Beshear says 25% of state’s adults have been vaccinated
On Monday, Gov. Beshear announced 834,130 Kentuckians – 25% of Kentucky adults – have now received at least one dose of one of three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Gov. Beshear also announced Kentucky has now seen eight straight weeks of declining COVID-19 cases. Today’s COVID-19 report includes the lowest number of new cases since Sept. 14.
“This is the exact type of trajectory we want to see as we are vaccinating people,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is in many ways a race against time against the variants. If we can continue that downward trajectory while increasing the number of people vaccinated, we can hopefully get to the end of this thing sooner rather than later. The President has made a promise that all adults who want to be vaccinated will be able to get their first shot by at least the end of May.”
The Governor also updated Kentuckians who have suffered due to recent ice storms and record flooding.
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground right now evaluating both events,” said Gov. Beshear. “I have spoken today with our contact in the Biden Administration stressing how critical this is and the importance of individual assistance. To anybody out there who lost their home, had it damaged or the rest, please document every one of those losses.”
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“For adults who are fully vaccinated, the CDC is now saying those individuals within their own homes can gather in small groups with other fully vaccinated adults,” said Dr. Stack. “If vaccinated and unvaccinated people are mixed together in a gathering, generally you should still practice social distancing and wear your masks.
“The other guidance – and this is really important – when you are out in public settings, whether you are vaccinated or not, please wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands and continue to do those behaviors until we get everybody vaccinated, particularly the most vulnerable in society. There has also been no relaxation of the travel guidance by the CDC yet in relation to vaccination status. The new guidance released today is great news overall, but we still have to be careful.”
As of 4 p.m. Monday, March 8, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 331
New deaths today: 10
Positivity rate: 4.06%
Total deaths: 4,829
Currently hospitalized: 539
Currently in ICU: 161
Currently on ventilator: 82
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Scott and McCracken. Each county reported at least 10 new cases.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website, vaccine.ky.gov, shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically. Individuals can sign up for notifications so state officials can communicate with them when doses become available at new and existing sites. Vaccine.ky.gov also lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so Kentuckians can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246, has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when doses are available.
Free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine appointments is offered by public transit agencies across the commonwealth. These services are already operating in over 90 counties, covering 75% of all counties across Kentucky. Kentuckians can find transportation services near them by heading to kycovid19.ky.gov for a full list of participating public transit agencies and their phone numbers, or by calling the Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.
Kentucky Broadband Initiative
Today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman emphasized that the Beshear-Coleman administration is committed to providing broadband internet connectivity to every single Kentuckian.
“The speed test will remain active for a year and Kentuckians can continue to take it here. But we set an initial deadline of March 1 so that we maintain a sense of urgency – this is a priority for this administration, and we won’t rest until we fulfill our promise,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “With the data from our speed test, we know there are 71 counties where we can move forward with grant funding requests.”
By March 1, 81,089 Kentuckians had taken the speed test, outpacing much larger states that began speed tests six months ago.
GEO Partners called Kentucky “a shining light” and said that the commonwealth “accomplished in six weeks what other states have accomplished in six months. Kentucky has more than double the number of tests as the next highest state.”
“This is another instance of Kentucky leading the way,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “I would like to give a huge thanks to our partners who have made this project a success and all the Kentuckians who took the time out of their day to help their neighbors in need.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman said the state still needs more responses from Boone, Bullitt, Christian and Jefferson counties.
Wholesale Hardwood Interiors to Rebuild with $7.1 Million Investment
Three months ago, disaster struck Wholesale Hardwood Interiors Inc. in Campbellsville, when a fire broke out at the facility resulting in a near total loss. Lt. Gov. Coleman said last week, Gov. Beshear announced the company is moving forward with plans to invest $7.1 million and create 100 full-time jobs, restoring the operation with additional space to accommodate recent and future growth. To learn more, see the full release.
“This special announcement really demonstrates the resiliency of Kentuckians,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.
Recreational Trails Program
Today, Lt. Gov. Coleman announced more than $692,000 from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been awarded to improve parks and recreational spaces in 12 communities across the commonwealth.
RTP is a competitive federal program aimed at improving communities and enhancing quality of life.
“Safe, green spaces provide a place for our families to exercise and spend quality time with one another, making them an important part of building a healthier, better Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “And as we work to build that better Kentucky, quality outdoor spaces will also help us make Kentucky a world-class tourist destination.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman added that the vast majority of the selected projects are in rural Kentucky.
“As a rural Kentuckian, I know how beautiful our entire state is, and to be able to invest in these areas is so important to me,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.