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COVID-19: 29-Year Old NKY Woman Among Dead; 377 New NKY Cases; More Vaccine Centers to Be Announced

Kentucky recorded an additional 2,592 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 377 in five Northern Kentucky counties.

Five Northern Kentuckians were also among the 51 reported deaths.

There were 134 new cases in Kenton Co., 117 in Boone Co., 87 in Campbell Co., 36 in Grant Co., and 3 in Pendleton Co.

Two women, aged 29 and 79, from Boone Co. were among the dead as were 51- and 82-year old men from Campbell Co., and a 79-year old woman from Kenton Co.

Two men from nearby Gallatin Co., aged 53 and 62, were also among the dead.

There are currently 1,340 people hospitalized including 368 in intensive care units and 171 on ventilators.

The state's positivity rate is 8.53%.

Meanwhile, Governor Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky is on track to be 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 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 that reopening schools is a top priority, but density control, masking, proper ventilation and community mitigation must be in place.

Beshear said that 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.

“I will remind everyone that we get these doses late Monday or early Tuesday," Beshear said. "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.”

Beshear said that he will announce additional regional centers across the state where vaccinations will take place.

“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," he said.

-Staff report

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