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Beshear says bar, restaurant hours extended; state audit reveals 600 more COVID deaths

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 3:43 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear has provided an update on COVID-19 cases.

The governor announced an update to bars and restaurants. He says they can now serve until midnight, and must close by 1 a.m, starting Friday. Capacity (60%) and seating restrictions remain the same, and the mask mandate is also still effect.

The governor also says Phase 1C has been expanded to any Kentuckian age 50 and up. This begins Monday. Vaccine eligibility is expected to be available for Kentuckians ages 16 and up by April 12.

Governor Beshear reported 785 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the state total to 419,149 cases. The governor says the state is seeing a 3.23 percent positivity rate, which is the lowest since July 3. Of Thursday’s new cases, 164 are in kids 18 or younger.

There were 31 reported COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, bringing the state total to 5,504.

As of Thursday, 449 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 110 are in the ICU, and 57 are on ventilators. At least 48,964 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

The first audit of COVID deaths has been completed by the state. This window was from the highest surge from November to January. The initial report has found 604 deaths from COVID have gone unaccounted for in Kentucky. Gov. Beshear says 200 of these 604 deaths are from long term care facilities.

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