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Kentucky Reports Decline In Coronavirus Cases, Vaccine Shortage

A worker at Broadbent Arena talks with a patient in a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination line before.
A volunteer nurse at the Broadbent Arena vaccination site prepares to give a JCPS school nurse their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 8 2021.

Kentucky’s daily total of new coronavirus cases was lower than it has been in a month and Gov. Andy Beshear says that’s due to restrictions he implemented before the holidays.

The state’s positivity rate fell below 10% for the first time this year, and is now sitting at 9.93%.

During his daily briefing on Monday, Beshear credited the apparent decline to people following coronavirus safety orders and recommendations.

“I think that what we were able to do by the steps we took, especially before Christmas, blunted the worst of the worst where we would have peaked, and other states did,” Beshear said.

Kentucky has now had two straight weeks of declining coronavirus cases, though the state’s virus-related deaths are still elevated.

Beshear reported 1,268 new cases of coronavirus, though the state also reported another day of more than three dozen new deaths—39 more people died from the virus in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total to 3,460.

But Kentucky is still struggling to obtain enough vaccines to meet Beshear’s goal to start vaccinating people through regional Kroger drive-thru sites next week, and rapidly expand the eligible population.

Beshear said the state’s ability to provide vaccinations is due to “insufficient supply we are getting from the federal government.”

“We need a lot more, we need four times, five times what we’re getting from the federal government. I’ll continue to advocate every day in every way that I can to try and get you your vaccine as quickly as possible,” Beshear said.

He said the state has already administered 88% of its first-dose supply, and he believes all long-term care facilities in the state have received their first vaccine doses.

As of Monday, 64.2% of Kentucky coronavirus-related deaths had been in long-term facilities.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.