FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Another 157 COVID vaccination sites, including one new regional site at Baptist Health LaGrange, opened Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of vaccination locations to 567.
But the big focus Thursday remained on flooding in many counties, highlighted by a dramatic rockslide behind the city garage in Paintsville.
“This means that vaccine locations are getting closer and closer to you. This is the infrastructure we have to build,” said Beshear. “The President told us earlier this week that every American adult who wants a shot can get their shot of hope by the end of May. That means that if we can get everybody interested, we’re going to vaccinate another 2.5 million people in the next three months.”
New locations also include 10 Kroger sites, 10 Walmart sites and 136 independent pharmacies. To see lists of all sites, organized by program and provider brand, visit vaccine.ky.gov or kycovid19.ky.gov/ky-covid-vaccine.
Among other things, the state has opened a flood damage hotline — 800-451-1954 — that residents can call to get a variety of assistance, from volunteers to help clean flood-damaged property to water and financial help.
“It’s our most important mission all month,” Beshear said of the clean up and recovery work that lies ahead.
Rocky Adkins, senior adviser to the governor and an Eastern Kentucky native, punctuated the extent of the flood damage by showing a video of the slide in Paintsville, which wiped out cars, trucks and everything else that was sitting on what once was level ground.
The state is seeking an emergency declaration from the federal government and financial assistance, including help for individual property owners.
State leaders implored flood victims to keep detailed records and take pictures of the damage and repairs to help the state make its case.
Federal inspectors will be in the state starting Monday to assess damage from the recent ice storms and to start the process of reviewing the flooding, including damage to homes and businesses.
Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett updated Kentuckians on the response to major floods across the commonwealth.
Twenty cities and 44 counties have declared a state of emergency. Over 194 county roads closed due to flooding. Three counties have reported power outages: Breathitt, Jackson and Owsley. Lee and Owsley counties each have one shelter open; Breathitt County has two.
Sixty-one National Guardsmen continue to help in Powell, Owsley, Breathitt, Lee, Martin, Johnson, Lawrence and Pike counties.
“Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported due to flooding this week,” said Director Dossett. “But the damage is significant. Lee County’s downtown business district was submerged in approximately six feet of water. Several manufactured homes as well as single family dwellings have been destroyed. Lee County Courthouse has suffered a major loss and other state and local government offices have been impacted. In Breathitt County, there was 5.48 inches of total rainfall, and some residents are still blocked in by water. We are still monitoring the breach at the dam that sits under Kentucky Highway 15 in Jackson and connects to Panbowl Lake, but the sand bag patch is holding, and Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division of Water Dam Inspector, Marilyn Thomas, has declared the dam is safe.”
“I just want people across Kentucky to know you’re not forgotten – we’re here every step of the way to try to bring relief to this devastation that’s happened to you and your communities, your homes and personal property, and to try to do everything we can to help with that recovery as we move forward,” said Adkins.
Adkins described the two federal disaster declarations: one for ice storm damage and one for flooding damage.
“For you homeowners and those of you who have had personal property damage, as well as road crews and local leaders – document the damage, take pictures,” said Adkins. “Make sure that’s part of our information we send into Washington D.C. for those declarations. We need a full application that will go in for approval to come back and bring relief to our people who are hurting so bad.
“Folks, my heart hurts to see our people suffer and I know the governor’s heart hurts to see our people suffer. But I can assure you that you have not been forgotten, we are working hard every day that we have our eyes open trying to make sure we are concentrating on the needs of the people of Kentucky especially those who are suffering so much right now
“We’re going to work hard, we’re going to make it right, we’re going to do everything that we can. If you see information on social media help us correct it. We can’t file for a federal declaration tomorrow, we have to get the information first,” Atkins concluded.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, March 4, the state reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 1,068
New deaths today: 28
Positivity rate: 4.45%, the lowest since Oct. 12
Total deaths: 4,732
Currently hospitalized: 645
Currently in ICU: 172
Currently on ventilator: 91
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Lyon, Fayette, Boone and Caldwell. Each county reported at least 45 new cases.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
Today’s positivity rate is the lowest since Oct. 12.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website, vaccine.ky.gov, shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically. Individuals can sign up for notifications so state officials can communicate with them when doses become available at new and existing sites. Vaccine.ky.gov also lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so Kentuckians can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246, has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when doses are available.
Free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine appointments is offered by public transit agencies across the commonwealth. These services are already operating in over 90 counties, covering 75% of all counties across Kentucky. Kentuckians can find transportation services near them by heading to kycovid19.ky.gov for a full list of participating public transit agencies and their phone numbers, or by calling the Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.
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.