Frankfort, KY – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced all Kentuckian 50 and older can sign up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments on or after March 22.
He said all Kentuckians ages 16 and older will be able to sign up for appointments by April 12.
“Kentuckians deemed most vulnerable should still get priority, and they will, but we can’t have these vaccines sitting in a freezer. We are in a race against the COVID-19 variants and we’ve got to get it out fast,” said Gov. Beshear.
Bar and Restaurant Curfew Extension
Today, Gov. Beshear said he is extending the curfew on bars and restaurants by one hour. Businesses can now serve food and drinks until 12 a.m. local time and can stay open until 1 a.m. local time.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, March 18, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 785
New deaths today: 448
Positivity rate: 3.23%
Total deaths: 5,504
Currently hospitalized: 449
Currently in ICU: 110
Currently on ventilator: 57
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette and Simpson. Each county reported at least 35 new cases.
Gov. Beshear explained the state reported record deaths today because 417 of those deaths were determined to have been caused by COVID-19 after an additional death certificate audit. When Ohio conducted the same type of audit, they reported 4,000 additional deaths; Indiana reported more than 1,500 additional deaths after this type of audit.
“The way that we normally get our information on deaths is through local health departments. We then check the information, make sure it is a COVID-19 death – it goes through a committee – and then it moves onto our report. That’s why sometimes local health departments will report a death earlier than we do.
“There are some deaths we receive that we determine are not a COVID-19 death. Our commitment is first to be accurate, but second, to make sure that there are no unknown soldiers, that we account for every single individual we’ve lost and we recognize every single grieving family. So what we have done is we have pulled every death certificate from November to the end of January that lists COVID-19. We have then compared those to what we have reported, what came up from the local health departments.
“For those who we don’t have a report for, we then see if there is a positive COVID-19 test we can connect their case to. With those, where we know the individual had it, we then look at the documentation in the same way that we would if it came up through the local health department.”
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. Kentucky’s vaccine map lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so individuals can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment. Below the vaccine map, Kentuckians can find additional vaccination sites at Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens stores, as well as independent pharmacies.