Deadliest day of the pandemic in Kentucky as vaccinations plod forward

When will vaccinations in long-term care facilities begin to result in fewer deaths? A crucial question without a clear answer.

Gov. Beshear updates COVID-19 response, vaccine rollout in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Kentucky recorded 58 virus-related deaths Thursday, the largest daily increase of the pandemic.

The state also recorded 3,728 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The rolling seven-day positivity rate is 11.05 percent, down 0.24 points from Wednesday. The rate has come in below 12 percent each of the last six days.

Currently 1,604 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19, a decrease of 74 from Wednesday. Hospitalizations remained steady through the state’s post-holiday case surge and appear close to pre-holiday levels.

Of those hospitalized, 395 are in ICUs, and 209 are on ventilators.

“We still have too many cases, but it does appear we are seeing a decline from our highest week ever. Our positivity rate is down again. Far higher than we want, but this is a good trend,” Beshear said. “The hard part though about today’s report is it’s the most deaths we ever announced.”

Kentucky is “almost through” the first round of vaccinations at its LTC facilities, where 66 percent of the state’s deaths have occurred, Beshear explained.

Still, immunity doesn’t reach the 95-percent efficacy mark until around 10 days following the second dose, meaning any significant reduction in LTC deaths (and, by extension, overall deaths and hospitalizations) might not appear in the data until the end of February. Data modeling in the area remains incomplete, the governor said.

In other vaccine news, Kentucky is now able to immunize far more people per week with COVID-19 vaccines than it receives in doses from the federal government.

“We are proving we can get it out there. We are proving that we are efficient. We are proving that we can get it into people’s arms,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

But in the present, vaccine supply remains “a limiting factor” at this stage in the rollout, according to the governor, one that is “squarely on the federal government” to fix.

The governor penned a request to Operation Warp Speed asking for more vaccines Tuesday. On Thursday, he revealed he has done the same with Pfizer and Moderna.

Vaccine Update

Kentucky has received 450,175 total vaccine doses, an increase of 5,850 from Wednesday.

Of the total doses received, 117,975 have been diverted to the long-term care facility program per a federal contract. This includes both first and second doses, explaining why fewer of these have been administered compared to the state allocation.

Of these doses, 41,788 have been administered, an increase of 2,427 since Wednesday.

He also said all K-12 educators, at both public and private schools, are on track to receive their first shots the first week of February.

Of the 332,200 doses received by the state, 209,079 have been administered, an increase of 16,307 since Wednesday.

A total of 250,867 doses have been administered in the state.

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