Gov. Beshear: Kentucky on Track to be First State to Vaccinate Educators
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Governor, Kentucky Department of Education to help schools reopen in some form March 1
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2021) – On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky is on track to become the first state to vaccinate educators.
“Our vaccination efforts right now are exciting to see. You walk into one of our vaccination centers and you see a workforce that is inspired,” said Gov. Beshear. “It is moving. You see people clearly walking around with purpose. You see faith in action. And you see people who have worked long shifts who are still smiling when that next person sits down.”
The Governor said reopening schools is a top priority, but density control, masking, proper ventilation and community mitigation must be in place.
Gov. Beshear said he is working with the Kentucky Department of Education to create a plan where all schools can reopen for some form of in-person learning March 1. But, he noted that through the end of this school year, all schools will need to have a virtual option for parents who choose it.
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on the state’s vaccine rollout reporting.
“We will begin reporting and updating daily how many unique people have been vaccinated in Kentucky. That, we will show next to the total number of first doses of vaccine allocated to the state and then you’ll also see a utilization percentage,” said Dr. Stack. “We’re committed to giving the second dose to everyone who gets the first dose, so the most important metric is who has started this vaccine series.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if approved, will only require one dose, so the state can easily merge data on all three vaccinations using this new system focused on first doses.
The Governor added, “I will remind everyone that we get these doses late Monday or early Tuesday. So Tuesday and Wednesday, there’s always going to be the biggest difference between our supply and how many people we’ve vaccinated. But by the time we get to that next Monday, you’ll see we’ve administered as many vaccinations as we received that week, or even more.”
Dr. Stack also encouraged Kentuckians to stay safe this weekend during the Super Bowl.
“This is just like any other holiday or social event. You have to practice social distancing and stay home or keep gatherings very small. Wear your masks – please,” said Dr. Stack. “We can’t afford to have the disease spread now. With these mutations and these variants, it gives the virus the opportunity to learn how to defeat the antibodies that are forming to protect us after these vaccines.”
On Wednesday, Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown updated Kentuckians on COVID-19 in the state’s correctional facilities.
Currently, seven of the state’s 14 prisons have zero active inmate cases. There has been a marked reduction in active cases for both inmates and staff in the last two weeks. On Jan. 20, we had 2,227 active inmate cases and 169 active staff cases; today that number is 271 active inmate cases and 55 active staff cases.
“We have tragically lost 43 inmates; the largest number from the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR). Of the 43 deaths, 28 were from KSR,” said Secretary Brown. “We have also lost five DOC employees as a result of complications from COVID-19. In late fall, we initiated the rapid testing of all prison staff on a weekly basis that will soon be twice a week. To date, we’ve administered over 28,500 rapid tests to people entering a prison, including staff and contractors.
“When an outbreak does occur, the prison is divided based on the inmate test results: positive cases, negative but exposed and negative. Medical staff check on each inmate individually.”
Kentucky Worker Injury Rate Hits Record Low
The state’s recordable, nonfatal occupational injury and illness rate has fallen to the lowest point on record, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet announced today. To learn more, see the full release.
More than $2 Million in Grants Awarded to Fight Violence Against Women
Gov. Beshear and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble announced today that $2,116,636 has been awarded in grant funding from the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution (STOP) Formula Grant Program to 28 agencies across Kentucky. To learn more, see the full release.
Kentucky State Police Angel Initiative Responds to Drug Epidemic Amidst Pandemic
Today, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) is pleased to announce that the doors have reopened to assist in the fight against the drug epidemic, with CDC guidelines in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus amongst the public and KSP dispatchers and troopers. The KSP Angel Initiative is a proactive program designed to help people battle addiction. The program, available at all 16 KSP post locations, temporarily paused in April while the agency developed safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, see the full release.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 2,592
New deaths today: 51
Positivity rate: 8.53%
Total deaths: 3,863
Currently hospitalized: 1,340
Currently in ICU: 368
Currently on ventilator: 171
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton, Boone and Daviess. Each of these counties reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 424.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
“Everyone tune in tomorrow, where we’ll be announcing additional regional centers across Kentucky, building out our map,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re also going to talk about local health departments which are all going to be getting a consistent supply for the next three weeks.”
On Tuesday, Gov. Beshear announced the federal COVID-19 team will increase Kentucky’s vaccine supply by an additional 5%. In total, the state’s supply will increase by 22% the week of Feb. 8 compared with the week of Jan. 25. To learn more, see the full release.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.