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Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19, Dangerous Winter Storm

Crystal Staley or Sebastian Kitchen
https://governor.ky.gov
Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY  40601

Governor announces child care workers now included in phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 15, 2021) – On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on COVID-19 vaccine progress and announced child care workers now will be included in phase 1B. They can sign up anywhere in the commonwealth currently offering vaccinations.

The Governor said the state has had five weeks of declining cases for the first time since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kentucky, on March 6, 2020.

“We are seeing some of the best COVID-19 news that’s been out there since we began this fight. These positive COVID-19 trends may be from the cold weather keeping people from going places that they would otherwise, but I think it’s more than that. I think we’ve reached a point in the pandemic where we all know multiple people that we’ve lost, and we realize how effective wearing a mask is, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and we want to protect one another as we get there,” said Gov. Beshear.

Adam Mather, Cabinet for Health and Family Services inspector general, also updated Kentuckians on COVID-19 vaccinations in long-term care facilities.

“We are seeing really positive trends, not only in Kentucky as a whole, but specifically in long-term care which was hit very hard by COVID-19,” Mather said. “We’re seeing decreasing numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Today is the first day that we’ve reported no facility in the state of Kentucky has 15 or more active cases. We are expanding the federal vaccination program for long-term care into other residential spaces, including low-income, elderly congregate housing, Supports for Community Living residences and more.”

Finally, the Governor emphasized the importance of continuing to improve vaccine equity, as some racial and ethnic groups remain underrepresented among vaccine recipients.

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 723
New deaths today: 9
Positivity rate: 6.57%
Total deaths: 4,291
Currently hospitalized: 969
Currently in ICU: 268
Currently on ventilator: 132

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Madison, Boone and Pike. Each county reported at least 25 new cases.

To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

Winter Storm Update
Gov. Beshear, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray and Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said the next wave of wintry weather has begun in the state, bringing varying road conditions to counties. Heavy snow is reported in Western Kentucky, sleet in parts of Central Kentucky and freezing rain and ice in Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky.

“The conditions on our roads are deteriorating very quickly. Parts of Kentucky are getting significant snow, sleet and freezing rain or an ice storm. We’re one of the only states getting all three in a very significant way,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve come too far in the last 11 months protecting one another to lose people in an event like this.”

“Make no mistake: Our highway crews are working as hard as they can. We’re not letting up, but we’re going to be contending with heavy snow that’s hard to keep up with,” said Secretary Gray. “Clearing roadways of ice and snow can be treacherous for the people operating those plows. Our employees are very skilled but not immune to ice. We ask every Kentuckian to be patient and to help us by keeping travel to a minimum, and don’t travel at all if it can be avoided. Fewer vehicles on the roadways make it easier for our plow crews to do their job.”

“Every single county in Kentucky is under a winter storm watch or a warning. This second wave of wintry weather will produce much more snow and ice accumulation than the first,” said Director Dossett. “Travel will become difficult to impossible this afternoon and tonight. Power outages are possible due to snow and previous ice accumulations on trees and power lines. It’s an extremely dangerous time – please be careful.”

For snow and ice updates and resources, visit snowky.ky.gov. For updates on roadway conditions, visit goky.ky.gov.

If Kentuckians lose power, they should call their utility company. If a household uses a generator, charcoal grill or another appliance to heat their home, they should never pull it inside the home because carbon monoxide poisoning could hurt or kill them. They should keep those heating devices at least 20 feet away from the home at all times.

T. Marzetti Co. Expansion Grows by 80 Jobs in Hart County to 220
As Kentucky rebuilds its economy stronger than ever, Gov. Beshear today highlighted T. Marzetti Co.’s additional growth plans, which will increase the company’s expansion project announced a year ago from 140 to 220 full-time jobs and represents the company’s largest-ever investment of $133 million, up from $93 million. The T. Marzetti operation in Horse Cave manufactures salad dressings, sauces and other foods for retail and foodservice markets. It currently employs over 500 people. To learn more, see the full release.

Applications for $264 Million Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund Open Today
Last week, in partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation, Gov. Beshear relaunched the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund with an additional $264 million to keep Kentuckians safe and housed throughout the pandemic.

Starting today, tenants who qualify can apply here for rent and utility assistance to cover their past-due and future bills. If approved, lump sum, direct payments will be made to landlords and utility providers. To learn more, see the full release.

More Information
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.

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