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On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge: When 2.5 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the state will remove most capacity restrictions.
When the goal is met, the Governor said he will lift capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for nearly all venues, events and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons. In addition, he will end the curfew for bars and restaurants.
“The question is, how quickly can we get there? With the vaccine supply we have, we could get there in as little as three-and-a-half weeks from now. That minimum time frame might not be realistic, but we should get there in four to six weeks if we are intentional,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have to try everything to reach this point as quickly as possible. That will help us have a more normal summer than any of us could have imagined this winter.”
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Masking would remain in effect and mass gatherings would still be limited until COVID-19 variants are under control and more Kentucky children are able to be vaccinated. The Governor said Kentucky has reported cases of all three variants of concern: the B-117 variant first detected in the United Kingdom, the B-1427 and B-1429 variants first detected in California and the P1 variant first identified in Brazil.
The Governor said he estimates more than 1.6 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; he added that vaccination data would update to that number in the next two to three days after the state’s reporting system completed a security upgrade.
As he encouraged Kentuckians to get vaccinated, the Governor referenced comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy is at an "inflection point" and that economic growth and job creation could accelerate if the U.S. continues to increase vaccinations and avoids another wave of COVID-19.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, April 12, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 270
New deaths today: 7
New audit deaths: 0
Positivity rate: 3.16%
Total deaths: 6,257
Currently hospitalized: 380
Currently in ICU: 104
Currently on ventilator: 54
“I urge everyone – for your own safety, for your own well-being – to make that choice to get vaccinated to keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Vaccines are available. For example, all Kroger and Walgreens stores in the state of Kentucky are offering COVID-19 vaccines. If we can all rally around this and go get vaccinated, we can get back to activities safely.”