COVID cases, other numbers remain high as hospital vaccinations pick up

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – As the state celebrates the distribution of COVID vaccines to the first 11 hospitals in trhe state and the beginning of vaccinations of front-line health workers, the number of new coronavirus cases in the state and related numbers remain high, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Beshear announced all 11 health facilities identified to receive initial shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have confirmed receipt.

“This is a very exciting time. With these life-saving vaccines being administered right now to our front-line workers, the beginning of the end of the coronavirus crisis is in sight,” the governor said. “We are also continuing to see fewer cases week over week, with today’s number down from last Wednesday. This is all great news, but it will take time before these modern medical miracles are available to everyone. Until then, we need everyone on Team Kentucky to be patient and vigilant. Continue to mask up, maintain social distance, avoid unnecessary travel and crowds, and practice proper hand washing.”

Today, Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital in Paducah accepted its delivery.

“A corner has been turned as we begin vaccinating our heroes who’ve been battling on the front lines of this virus,” Michael Yungmann, president of Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital, said. “While it has been a long year, today is a day for celebration. We’re honored to be delivering the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Western Kentucky and to play a role in this historic moment of going on offense against coronavirus. Thank you to the Governor and his administration for the leadership and coordination that has made this moment possible.”

The hospitals include UofL Health in Louisville; The Medical Center at Bowling Green; and Baptist Health Lexington, Baptist Health hospitals in Corbin, Louisville and Madisonville; Norton Hospital in Louisville; Pikeville Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood, and University of Kentucky Medical Center.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

  • New cases today: 2,898
  • New deaths today: 23
  • Positivity rate: 8.57%
  • Total deaths: 2,262
  • Currently hospitalized: 1,793
  • Currently in ICU: 460
  • Currently on ventilator: 239

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Madison, Daviess and Pulaski. Each of these counties reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 352.

The red zone counties for this week can be found here. Community leaders, businesses, schools and families in these counties should all follow red zone reduction recommendations, as well as other orders and guidance.

Those reported lost to the virus Wednesday include an 80-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man from Adair County; a 61-year-old woman from Bell County; an 81-year-old woman from Daviess County; an 81-year-old man from Jefferson County; two women, ages 77 and 85, from Marion County; two men, ages 71 and 86, and a 96-year-old woman from Mason County; a 77-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man from McCracken County; two men, ages 73 and 75, and a 76-year-old woman from Nelson County; two men, ages 65 and 72, and an 84-year-old woman from Oldham County; a 95-year-old woman and an 87-year-old man from Pulaski County; an 89-year-old man from Russell County; an 81-year-old man from Taylor County; and a 72-year-old man from Todd County.

Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund (HHERF)
Today, the Governor also provided an update on the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 151 applications had been received. This update comes within 48 hours of reopening the portal for additional applications until all funds are exhausted, which at the time was estimated to be $1.4 million.

More Information
To view the full daily reportincidence rate mapnew statewide requirements, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports and guidancered zone countiesred zone recommendations, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit,

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