Governor also congratulates Kentucky’s AppHarvest on becoming publicly traded
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2021) – On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear and other state officials updated Kentuckians on the state’s vaccine rollout and announced the state’s third straight week of declining cases and its fourth day in a row with a positivity rate below 9%.
“Remember, we are vaccinating people faster than we get doses from the federal government, and if you’re having a hard time signing up, it’s because there just aren’t enough doses. But we are working hard and everybody is going to get their turn,” said Gov. Beshear.
For the past four weeks, Kentucky has administered more initial doses than it received from the federal government. The Governor reminded Kentuckians that the state can vaccinate up to 250,000 people per week: the only limiting factor for vaccine distribution is supply.
Transportation Secretary and Vaccine Distribution Project Director Jim Gray updated Kentuckians on the commonwealth’s vaccine progress and the Lexington regional vaccination site at Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena, which the state will open tomorrow in partnership with Kroger.
“The goal is that no one will have to drive more than one county away to get a vaccine. We’re not there yet, but that is the goal,” Secretary Gray. “At the Kentucky Horse Park site, set up is underway as we speak today. I’m very optimistic about where things are. Each site is part of a strategic approach to getting these important vaccines into the arms of all Kentuckians who want them.”
Lexington-area residents in Phase 1A and 1B can sign up for vaccine appointments at Alltech Arena here. New appointments are posted every morning at 6 a.m. EST.
In total, 422,500 initial vaccine doses have been sent to Kentucky and 362,271 have been administered: 341,575 initial doses have been sent to the state’s distribution program and 305,757 have been administered through that program; 80,925 initial doses have been sent to Kentucky through the federal long-term care vaccination program that contracts with CVS and Walgreens and 56,514 have been administered through that program.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 1,623
New deaths today: 35
Positivity rate: 8.85%
Total deaths: 3,780
Currently hospitalized: 1,314
Currently in ICU: 337
Currently on ventilator: 178
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Madison, Daviess, Kenton and Warren. Each of these counties reported 50 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 284.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear today announced an extension of a special program that grants Kentuckians access to renew or replace a driving or identity credential through their Circuit Court Clerk’s preferred mail-in or drop method. The order applies to Kentucky driver’s licenses, permits and state-issued identification cards that expired or will expire by June 30, 2021. Applicants who require driver testing performed by Kentucky State Police must successfully complete that step before renewing a credential. To learn more, see the full release.
The Governor also renewed his executive order requiring face coverings in many situations for another 30 days.
Gov. Beshear Recommends Col. Charles Young for Additional Posthumous Promotion
With Kentuckians commemorating Black History Month, Gov. Andy Beshear sent a letter to President Joseph Biden encouraging him to posthumously promote Col. Charles Young to the honorary rank of Major General in the U.S. Army. To learn more, see the full release.
“I truly believe his service to our country was invaluable, and but for the racism of his time, Col. Young would have been properly promoted to the rank of General, he would have been the first Black American to do so, and we would have had the pride of that individual coming from our great state of Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear.
Kentucky’s AppHarvest Goes Public
Today, Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest founder and chief executive officer, rangNasdaq’s virtual opening bell as the pioneering agritech company became publicly traded. Certified B-Corporation AppHarvest opened North America’s largest greenhouse in Morehead on Oct. 21. To learn more, see the full release.
“AppHarvest just provided its first crop of tomatoes to grocery stores all across the east coast, and today they did something really exciting,” said Gov. Beshear. “They became a publicly traded company right here in Kentucky, from Morehead. This is a great day, not just for this company, but for all of us in the commonwealth. We’re committed to finding the next AppHarvest and the next one after that.”
“If we don’t change the way we farm, the world will need a second planet Earth to feed its growing population,” Webb said. “AppHarvest is combining the best of nature with cutting-edge technology in indoor farms to deliver sustainably grown produce with rainwater and zero chemical pesticides.”
Kentucky Broadband Speed Test
Today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman provided an update on the state’s broadband speed test. The crowd-sourcing project will gather data from Kentuckians needed to expand internet home access for distance learning, telework and telehealth. Individuals can take the free, 30-second, anonymous speed test from Jan. 19 to Feb. 18 here.
“Our administration is committed to bringing broadband internet connectivity to every home in Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Two weeks into our speed test, I’m happy to report that 44,000 households have participated so far. In these first two weeks, we have outpaced states that have had their speed tests going on for longer than six months. But we need to keep pressing forward and get as many folks involved as we can.”
The counties with the highest participation rates so far are Scott, Harlan, Caldwell and Lyon. Lt. Gov. Coleman asked Kentuckians to spread the word about the test in McCreary, Meade, Elliott and Owsley counties, where the fewest households have completed the test up to this point.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.