Health Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday that the federal government is increasing Kentucky’s supply of vaccine doses by nearly a third in the coming week. 

“Starting next week we’re getting another 29% increase in our supply. That’ll mean since this new administration took over they have increased our weekly amounts by 57%,” Beshear said. 

Beshear said the state received about 53,800 doses in mid January and doses have increased in recent weeks. Next week it will receive approximately 87,800 doses.

Kentucky has recorded five cases of the B-1-1-7 variant of coronavirus first reported in the United Kingdom, Beshear said. By the end of March, he said, some health officials predict that more infectious strain could become the dominant variant found in the U.S.

“And that’s why some experts are concerned that this drop in cases is a lull, or maybe we are in the eye of the hurricane, and the variant is going to pick it up,” Beshear said. “I think that’s quite possible, but I also think that we are wearing masks better than ever and our vaccination efforts for our supply are going well.”

Beshear reported 1,255 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. For the fifth week in a row new cases of the virus have declined. The state’s rate of positivity is 6.5%. 

More than 4,300 Kentuckians have died from COVID-19. The state reported 27 new deaths on Tuesday. COVID-19 deaths can take a month or more to report. Beshear said there are a couple of reasons for that. 

“The deaths trail cases — maybe somebody that’s been in the hospital for several weeks.

Another can be the amount of time it takes to get the documents necessary to make the determination,” Beshear said. “That could be the death certificate or other documents related to their care. It could be the committee that reviews them.” 

An analysis by WFPL News earlier this month found county and regional health departments reported roughly 20% more COVID-19 deaths than were included in the state’s official death count. 

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also decreased, but some hospitals in southern and eastern Kentucky are nearing capacity for intensive care units. 

Visit the ReSource COVID Data Tracker and Vaccine Tracker for more information about the pandemic in Kentucky.