FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear announced the state is partnering with Kroger to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine locally.
This is in addition to efforts currently in place across the nation, aligned with the federal roll-out plan.
Kroger will focus first on priority populations as defined by federal and state governments.
The State of Kentucky is currently in Phase 1A and beginning to vaccinate those eligible for Phase 1B. All of Phase 1 is expected to begin February 1.
The first mass drive-thru clinic will begin the week of Feb. 1.
The location and scheduling details will be shared publicly on January 28.
Once more vaccines are available, efforts will include a combination of mass vaccine events across the Commonwealth, and appointments at The Little Clinics and pharmacies within Kroger store locations.
Vaccinations have already started for K-12 school personnel through individual school districts and will continue to ramp up over the next few weeks.
The governor said the state expects to finish administering initial vaccination doses for K-12 educators and support staff the week of Feb. 1.
As of Thursday, the governor said 324,650 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been received in Kentucky and 172,537 doses were administered. Of those administered, 28,977 have been given to long-term care facility residents and staff.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health announced 4,084 new cases of COVID-19, including 51 additional deaths, on Thursday.
This brings the total number of cases in the state to 317,345 with a total of 3,042 deaths.
The positivity rate in the state, as of Thursday, was 12.34 percent.
Currently, a total of 1,661 people in Kentucky were hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 409 were in the ICU and 196 were on ventilators.
Unemployment insurance update
Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, updated Kentuckians on Thursday on virtual appointment scheduling, federal Continued Assistance Act implementation and the number of Kentuckians who have now received unemployment insurance payments.
“The virtual appointment schedule is an 18-calendar day rolling schedule,” Cubbage said. “For instance, day 1 is today, Jan. 14. Day 18 is Jan. 31. Appointments for Feb. 1 should be on the website tomorrow for claimants to schedule. Appointment hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily. There are currently 16 staff working 125 appointments a day.”
She said the system allows claimants to schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments as well as add the appointment information to their calendars.
If a claimant forgets their appointment information, they can go to the website, enter their email address and the system will resend the appointment information. The system is also set to send reminders to claimants with appointments the day before their scheduled appointment.
“The programming for the federal Continuing Assistance Act is largely finished. Additional $300 per week payments should start going out next week,” Cubbage said. “Additional PUA/PEUC weeks should be ready to claim without opening a new claim, even if you had exhausted your full number of weeks previously.”
Cubbage added, “We are changing the way we report numbers to give a more accurate context for the work done by the Office of Unemployment Insurance since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The total numbers from the beginning of the pandemic to the end of November are as follows:
- Total Claims: 1,539,784
- Total Claims Paid/Payable: 547,836
- Total Claims Denied: 27,552
- Total Pending with Fraud/Identity Issues: 90,144
- Total Pending with No Fraud/Identity Issues: 23,236
- Total Amount Paid: $5,450,709,280
Kentucky National Guard Members to help with presidential inauguration
Governor Beshear also announced on Thursday that the Kentucky National Guard will send approximately 270 personnel to the Washington, D.C. region who will be on duty through the presidential inauguration Jan. 20.
“The peaceful transfer of power is a bedrock of our democracy. Historically, the Kentucky National Guard has assisted in and around Washington, D.C., during presidential inaugurations. Given the attack of Jan. 6 on our U.S. Capitol and on lawmakers, more of our soldiers and airmen will be traveling to the region to ensure safety and security. They will assist civilian law enforcement with security operations, including protecting property, for the Wednesday inauguration,” said Gov. Beshear. “These brave men and women will once again proudly serve the commonwealth and the country during this historic moment when our new president is sworn in.”
Hitachi to bring 200 jobs to Berea, Ky.
Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America Inc. will establish a new, 200-job operation in Berea to manufacture motors for electric vehicles. For more information, see the full release.