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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Covid-19 cases fluctuating; rollout of next vaccine to begin Feb. 1

Governor Andy Beshear reported case information and noted that data was "fluctuating" after the holidays. 

"2021 is going to be the year that we defeat the coronavirus. It’s going to take months. We are still going to sustain heartbreaking losses along the way. But vaccines are here. The first two that received emergency approval are highly effective. And I’m working day in and day out, along with the Department for Public Health and many others in state government, to get them out even faster,” said Gov. Beshear. 

“That is my primary mission right now.”

Kentucky was slated to receive 202,650 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines by the end of December. That allotment is still trickling in, Beshear said, and next week, the state expects to get 27,300 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 26,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

“We’re only receiving the information about how many doses we’ll even have a week in advance,” which makes scheduling appointments to administer those doses for select populations tricky, Beshear said. “Without a fully guaranteed schedule,” he said, “there is a limit to how far out we can project.”

Since Monday, 6,168 more doses of the vaccine were administered statewide, meaning at least 66,582 people have received the first dose. While Beshear said that’s likely the most doses given in a day so far, it’s still a fraction of the total amount Kentucky has on hand. On Monday, Kentucky had only administered about 35 percent of the total doses it had received.

Among staff and residents in nursing and assisted living homes, who are among the first in the state to have access to a vaccine, 113 more residents and 118 staff have tested positive.

Walgreens and CVS, which have federal contracts to dole out vaccines at those facilities, immunized nearly 2,200 residents and staff between Monday and Tuesday. Beshear said Walgreens expects to finish its first round of vaccinations (both the Moderna and Pfizer shots require a follow-up booster) as early as this week.

As more populations become eligible for a dose, the goal is to set up sites that can safely immunize large numbers of people quickly, Beshear said. Like the drive-thru site at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville that opened Monday to health care workers, he said people should expect similar sites to pop up in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to have larger regional sites within every region in the state,” Beshear said.

The big lift of a mass immunization, as Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said Monday, will be trying to administer as many doses to as many people as possible, as fast as possible — a goal that hinges on a number of complicated logistics, including scheduling and community outreach to ensure eligible groups are notified.

The challenge, Beshear said, “is not as much the medical administration, but the underlying logistics of doing it in a way that doesn’t expose people.”

Case Information 
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 1,781
New deaths today: 23
Positivity rate: 11.4%
Total deaths: 2,772
Currently hospitalized: 1,760
Currently in ICU: 430
Currently on ventilator: 215

Kenton County: 65
Boone County: 49
Campbell County: 25
Grant County: 6

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