By TOM LATEK
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Six thousand Kentuckians have now lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reported on Friday.
Twenty-seven more deaths were reported from local health departments on Friday, with the latest victims ranging in age from 33 to 96.
Jefferson County had nine deaths; there were two in Fayette and Laurel counties; and one apiece in Boone, Breathitt, Clark, Hardin, Letcher, Lincoln, Livingston, McCracken, Mason, Muhlenberg, Perry, Pike, Russell and Shelby counties.
There were also 11 more deaths added to the list from the ongoing audit of death certificates from November 2020 through January 2021. That brings the pandemic total in Kentucky to 6,008.
The number of new cases reported to state public officials on Friday were 646, down from 726 on Thursday. This raises the number of positive cases since the first one was reported in Harrison County on March 6, 2020, to 424,055.
Kentucky’s positivity rate on Friday stood at 2.80%, based on a seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 tests versus positive cases. That was a drop from the 2.92% recorded on Thursday, and marks the fifth consecutive day below 3.00%.
The number of Kentuckians hospitalized currently stands at 383. Of them, 88 are in the ICU and 46 are on a ventilator. All three numbers are lower than on Thursday.
The governor continues to encourage eligible Kentuckians to get vaccinated, as the pool expands once again next week.
On Monday, everyone 40 and older will become eligible for the three COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to all individuals in Phase 1A, 1B and 1C. By April 12, he says all Kentuckians 16 and older will be eligible to get what he has termed, “A Shot of Hope.”
“More than one in three Kentucky adults have been vaccinated so far, which is a huge milestone,” he stated. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, see where you can sign up. If you’ve got a family member or friend who wants their shot of hope, help them get registered and call our vaccine hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians), if you need help. Together, we can defeat COVID-19 this year, but we have to keep up our momentum.”
The number of Kentuckians who have had at least their first injection is now 1,274,259. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only one injection.
To see the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, vaccine information, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.
Gov. Beshear’s next scheduled press briefing on COVID-19 will be on Monday afternoon, although his office is expected to release daily numbers throughout the weekend.