Beshear Provides Updates On COVID-19 Vaccines And Contact Tracing
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided updates on the COVID-19 vaccines in the state and said “2021 is going to be the year where we defeat the coronavirus."
Beshear said the state has received the majority of the vaccinations the Commonwealth was supposed to receive in December. The federal government ships directly to the healthcare providers in Kentucky to administer vaccines more quickly.
The state expects to receive 110,800 total vaccine doses in January. Beshear said the fact that the vaccine is two separate doses, with both required to receive 95% effectiveness against the virus.
As of Tuesday, the total number of vaccine doses administered in Kentucky is 66,582.
Walgreens staff helped vaccinate 220 staff and 540 residents in 11 long-term facilities Tuesday, and CVS pharmacy staff provided 1,423 doses across 10 long-term care facilities.
Beshear announced 1,781 new cases on Tuesday, with 1,760 currently hospitalized, 430 in the ICU, and 215on a ventilator. The state test positivity rate is 11.4%. The governor explained they are waiting on further data to indicate the decline in COVID-19 cases amid higher positivity rate.
There were 24 new reported deaths due to the pandemic. So far, provided Kentucky has provided over 3.5 million COVID-19 tests. Beshear said he’s hopeful soon they will have administered 3.5 million vaccines.
Beshear continues to encourage Kentuckians to ring the bells and keep Kentucky lit up with green lights to show compassion throughout the commonwealth.
Mark Carter, the executive advisor at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who’s leading the state’s contact tracing efforts, said Kentuckians must continue to be cautious until everyone is vaccinated.
Carter said the state has hired more than 1200 people to assist with contact tracing, but that the number may be conservative.
He also said he expects epidemiologists to do exhaustive studies in the upcoming years that are anticipated to prove contact tracing as an effective approach against the pandemic.