School staff to receive shots early; Kroger to help ramp up vaccines

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FRANKFORT, KY. (KT) – COVID-19 vaccinations for school staff will begin earlier than planned, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a press briefing on Thursday, and a new partnership for drive-thru vaccination centers.


“We set a goal of starting those vaccinations the week of Feb. 1,” he said.  “I’m excited to report that our vaccination efforts are increasing at a rapid pace, so today we can announce that we believe we will have all of the K-12 personnel who agree to be vaccinated to have their first shot by the end of that week we said we’d start, Feb. 1.”


He also announced a new partnership with Kroger, “To increase our vaccinations here in the coming months, by helping us to stand up high volume drive-thru vaccination centers in regions across Kentucky.  They will be supplemented by other organizations to stand up similar types of drive-thru facilities and providing vaccines in other ways.”


While details on the locations have not yet been finalized, the regional centers will open the week of Feb. 1, according to the governor.  “The week before that, we will announce how many are statewide, where they are, and how to sign up.”


The regional centers will provide the vaccine to anyone in groups 1a, 1b and 1c.  To see which group you are in, go to https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/20210104_Phasesbupdate.pdf.


The governor announced Transportation Secretary Jim Gray will serve as project manager of the regional vaccination center effort.


Thursday saw 4,084 new positive cases of the coronavirus, which Beshear said was down from this day last week, and the week before.  It brings the total number of cases to 317,345, since the first one was reported on March 6.


Ten counties reported over 100 new cases on Thursday.  Jefferson 642, Kenton 235, Boone and Oldham 176, Fayette 172, Warren 139, Pulaski 131, Campbell 126, Morgan 115 and Daviess 101.


The number of Kentuckians hospitalized due to COVID on Thursday stood at 1,661.  Of them, 548 were in the ICU and 196 on a ventilator.


Fifty-one deaths were reported on Thursday, which raises the pandemic total to 3,042.


The latest victims ranged in age from 47 to 99.  Hardin, Jefferson, and Whitley counties each had four; Montgomery and Pulaski counties each had three; there were two in Carter, Hopkins, Livingston, Logan, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Wayne and Woodford counties; with one apiece in Bath, Carroll, Clay, Daviess, Fayette, Gallatin, Graves, Henry, Lincoln, Lyon, Madison, Mason, Mercer, Robertson, Rockcastle, Russell, and Taylor counties.


To view 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, details on school reopening, executive orders, vaccine distribution, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.


This was the governor’s last live press briefing for this week.  His next one is expected to Tuesday, due to the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday on Monday, but he is expected to issue a daily report throughout the weekend.

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