Health

The UK variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced two cases so far of the more aggressive, seemingly more contagious variant of COVID-19 in a press release Tuesday. He did not hold a briefing.

The news of the variant’s confirmation comes as Kentucky anticipates receiving and distributing more doses of the vaccine, starting next week. Beshear said he spoke with President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 team, and they said the federal government will increase each state’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines by 17%.

They will also guarantee a minimum supply for three weeks, Beshear said.

“That is a great start,” Beshear said. “One of the tough things we’ve been dealing with is only knowing on a Tuesday what we would have the next week and not knowing what we would have in the weeks after.”

Beshear reported 2,714 new cases Tuesday, 440 of which came from Jefferson County. There were 35 new deaths. The positivity rate is 9.63%, he said.

  • Currently hospitalized: 1,566
  • Currently in ICU: 391
  • Currently on ventilator: 228
  • Total deaths: 3,495
Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.