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COVID-19: 100,000th Vaccine Administered by St. E; 59 New Cases in NKY

St. Elizabeth Healthcare administered its 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday as Governor Andy Beshear watched at the hospital's Training and Education Center in Erlanger.

Lesley Salsbury received the shot, administered by retired nurse Patty Burns.

Beshear announced this week a goal of having 2.5 million Kentucky residents receiving at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. When that happens, Beshear said, the state can lift many restrictions on venues and businesses that cater to fewer than 1,000 patrons. 

“Together with partners like St. Elizabeth, we are winning our war against the coronavirus this year. This is how we get back to being able to do more of the things we all want to do,” said Beshear. “We are in a race to defeat this virus as other states see a deadly ‘fourth wave’ of COVID-19. We must not let that happen in the commonwealth. We need to vaccinate more Kentuckians, faster, which is what makes St. Elizabeth’s 100,000th vaccine milestone so special.”

Beshear encouraged all Kentuckians 16 and older to sign up for vaccination appointments, available at more than 500 vaccination sites across the commonwealth. There is now a vaccination site close to where every Kentuckian lives, he said.

Kentucky vaccination sites are currently administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which account for approximately 95% of all COVID-19 vaccines administered in Kentucky so far. A small number of Kentucky providers that were administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until Tuesday have briefly paused its use until receiving further guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, the governor, later on Wednesday, drew attention to the increase in the state's positivity rate, which is now 3.33%.

“While not a drastic change, today’s increase in the positivity rate is concerning,” said Beshear. “This is why it’s so important for Kentuckians to help us meet our Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge and reach our 2.5 million vaccine goal. The sooner we meet this goal, the sooner we can lift many restrictions on most venues and businesses. With over 1.6 million Kentuckians already vaccinated, we need everyone to help us meet our goal, including those who will directly benefit: for example, bars, restaurants, music venues, funeral homes, retail, event spaces, wedding venues, public pools, grocery stores, country clubs, museums, festivals and distilleries.”

The state recorded 782 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including 59 in five Northern Kentucky counties: 18 in Boone, 17 in Kenton, 11 each in Campbell and Grant, and 2 in Pendleton.

Fourteen deaths were reported across the state. None were local.

There are currently 420 people hospitalized across the state, including 115 in intensive care units and 51 on ventilators.

-Staff report

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