FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear released more details on Monday, regarding the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, and noted a drop in new cases.
“We believe there may be as many as five separate shipments of between the two vaccines in December alone,” he stated during a virtual press briefing. “That would be really, really good news.”
The current schedule calls for the first shipment of 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be delivered between Dec. 13-19. From Dec. 20-26, Beshear said 76,700 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be delivered, and another 33,800 of the Moderna vaccine, the following week, Dec. 27-31.
While the Pfizer vaccine requires storage at a temperature of -80 degrees and is being distributed to 11 hospitals in lots of 975, that will not be the case with the Moderna vaccine.
“Moderna does not require the deep refrigeration,” Beshear said. “Better than that, we can break it up into groups of 100, meaning we have more flexibility to get this second allocation out to more places.”
Beshear said the federal government expects to deliver the second booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks after the first, and the second Moderna batch about four weeks later.
“We believe we are going to have two more shipments of the Pfizer vaccine,” he stated. “We hope those are also in December, but we haven’t been given firm numbers.”
With long term care centers seeing 67% of Kentucky’s COVID-19 fatalities, Beshear says they will be the first to get the vaccine, followed by front line healthcare workers. “The more we get in December, the faster we can potentially move to other groups in January and February. That’s good news.”
Monday’s new cases of the coronavirus totaled 1,972, which the Governor said while high, was not as bad as it sounded.
“Remember,” he said, “Mondays are typically our lowest days, and this is a lot of cases for the day of the week that is supposed to be the lowest day. But this is lower than our last two Mondays. Just about every other day I’ve stood up here and given this report: ‘It’s the highest Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.’ You pick it. This is one of the first times that I can remember that our number is lower than multiple previous weeks.”
The total number of COVID-19 cases has now reached 202,592 since the first one was reported on March 6 in Harrison County.
The number of counties with 50 or more new cases was down to six on Monday. Jefferson had 343, Fayette 171, Warren 66, McCracken 55, Boone 54 and Kenton 52.
The state’s positivity rate has dipped slightly to 9.60%. There are now 1,700 Kentuckians in the hospital, 410 in the ICU and 210 on a ventilator.
There were also 10 more deaths reported on Monday. Johnson and Pike counties each had two, while there were one each in Allen, Bullitt, Graves, Greenup, Jessamine, and Marshall counties. A reported 2,082 Kentuckians have died due to the coronavirus.
State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack shared two stories on how COVID-19 spread in schools and youth sports.
“We had a school where one teacher was positive with COVID-19. This case caused nine total cases and one death. Four hundred people were exposed and needed to quarantine.
“The second situation I will share is related to a student-athlete. We had one volleyball player who was positive for COVID-19. This resulted in 14 more cases and a total of 40 contacts exposed. This was when school was not even in session,” Stack said.
His point from the two cases was: “Stay home if you are sick, regardless of a test result. Stay home if you are sick.”
Beshear reported 3,753 applications were received for the Team Kentucky Food and Beverage Relief Fund, requesting $35 million in assistance. Already, $12 million has been approved and distributed. In total, the fund includes $40 million that can be disbursed to eligible bar and restaurant owners. For more information and to apply, go to teamkyfbrf.ky.gov.
Earlier on Monday, the Governor held a remembrance ceremony for the more than 2,000 Kentuckians lost to COVID-19. A wreath was hung on the front of the state Capitol in honor of both the deceased and the 200,000 Kentuckians who have tested positive. See a separate Kentucky Today story.
To view the full daily report, testing locations, red zone counties and the red zone recommendations, current restrictions, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, vaccine distribution plans and other key guidance, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.
The Governor’s next scheduled press briefing is Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.