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Gov. Beshear outlines new partnership with Kroger to speed up vaccine distribution

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 3:43 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear has provided an update on COVID-19 cases and vaccines.

Gov. Beshear reported 4,084 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the state total to 317,345 cases. The governor says the state is seeing a 12.34 percent positivity rate. Of Thursday’s new cases, 504 are in kids 18 or younger.

There were 51 reported COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday. The state death total is now 3,042.

As of Thursday, 1,661 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 409 are in the ICU, and 196 are on ventilators. At least 39,998 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

The governor gave an update on teacher vaccinations, announcing the first round of vaccinations for K-12 will be complete the week of Feb. 1.

Gov. Beshear also announced a new partnership with Kroger to increase vaccination distribution.

“This project announced today will get the vaccine in every arm that wants it as quickly and safely as possible,” the Vaccine Distribution Project Director Secretary Jim Gray said.

Much like the COVID-19 testing partnership, the state and Kroger are teaming up to create regional drive-thru sites across the commonwealth to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Once more vaccines are available, the efforts will consist of a combination of mass vaccine events across the commonwealth as well as scheduled appointments at the little clinics and pharmacies within the Kroger family of store locations,” Meggen Brown with Kroger Health said.

The regional sites will open up the first week of February vaccinating the groups of people outlined in phases 1A, 1B, and 1C.

We are still waiting to learn where these regional sites will be located and how many there will be.

“As we speak, we are working to get sites evaluated and secured and will be releasing more information in the coming weeks,” Gray said. “We are committed to ensuring equitable distribution of the vaccine, every Kentuckian will have access to the vaccine and everyone will have their turn.”

The state is also working to establish a website and a phone hotline for people to find more information about when they are eligible to get a vaccine and how they can schedule an appointment. Those are expected to be up and running on Jan. 28.

The governor says there have been 172,537 total doses administered in Kentucky.

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