Health

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.

“We have successfully stopped three waves of this virus, but we are now seeing a real and significant increase in cases and our positivity rate from people’s gatherings around the holidays,” Beshear said.

The governor announced that nearly 108,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Kentucky, as of Friday.

At Friday’s coronavirus briefing, public health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the state website is rolling out a new feature that will allow people to sign up for the vaccine.

Stack said slots will be limited to health care workers in the coming weeks. Kentucky will continue receiving about 53,000 doses a week through mid-February.

“It’s only so much to go around, but we have committed to supplying these locations with at least some steady, reliable supply, so they know how many appointments they can schedule,” he said.

Until a vaccine becomes more widely available, Beshear warned of continued spread. He also criticized Republicans in the state legislature for advancing bills that would limit his response to the pandemic.

House Bill 1 would allow schools and businesses to operate regardless of state restrictions, as long as they meet CDC guidelines. Senate Bill 1 would limit Beshear’s emergency orders to 30 days, unless approved by the legislature.

“It also prevents us from providing clear advice and having the flexibility we need to address a virus that just mutated,” Beshear said.

The positivity rate in the state rose to 11.93% on Friday. Beshear also announced 13 new deaths.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.