Beshear announces 726 new COVID-19 cases, 1.25 million vaccinations

Governor Andy Beshear announced 726 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky and 19 new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday. Thursday’s positivity rate is slightly below 3%.

Most of the 19 new deaths from local health departments in the state occured during a previous month. None of the 19 deaths originated from Warren County.

Beshear said all Kentucky COVID-19 vaccination clinics should open to members of the phase 2 vaccine group, which includes all Kentuckians who are at least 40 years old, starting Monday.

“We’re trying to thread this needle just right and make sure that we don’t open to everybody too quickly,” Beshear said. “We are close in the Commonwealth to opening to everybody.”

Beshear noted that several COVID-19 vaccination clinics have already been inoculating Kentuckians who are not a part of phase 1. The Medical Center in Bowling Green opened its vaccine appointments to those 16 years and older earlier this month.   

About 1.25 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Since March 23, 48,238 people in the state received their first dose.

Beshear advised Kentuckians to not wait for a specific vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson version, to become available in their area. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are sufficient as well, Beshear said.

“We need you to get the one that is available to you as quickly as possible,” Beshear said.

When asked about renewing Kentucky’s current mask mandate, Beshear said an extension is likely.

“I believe that we all have a duty to protect those who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Beshear said. “We have to make sure we continue to wear them until it is safe.”

Leo Bertucci can be reached at [email protected]  Follow him on Twitter @leober2chee.