforts have yet to launch, Hartlage said, but they are working out the final details and hope to have them going in the next few weeks. 

At the LouVax mass vaccination site at Broadbent Arena, 43,192 primary doses and 22,691 boosters have been administered, Hartlage said. Across the Metro, they’ve administered 211,199 primary shots and 113,772 boosters, for a total of 324,971 doses.

March 17

Veterans can get vaccinations from the Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville.

Enrolled veterans 40 and older are eligible, according to the center.
Call their COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 502-287-4426 to request an appointment.

March 16

Louisville health officials said Tuesday that new COVID-19 cases in the city have fallen for the ninth week in a row.

Metro Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer reported 867 new cases, the lowest total since September. She said vaccinations are also ramping up.

“We had another record-breaking week last week for the number of vaccines given in Jefferson County,” Moyer said. “In total, our Jefferson County providers have given out 290,846 doses of vaccine.”

But Moyer said spring break could cause an uptick in cases. That’s why she’s asking residents to take precautions and to get tested before and after any trips.

COVID-19 cases spiked after July 4th and Thanksgiving celebrations last year, and Moyer said spring break falls into the same category.

“Think we’re in a different position now because we have a vaccine,” she said. “But we still have 80% of our community that is not vaccinated yet, including all of our kids, so we are concerned.”

There are currently 116 Louisivillians hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s the lowest total in about five months.

March 15

The one millionth vaccine was given in Kentucky on Monday. It happened at the Capitol rotunda in front of the governor, first lady and health officials.

Gov. Andy Beshear said getting people vaccinated and beating the virus is how we can honor those who have died from the illness and those helping to fight it.

“How we honor them is to ensure that we defeat this pandemic as quickly as possible and we make sure that everybody counts, that everybody gets this vaccine, that we bring everybody with us to the finish line,” Beshear said.

Later in the day, Beshear announced 396 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths. The state-calculated positivity rate is 3.99%.

March 14

Governor Andy Beshear reported 445 new COVID-19 cases. Daily case totals have decreased in recent weeks as vaccine distribution has ramped up. Sunday was the second day in the past week with fewer than 500 new cases.

The death toll from the virus in Kentucky will likely exceed 5,000 in the coming days, with Beshear announcing 16 new deaths.

March 13

Gov. Andy Beshear’s office did not give a COVID update via news release Saturday, as his office typically does. Instead, Beshear tweeted the latest numbers:

March 12

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday announced 963 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. According to a news release, 175 of the new cases were reported in Jefferson County.

Beshear said it is good news that the number of news cases continues to decline. But he said Kentuckians must remain committed to the public health measures that help curb the number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Beshear announced another 29 deaths related to COVID-19.

The state-calculated positivity rate is now below 4 percent.

LouVax Expands

Louisville’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Broadbent Arena is opening up to all individuals in Tier 1C. That includes people over 16 with qualifying medical conditions, as well as essential workers.

It also includes people aged 60 and up, who will continue to be prioritized for vaccine appointments. Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, associate medical director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, said in a statement she hopes to have all Louisvillians age 60 and older vaccinated by the end of the month.

Employers can also help their employees who fall into the Tier 1C category register for COVID-19 vaccines through Louisville’s mass vaccination site. There is a sign-up form available at louisvilleky.gov/covid19. People can also call 502-912-8598 for help getting a vaccine.

March 11

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 37 new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, in addition to 1,211 new cases. More than 200 of the new cases came from correctional facilities. The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate remains flat at 3.95%.

Beshear also announced that visitations can resume at nursing homes in Kentucky starting next week. Looser visitor restrictions are possible because all residents and staff in the 285 federally-regulated long-term facilities who wanted a vaccine have received one, he said.

All visitors will have their temperatures checked upon entry. Fully-vaccinated residents can choose to have close contact with their visitor — so long as they wear a face mask.

The state also announced an expansion of the 1C vaccination category next week. Everyone 16 or older with any CDC-identified medical condition – except smoking – that might pose an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. The phase previously only included conditions known to increase severe COVID-19 risk, such as Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Steven Stack, the state’s public health commissioner, says the expansion is only possible because the state is successfully getting vaccines into arms.

March 10

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,010 new coronavirus cases and 34 newly reported deaths.

“We still have far too many deaths reported today… but I’m happy to see our positivity rate continue to decrease,” Beshear said.

Positivity rate: 3.93%
Total deaths: 4,884
Currently hospitalized: 524
Currently in ICU: 138
Currently on ventilator: 75

March 9

Louisville health officials reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, the lowest weekly total since September. The incidence rate also dropped again, to 19 cases per 100,000 people. This is the second week in a row the city has been below the level of uncontrolled spread.

Officials also said more than 145,000 Louisville residents have received at least a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. That accounts for nearly 19% of the city’s total population. The city will also set aside 1,500 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to administer to the city’s homeless population.

March 8

State officials endorsed new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people — namely, they can start safety gathering indoors, unmasked, in small groups.

March 7

Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, reported another 526 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday.

Beshear also reported 13 new coronavirus deaths.

There are currently 558 hospitalizations due to the virus, he said, with 156 in the intensive care unit and 82 people on ventilators.

The governor said this is the eighth straight week of declining new cases of the coronavirus.

March 6

MEMORIAL: Gov. Andy Beshear commemorated the anniversary of Kentucky’s first coronavirus case with a ceremony at the state Capitol on Saturday. 

Beshear said the state is planning a permanent monument for coronavirus victims and will soon have a website where people can donate to help fund it.

He made the announcement on the state Capitol lawn, which was covered with 4,754 American flags. One for every coronavirus death reported by the state.

We are gathered here today on the Capitol grounds to mark the solemn occasion with deep reflections of the costs of this war,” Beshear said. “A war that continues even though victory is now in our sights.”

More than 800,000 Kentuckians have received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and Beshear has said by May, all adults will be able to sign up to receive the vaccine.

There have been more than 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases of coronavirus in Kentucky since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. –Ryland Barton

March 5

Kentucky has 920 new cases of coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear reported Friday. 

He also reported another 22 deaths from COVID-19 and a positivity rate of 4.25%.

In a news release from his office, he said there are presently 606 hospitalizations from the virus, with 179 people in the intensive care unit and 76 people are on ventilators. 

He said Kentuckians should be proud of the recent progress, but asked them to stay committed to safety precautions until the state is on the other side of this.

LouVax Switching To Pfizer Vaccine

Metro Louisville’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Broadbent Arena, also known as LouVax, will soon switch from using the Moderna vaccine to the Pfizer version. 

During a Friday press conference, the city’s associate medical director, Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage, who oversees the site, said the transition will happen Wednesday. 

“This is due to a state allocation change, and the fact that we have a very efficient process here that’s equipped to deal with the specific challenges inherent to using that Pfizer product that maybe some of our smaller health departments or rural counties are less able to handle,” Hartlage said.

The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at significantly colder temperatures

Hartlage said they will continue to have Moderna booster shots on hand at Broadbent for those who already got their first shot there. 

The city also received its first shipment of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, also called the Janssen vaccine. They received 1,500 doses, according to Hartlage, and plan to prioritize getting that vaccine to people experiencing homelessness or in transient housing. 

“We’re starting with some shelters and working our way out from there, with planning underway to be able to reach the encampments and other areas where the homeless may be found,” she said.

As of Thursday, 235,401 vaccine doses had been administered across the metro, Hartlage said. Of those, 149,792 were the first shot and 85,609 were boosters. That means roughly 21% of Metro Louisville’s population has gotten a shot and 12% have “completed the series.”

March 4

At least two regional COVID-19 vaccinations sites in Kentucky experienced technical difficulties that forced them temporarily shut down Thursday.

Servers at Kroger sites in Bowling Green and at Kentucky Horse Park and in Bowling Green went offline for about 90 minutes. Gov. Andy Beshear said the state will work to reschedule any vaccinations that were missed.

“That has created some lines in those locations,” Beshear said. “While it is an inconvenience, we are going to make sure that everybody signed up for today in those locations gets vaccinated. It may take a little more time.

Beshear announced 1,068 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. The COVID-19 test positive rate fell to 4.45%. It’s the lowest rate since Oct. 12.

Despite a steady decline in daily case totals in recent weeks, deaths remain high, with Beshear reporting 28 new deaths. He said it’s important to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols to save lives, and condemned states that have eased restrictions this week.

“We will continue to lose people until we’re fully out of the woods and everybody is vaccinated,” Beshear said. “That’s the reason we’re not going to do what Texas or Mississippi has done. Those decisions will increase casualties when we just have maybe even a matter of months to go.”

Beshear announced 157 new testing sites Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 567. More than 760,000 Kentuckians have been vaccinated so far.

March 1

Kentucky likely underreported the true toll of the deadliest months of the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

When COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in November, at least one state official stopped auditing death certificates as part of the state’s review process, Beshear said. Instead, they relied on confirmation from local health departments, leaving some death records to fall through the cracks.

Kentucky has reported a lower than average number of COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in spring of 2020. Beshear has repeatedly cited the low number of deaths as evidence of the effectiveness of the state’s response. Read more.

Feb. 26

Gov. Andy Beshear announced an effort to get more Black Kentuckians vaccinated on Friday.

The state is partnering with the University of Kentucky in Lexington and Norton Healthcare in Louisville to set up vaccination clinics in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Beshear said the state needs to acknowledge the reasons many Black people are hesitant to get the vaccine, like the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

“The pandemic didn’t create inequities in our society. Those inequities have built up over decades, over hundreds of years, but this pandemic has laid them bare in so many raw and difficult ways,” Beshear said.

Black Kentuckians have lagged behind white people in getting vaccinated, only accounting for 4.6% of those vaccinated so far, according to the state.

About 8.4% of Kentucky’s population is Black, with 44% of Black Kentuckians residing in Jefferson County.

In Louisville, Norton Healthcare is creating a vaccination clinic at the YMCA on West Broadway, St. Stephen Baptist Church, Bates Memorial Baptist Church, Quinn Chapel AME Church and New Covenant Baptist Church.

NAACP Louisville chapter president Raoul Cunningham said Black people are more likely to develop complications from COVID-19, and encouraged the local community to get vaccinated.

“We have to come together to work to defeat and rid our community, our city, our nation, our state of this God-awful virus,” Cunningham said.

On Friday, Beshear announced 1,180 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky and 30 more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 4,600

The state’s positivity rate declined to 5.52%.

Feb. 25

Kentucky state officials said no data was stolen during a breach of the unemployment insurance system this week. The system was only down for about an hour. Claimants will now be required to answer questions correctly to access the site. The unemployment system has been attacked several times during the pandemic.

Governor Beshear reported  1,447 new COVID-19 cases and 43 additional deaths today. 

Hospitalizations dropped to 843, and the positivity rate dipped to 5.67%. The governor announced 119 new vaccination sites, including seven new regional locations. There are now 410 vaccination sites across the state.

Feb. 21

Governor Andy Beshear announced 979 new COVID-19 cases. It was the third day in the past week with fewer than a thousand cases. Beshear said this was the sixth week in a row with a declining number of new cases.

He also reported 21 new deaths related to COVID-19. According to the state, nearly 4,500 Kentuckians have died from the disease.

Feb. 17

Kentucky is continuing its downward trend in new coronavirus infections, according to the latest numbers released by Gov. Andy Beshear. He reported 1,017 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, down significantly from a week ago. Beshear said 18 more people have died due to COVID-19, and the state’s positivity rate ticked up slightly to just under 7 percent. He said Kentuckians should continue to take precautions like masking and social distancing, even after receiving the vaccine.

Feb. 14

Cases are still on a steady decline in Kentucky.

Feb. 12

Feb. 11

9:08 p.m.: Gov. Andy Beshear announced the opening of 156 new coronavirus vaccination sites in Kentucky.

Six of the new sites will serve as regional vaccination facilities, located in Adair, Carter, Franklin, Henderson, Lawrence and Union counties. Ten of the sites will be at Kroger stores throughout the state, and 15 more will be at Walmart stores.

“We are expanding at a phenomenal rate,” he said. “We are very quickly covering the whole state to get to our desired outcome, where you never have to drive more than one county to get vaccines. We know that there’s more that we need to fill in.”

A majority of the new locations will be operated at Walgreens and Good Neighbor independent pharmacies as part of a recently-announced federal program. Beshear said the program will administer 13,000 additional first doses a week at 125 pharmacies.

2:02 p.m.: Although more overdose deaths have occurred during the pandemic compared to any previous year, across the Ohio Valley doctors and health workers have said the numbers of people seeking treatment have grown.

Treatment practices like distributing overdose reversal drugs aren’t new. But the scale of efforts have increased and so has the focus on needs at the local level. The pandemic has also prompted new approaches to addiction treatment.

Feb. 10

A WFPL News analysis of local and regional health department data on COVID deaths found counties reported 23% more deaths than the state had by Jan. 21, a number that was not passed on to the public as coronavirus deaths surged.

Read Ryan Van Velzer’s investigation.

Feb. 9

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the cancellation of vaccine appointments in three cities across Kentucky ahead of an ice storm predicted to hit Wednesday and continue through Thursday night.

Out of an abundance of caution, Beshear canceled appointments at Kroger regional vaccination sites in Bowling Green, Lexington and Covington on Thursday.

Feb. 7

Governor Andy Beshear said Sunday that Kentucky had four weeks in a row with declining new daily COVID-19 case counts. It’s the first time that happened during the pandemic.

The test positivity rate calculated by the state also improved, dropping below 8%. Beshear reported 1,532 new cases.

He also announced 31 new deaths. On Saturday, he said more than 4,000 Kentuckians had died from COVID-19.

Feb. 6

Kentucky has surpassed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. Saturday Gov. Andy Beshear reported the state’s death toll from COVID-19 has now reached more than 4,000 people. Beshear reported 49 new deaths, bringing total deaths to 4,020. 

The state marked 3,000 deaths just weeks ago in mid-January.

The governor also reported another 1,998 new cases. The state’s seven-day average of new cases has been on the decline after a post-holiday surge. But public health officials are worried about Super Bowl gatherings becoming super-spreader events, and are warning people to avoid hosting or attending parties.

Feb. 5

Governor Andy Beshear reported another 2,261 new cases of coronavirus. He also reported another 50 deaths. The state’s death toll is now 3,971.

It’s been four weeks since Kentucky crossed the 3,000-death mark.

Beshear said there are 1,318 currently in the hospital with COVID-19, with 330 of them in the intensive care unit and 167 on ventilators. Those numbers were slightly down compared to Thursday

The governor asked people to keep their Super Bowl gatherings small this weekend, and to use safety precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing.

Feb. 3

New COVID-19 cases in Kentucky have continued to decrease compared to recent weeks. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,592 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The state’s positivity rate is 8.5%, continuing a recent downward trend.

Despite the decrease in new cases, Beshear reported 51 new deaths. Since the onset of the pandemic, 3,863 people have died from the virus in the commonwealth.

Feb. 2

Two prominent Kentucky public health officials are recommending Jefferson County Board of Education open classes to in-person learning once staff are vaccinated.

Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. Sarah Moyer and Kentucky Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Connie White told the school board they believe JCPS should open, even though the county has seen months of uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

“There’s just a whole list of reasons that, with mitigations in place, it is much safer to open schools at this point than to not open them,” White told the board at its Tuesday night meeting.

Read more from Jess Clark.

Feb. 1

New cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky declined for the third straight week as the state accelerated the pace of vaccinations, according to state officials.

Gov. Andy Beshear said it’s only the second time in the pandemic the state’s seen this kind of sustained decline. New cases plateaued after both the 2020 spring and summer surges, whereas now, Kentucky is reporting a three-week decline in both cases and in the state’s test positivity rate.

Jan. 31

Jan. 30

Louisville surpassed 800 deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday as hospitalizations level off and the rate of new cases declines, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has declined about 27% over the last three weeks, from 4,100 new cases the week of Jan. 9, to 3,000 cases the week of Jan. 23.

Meanwhile, the rate the virus is spreading across the population appears to be falling. During a virtual town hall Saturday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer said average daily cases declined to 56.6 per 100,000 residents after peaking around 78 earlier this month.

University of Louisville Vice Dean of Research Dr. Jon Klein says the decline in cases indicates that the virus has run its course and burned its way through some of the community. He says it’s also a reflection of the community following  health guidelines. 

But Klein says the city isn’t out of the woods yet. Hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the number of people on ventilators remain relatively flat, or show a slow decrease.

“If there’s a chance of another surge in April or May because of these variants, we certainly want to see these numbers lower before we go into that surge… and I think we will,” Klein said.

Jan. 29

Kentucky had another 2,608 COVID-19 cases Friday. Governor Andy Beshear also said 57 additional people died due to the virus.

Almost 3,700 Kentuckians have now lost their lives to COVID-19.

Beshear said the rate of positive tests in the state continues to go down. He said that’s because precautionary measures such as mask-wearing are helping slow the spread of the virus.

The number of Kentucky residents in the hospital due to COVID-19 remained steady at about 1,500. There were 370 in the ICU, the same as Thursday. And the number of patients on ventilators increased slightly, from 199 to 205.

Beshear also extended the state’s moratorium on evictions. He issued an executive order Friday to move the end of the moratorium from January 31 to March 31.

The move follows a similar extension by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is also banning evictions for an additional two months. The new CDC director appointed by President Joe Biden took that step last week, on Inauguration Day.

In the order, Beshear said prohibiting evictions is “critical” to allowing Kentuckians to stay home and avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Jan. 26

Gov. Andy Beshear announced in a press release this evening that 2 cases of the UK variant of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Kentucky. The variant spreads more aggressively; Dr. Steven Stack will address it during tomorrow’s briefing.

Jan. 25

Kentucky’s daily total of new coronavirus cases was lower than it has been in a month and Gov. Andy Beshear says that’s due to restrictions he implemented before the holidays.

The state’s positivity rate fell below 10% for the first time this year, and is now sitting at 9.93%.

Jan. 24

The positivity rate calculated by the state was just over 10% on Sunday. It was the seventh day in a row that figure decreased.

Beshear announced 2,018 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest total for a Sunday in four weeks. He also reported 35 new deaths, bringing the death toll in Kentucky to 3,421.

Jan. 23

Governor Andy Beshear announced 3,795 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky on Saturday. 49 more Kentuckians have lost their lives to the virus. 

 

Jan. 22

Jan. 21

Kentucky has again broken its record for daily COVID-19 deaths, exceeding 50 for just the third time during the pandemic.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 58 deaths at Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. He called the high number “staggering,” and said the state will place a memorial at the Capitol for those who have died.

“We’re going to end up placing an American flag on our grounds for every single individual that we’ve lost,” Beshear said. “As we move forward, we’re going to keep doing that. These are all children of God, loved by their families, needed by their community, and deeply, deeply missed.”

Kentucky’s COVID-19 mortality rate sits at about 1%, Beshear said. That’s less than the national and global averages, which are 1.7% and 2.2%, respectively.

Jan. 20

Nearly a year into the pandemic, many of the events called off last year due to COVID-19 concerns are being canceled once again.

The latest is the popular Cherokee Triangle Art Fair.

The Cherokee Triangle Association announced Tuesday that this year’s fair would not take place. 

In a statement posted on its website, the association said “it would be unwise to continue to plan” for this year’s event given the rise in COVID infections, and they look forward to hosting it in 2022. 

The fair is usually held the weekend before the Kentucky Derby.

Jan 19

Kentucky is entering new phases of its vaccination plan, but Jefferson County isn’t expected to move as quickly. That’s in part because the county is a hub for medical care and has the state’s largest public school district. “We have more health care workers,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville’s chief health strategist. “We also have more educators as a bigger county, so it’s going to take us [longer] to get through that.”

Louisville officials say the city’s vaccine waitlist is currently at about 53,000 as demand is outstripping supply.

On Tuesday evening, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to allow winter sports to begin. Board member Corrie Shull, one of two members who voted no, said he was “deeply troubled” by the move given the current rate of COVID infections.

Jan. 18

Jan. 17

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear reported another 2,362 COVID-19 cases Sunday. The governor also reported that an additional 34 Kentuckians had died from coronavirus-related complications. That brings the state’s total death toll to 3,127. 

Beshear said 1,602 people are presently in the hospital due to COVID-19, with 410 in the ICU and 212 on ventilators.

Jan. 16

Jan. 15

There were nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kentucky Friday. That brings the state’s total case count to more than 321,000.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced an additional 19 deaths. That came the day after Kentucky crossed 3,000 deaths related to COVID-19 since last March.

The governor expressed confidence that the state will continue to ramp up vaccinating residents.

The state’s daily report said more than 40,000 Kentuckians, or more than 12% of all cases in the state, have recovered.

Jan. 14

Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans on Thursday to significantly expand coronavirus vaccination opportunities beginning next month, on the same day he announced the state had crossed the 3,000 mark in fatalities. 

Jan. 13

Kentucky logged 4,560 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 47 deaths, marking one of the deadliest days of the pandemic thus far.

The new deaths due to COVID-19 amount to the third-highest total since the pandemic struck the commonwealth in March.

Jan. 12

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in his Tuesday briefing on coronavirus that state officials are still waiting to see how bad the post-holiday surge of new cases will be — even as the state reported 3,053 new cases.

The state’s rate of positive tests for the virus rose above 12%.

Jan. 11

Kentucky added 2,085 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 21 new deaths. Monday’s cases were a slight decline after last week, which saw the highest number of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Last week’s increase appears to be the result of holiday gatherings, though Gov. Andy Beshear added that it’s possible the highly transmissible variant first found in the United Kingdom had made its way to Kentucky (Indiana reported its first case of the variant Monday.) 

Hospitalizations remain relatively flat while 119 of 120 Kentucky counties continue to see uncontrolled spread of the virus, he said. 

Jan. 10

Kentucky passed another coronavirus milestone over the weekend, when the total number of cases surpassed 300,000. Gov. Andy Beshear took note of the moment in a Facebook video posted on Saturday,

The milestone was reached on the same day the Republican controlled legislature sent Beshear legislation that would limit his powers during the pandemic.

On Sunday, the state logged another 3,232 cases and 25 additional deaths. The death toll from the coronavirus in the state now stands at 2,901.

Jan. 8

Kentucky’s three worst days of the coronavirus pandemic have all come this week.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 4,750 cases Friday, the third-highest total of the pandemic. It comes two days after Kentucky set a new record for daily cases.

Beshear has reported 15,403 new cases over the past three days. He said the state is entering another acceleration in spread.

Jan. 7

With Cancelled Bank Contract, Unemployed Can No Longer Get Benefits On Debit Cards

A popular method for receiving unemployment insurance claims will no longer be available in Kentucky after January 31. 

The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance says Bank of America didn’t renew its contract with the state’s unemployment insurance office to load payments on a debit card, and the cards will no longer process Kentucky unemployment payments. The unemployment office informed card users of the change on December 30th.

That means those who previously received their benefits on the debit cards will now receive checks, which can be a burden for people without bank accounts. 

“For most people a low fee unemployment insurance debit card is a better option than a paper check,”  said Lauren Saunders, the Associate Director of the National Consumer Law Center. “You get your money faster, you don’t have to pay a check casher, you can use it online, or over the phone. There are a lot of obvious reasons why having an account and a card is better than a papercheck.”

Saunders said there are plenty of options for setting up a bank account online which carry low fees and no account balance minimums. Cities for Financial Empowerment has created national standards for affordable bank accounts. There are four banks available to consumers in Kentucky that meet those standards.

Current Bank of America card holders will need to change their method of payment by January 31 or they will automatically begin receiving paper checks. A spokesperson for Kentucky’s unemployment office said claimants can also receive payments through direct deposit. 

The card’s balance must be spent by February 28 or they’ll be reissued the money in a check.

The coronavirus has escalated unemployment insurance claims nationwide, reaching over 100,000 weekly claims in Kentucky during the month of April. Demand for Bank of America’s debit cards surged.

Bank of America has struggled to administer the debit card program during the pandemic. The program was suspended in California when it was targeted in a massive fraud operation Bank of America says could total $2 billion.

Jan. 6

NUMBERS: Gov. Andy Beshear announced 5,742 new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky Wednesday, the highest single-day case record by far.

Here are more numbers from Wednesday:

  • 11.7% positivity rate (11.4% yesterday)
  • 1,778 hospitalized (1,760)
  • 428 in the ICU (430)
  • 244 on a ventilator (215)
  • 2,806 Kentuckians have died from the virus
  • 286,541 total cases

COURT RESTRICTIONS EXTENDED: All jury trials are postponed until April 1 and all grand juries must be remote or suspended under the state Supreme Court’s new order.

Jan. 5

VACCINES: Louisville health officials are so pleased with the debut of their drive-through vaccination site on Monday, they expanded it.

SOUTHERN INDIANA: in Clark and Floyd Co.’s restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus have been extended.

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,781 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Beshear says it was the lowest number of cases reported on a Tuesday in several weeks, but added that the data was “a little wonky” because holidays may have delayed lab results. Beshear expressed some frustration with the pace of vaccine delivery but also some solid progress, as the companies tasked with delivering shots to long-term care facilities are nearing their goals.

The state’s positivity rate remained high at 11.4% and 23 more people in Kentucky have died from COVID-19. However, Beshear was optimistic that schools will be able to resume in-person classes on Jan. 11 as planned, provided that schools can meet requirements laid out in his earlier executive order.

Jan. 4

THE VACCINE ROLLOUT: Gov. Andy Beshear is not pleased with the pace of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Kentucky. On Monday, he announced a new approach, and released a schedule of vaccinations for citizens of all ages and job categories. Here’s the latest, plus an update on COVID-19 for this first Monday of 2021.

Jan. 3

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 2,860 new cases this afternoon, a record number for a Sunday, when cases are usually lower due to labs being closed. 

The previous record for a Sunday was on Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when the state confirmed 2,803 new cases.

Dec. 29

CORONAVIRUS RELIEF:  Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday Kentucky should receive about $5 billion in the coronavirus relief legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. Beshear also said he supports Trump’s and Senate Democrat’s push to increase stimulus checks for individuals to $2000 from $600. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on that increase on Tuesday.

Here’s Beshear’s breakdown of the financial support heading to Kentucky:

Assistance to Individuals

  • Direct Payments to Households – $2,265,302,000
  • Unemployment Insurance, $300/week for 11 weeks – $489,614,031
  • Rental/Utility/Energy Assistance – $297,396,819

Education

  • Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – $928,275,000
  • Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund – $261,015,000
  • Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund-2/3rds for private schools – $60,305,000

Families and Seniors

  • Child Care Development Block Grant – $192,822,381
  • Promoting Safe & Stable Families – $1,004,000
  • Meals for Seniors – 2,259,000
  • Chafee Foster Care Program – $5,879,000
  • Chafee Education & Training Vouchers-Foster Youth – $899,000
  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant – $19,221,000
  • Mental Health Block Grant – $21,560,000

Fighting the Virus

  • Testing, Tracing and Mitigation – $289,654,359
  • Vaccine Distribution – $56,965,810

Transportation

  • Federal Highways-Surface Transportation Block Grant – $164,914,864
  • FAA-Airport Improvement Program – $28,249,556

VACCINES: The Beshear Administration has outlined plans for the second phase of coronavirus vaccinations in Kentucky, as more shipments of vaccine are due to arrive before the end of the year.

Dec. 28.

QUARLES  PASSES ON VACCINE:  Another round of Kentucky government officials received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, but Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says he will pass on the opportunity for now.

Quarles is 37 years old and says he would rather have his place in line for the vaccine go to a frontline worker or long-term care resident.

“I understand the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation that officials like the Governor and top legislators be vaccinated for the sake of government continuity, but I do not believe rank-and-file politicians should be leapfrogging over those who are at higher risk of infection,” Quarles said.

Secretary of State Michael Adams, Auditor Mike Harmon, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Hughes and Justice Samuel Wright received the vaccination on Monday in the state Capitol Rotunda.

The latest round comes after Gov. Andy Beshear, leaders of the legislature and other top state government officials received vaccinations last week.

Hospitals around the state have been administering the vaccine to health care workers since Dec. 14 and long-term care facilities have been vaccinating residents and staff since Dec. 21.

According to Beshear’s office, as of Monday, coronavirus vaccines have been administered to more than 11,000 Kentuckians, mostly health care workers.

Beshear said more than 70% of the state’s population of 4.4 million needs to be vaccinated to defeat the virus. -Ryland Barton

Dec. 27

THE SUNDAY NUMBERS: Kentucky recorded an additional 1,509 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Gov. Andy Beshear also reported an additional 21 deaths, bringing the death toll from the coronavirus to 2,555. As of Sunday, 91% of deaths statewide have occurred among people 60 years or older. Here’s the full report from Beshear.

Dec. 23

THE NUMBERS:  Gov. Andy Beshear reported almost 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 on the eve of the long Christmas holiday weekend. Jefferson Co. reported 415 new cases. Here’s the complete rundown:

  • New cases today: 2,953
  • New deaths today: 26
  • Positivity rate: 8.35%
  • Total deaths: 2,466
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,644
  • Currently in ICU: 413
  • Currently on ventilator: 222

COVID-19 VACCINE SCAM ALERT:  Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has issued a consumer protection alert on potential COVID-19 vaccine scams. He says fraudsters may try to obtain personal information or money by impersonating health officials, medical providers or vaccine distributors.

Typical scams could involve an offer of a quick vaccine in return for payment, or a request for Social Security number of bank information.

His office has not received any complaints about vaccine scams, but scammers have been busy during the pandemic, Cameron said.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen scammers attempt to take advantage of consumers by capitalizing on the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, whether it be with fraudulent pop-up testing sites, fake COVID-19 cures, or online work-from-home scams, and we expect that scammers will try to use the rollout of the new vaccine to their advantage,” Cameron said.

His office offered these guidelines on ways to avoid being scammed:

*Do not pay for the promise of a vaccine. If someone promises immediate or early access to the   vaccine in return for payment, it is a scam.

*You should not receive an unsolicited call asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign up to get the vaccine. If you do receive such a call, you should hang up and verify the source of the caller before proceeding further.

*Beware of individuals who contact you offering products, such as medicine or treatments, which they claim are as effective as the vaccine. Check with your healthcare provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

If you think you’ve received a scam call, report it to the attorney general’s office at 1-888-432-9257 or online.

Dec. 22

VACCINE #2: The Moderna coronavirus vaccine is in Kentucky now. Gov. Andy Beshear, the first lady Britainy Beshear and other state officials received it Tuesday in a public event aimed at dispelling concerns people may have about it. Beshear also stressed that it’s a two-shot vaccine, and if you get one, be sure to get the booster.

THE NUMBERS:

  • New cases today: 3,057
  • New deaths today: 28
  • Positivity rate: 8.48%
  • Total deaths: 2,440
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,631
  • Currently in ICU: 419
  • Currently on ventilator: 223

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