Federal government promises 17% more vaccine

Published 7:18 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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The federal government will increase its supply of COVID-19 vaccine to Kentucky, and the state has now seen its first cases of the UK Variant of the virus, Gov. Andy Beshear said on Tuesday.

He said he had a call with the President’s COVID-19 team where he learned the federal government will increase each state’s supply of vaccines by 17%.

“That is a great start for an administration that has been in office only six days,” the governor said.  “The other thing they are doing is guaranteeing a minimum supply for three straight weeks.  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.”

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He said this was an important step. “This is going to help us plan, which is going to help our providers out there be able to plan.  It’s going to help us be able to sign more people up for their appointments, knowing that we will have a certain amount in the future.”

Beshear also delivered what he termed some tough news.  “We knew we’d see it, but we now have our first two confirmed cases of the UK Variant of the coronavirus strain here in Kentucky.”

He said State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack is going to talk more about the UK strain, which spreads more aggressively, during the governor’s press briefing on Wednesday.

A total of 2,714 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday.  Beshear says that is up from last week, but less than two weeks ago.

Three counties had more than 100 cases: Jefferson with 440, Fayette 186, and Daviess 119.  The rest of the top ten counties for new cases were Warren 94, Kenton 86, Pike 76, Madison 63, Nelson 60, Campbell 58 and Floyd 48.

The state’s positivity rate has continued its decline and stood at 9.63% on Tuesday.

There are currently 1,566 Kentuckians hospitalized.  Of them, 391 are in intensive care, while 228 are on a ventilator.  Those numbers are fairly stable, according to Beshear.

There were 35 more deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the pandemic total to 3,495.  “We are still seeing really rough death counts from our significant escalation, leading up into November and then some from that holiday bump,” he said.

The latest victims ranged in age from 63 to 96.  Daviess and Ohio counties each had five; Jefferson County reported four; there were three in Fayette and Wayne counties; two in Crittenden County; and Adair, Carter, Casey, Clay, Cumberland, Greenup, Hancock, Harrison, Henderson, Laurel, McCracken, Montgomery, and Todd counties had one apiece.

To see the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, vaccine distribution, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.