Frankfort, KY – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky has surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 deaths and the positivity rate is now higher than 10%.
He also updated Kentuckians on the distribution plan for the commonwealth’s initial COVID-19 vaccine shipments. Long-term care residents and staff, as well as health care professionals, will be inoculated first.
“Today, we passed some tough milestones both in the country and here in Kentucky. Today is the toughest day our country has ever seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we lost more people than any other day this year. We’re also at record hospitalizations across America,” said Gov. Beshear. “This ought to show us and tell us that now, more than ever, we need to do the right things to protect those around us.”
In total, Kentucky is expected to receive 38,025 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the first round of shipments from the federal government. These doses are all for the initial vaccine; booster shots will be delivered approximately three weeks later. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines require an initial dose and a booster dose.
The Governor emphasized that the state’s total doses and the plan for where those will be distributed are subject to change.
“The initial allocation sites were chosen because they were large enough to handle 975 Pfizer doses; the CDC required they had to have ultra-low cold storage; they had to be completely enrolled as a COVID provider; and we wanted a good coverage area across Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “We also looked at high-incident rate sites.”
The current planned allocation for 12,675 doses going to hospitals is: Lourdes Hospital (975), Pikeville Medical Center (975), University of Kentucky Hospital (1,950), Baptist Health Madisonville (975), Baptist Hospital Louisville (975), St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood (975), Baptist Health Corbin (975), Baptist Health Lexington (975), Norton Hospital (1,950), Medical Center at Bowling Green (975) and University of Louisville Hospital (975).
In addition, 25,350 doses will go to CVS and Walgreens; the federal government has contracted with these companies to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff. All of the initial doses given to CVS and Walgreens will be used for this purpose.
“We are allowing each facility to make their own allocation decisions according to who they believe are tier one staff,” said Gov. Beshear.
Vaccine providers still needing to enroll should fill out the form at kycovid19.ky.gov. The website includes the draft Kentucky vaccination plan, which includes a draft outline of our planning phases and critical populations. The site also has a number of COVID-19 vaccine resources to help you and your family understand the COVID-19 vaccine as well as a CDC Vaccine Toolkit for Health care providers, labs and facilities.
Finally, the Governor today extended the state’s face coverings mandate for an additional 30 days.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 3,895
New deaths today: 34
Positivity rate: 10.07%
Total deaths: 2,014
Currently hospitalized: 1,810
Currently in ICU: 415
Currently on ventilator: 240
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin, Kenton, Boone and McCracken. Each of these counties reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 683.
The 113 red zone counties for this week can be found here: https://chfs.ky.gov/Pages/cv19maps.aspx. Community leaders, businesses, schools and families in these counties should all follow red zone reduction recommendations, as well as other orders and guidance.
Those reported lost to the virus today include a 65-year-old woman and two men, ages 63 and 69, from Barren County; an 86-year-old woman from Bell County; two women, ages 87 and 93, from Caldwell County; two women, ages 71 and 76, from Christian County; a 50-year-old man from Crittenden County; a 96-year-old woman from Daviess County; seven women, ages 65, 78, 87, 90, 94, 95 and 96, and two men, ages 81 and 93, from Fayette County; a 101-year-old woman from Graves County; a 64-year-old woman from Greenup County; a 69-year-old woman from Hickman County; two women, ages 82 and 94, from Jefferson County; a 62-year-old man from Marion County; a 94-year-old woman from McCracken County; a 76-year-old woman from Metcalfe County; a 91-year-old woman and an 88-year-old man from Oldham County; two women, ages 74 and 92, and two men, ages 84 and 88, from Warren County; and a 68-year-old man from Woodford County.
This past weekend, Kentucky lost Arethia Tilford to COVID-19 after 25 days in the hospital. She was only 57 years old. Her husband of 22 years, Mark Tilford said, “Arethia was a queen.” He described her as the love of his life, and the most unselfish, charismatic person he’d ever met.
“She was the life of the party, and lifted up everyone who knew her. This was apparent as we heard from those who knew Arethia,” said Gov. Beshear. “As an attendance clerk at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School in Louisville, ‘Mrs. Arethia’ touched the lives of every child who walked through the school’s door. She always said ‘when you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine’ and she lived that through each day.
“Arethia is now looking over her husband and their two sons. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We’re so thankful you shared your wife with so many people who were honored to know her.”