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Evacuations Underway In Kentucky, COVID-19 Cases Continue To Decline

Oakley Fugate | Appalshop

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear used his regular media briefing on coronavirus Tuesday to also provide an update on flooding that struck parts of the state.

Record rainfall has led to widespread property damage and evacuations in parts of the state. Beshear said Kentucky Emergency Management is evacuating 1,000 people from the town of Jackson in Breathitt County on Tuesday. The National Guard is assisting with evacuations.

Division of Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said the flooding has postponed damage assessment from the February ice storm.

“This is truly a record breaking event. The water is still high. This one is not over at this point. Some of the river areas will be cresting on Saturday and Sunday,” Dossett said.

Beshear said the state has requested FEMA assistance.

Beshear reported continued signs of improvement in the coronavirus data, with 1,080 new cases on Tuesday. The state’s rate of positivity is down to 4.7% and fewer than 700 people in the state are now hospitalized for COVID-19.

The recent authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine will increase the state’s supply of vaccines.

“With the Johnson & Johnson batch that we’re getting now and with increases we expect, we hope to double the number of people vaccinated in just this next month alone,” Beshear said.

More than 677,000 people in Kentucky have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Beshear announced 19 new deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday and commented on the audit of COVID-19 deaths.

“The individual, and the group, was certainly overwhelmed, and I don’t want to discount that,” Beshear said of those tasked with keeping track of coronavirus fatalities. “When we see the vast number of deaths with the same number of people to sort through them, they got overwhelmed by just the amount reported from the local health department.”

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