coronavirus vaccine

Hopkins Co. Schools

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order on Tuesday recommending that all school districts offer some type of in-person learning starting March 1 or within a week of vaccinations for school personnel. The order recommends that classes resume seven days after teachers and staff have received their second COVID-19 vaccinations, though the decision is being left to districts. 

The order also states that masks must be worn at all times in schools and during transportation to and from schools.  

“This is one of the number one ways that we can keep everybody in that school safe,” Beshear said. “And it’s going to be incredibly important, especially for districts that may go back for the first time, that this is strictly enforced as all of the studies that suggest there is low transmission are of districts that had and enforced a strong mask mandate.”

Kentucky To Open Vaccine Access To Phase 1C In March

Feb 22, 2021
Ryan Van Velzer

More than a million Kentuckians will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 1 when Gov. Andy Beshear says regional distribution centers will enter distribution phase 1C.

The state is expanding access to the vaccine following a sixth week of declining cases. Residents over the age of 60, those with high-risk health conditions and essential workers all fall under phase 1C — marking the single largest increase in access to date in the commonwealth.

Beshear said it’s an exciting moment, but with vaccine supplies still limited the state will first prioritize Kentuckians between the ages of 60 and 70.

“Understand there’s a lot of people in 1C,” Beshear said. “It means it may be challenging to get signed up in the beginning, but remember a lot of vaccine is on its way.”

Montgomery County Health Department

Tennessee counties are saying goodbye to Signup Genius. Local health departments have been relying on the free scheduling website to coordinate COVID-19 vaccination appointments. But the state has now launched a customized online scheduling tool.

Cathy Montgomery leads the Williamson County Health Department, which is training on the system now and making the switch March 15. Nurses will now be armed with iPads accessing the patient information as they administered doses, she says.

“The system has a lot of tremendous features that we hope will certainly improve our processes and make things go a little bit faster for us,” Montgomery said during an online forum Friday.

White House officials on Friday confirmed the extent of the weather's chilling effect on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, saying this week's storms created a backlog of some 6 million doses affecting all 50 states.

That number represents three days' worth of delayed shipments, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. He added that many states have been able to cover some of the delay with their existing inventory, and that the Biden administration expects to make up the backlog shortly.

Lisa Autry

Some regional vaccination clinics in Kentucky are still offering the COVID-19 vaccine despite the winter storm. 

A clinic run by Kroger Health is open at Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green.  Bruce Kessler was there on Thursday and said he didn’t let the weather deter him from getting his first injection.  

“We’re fairly brave when we need to get out," Kessler said. "Front wheel drive vehicles are a marvelous creation, and I had been out yesterday and knew the roads were pretty okay where they had been scraped,   so I felt like we could get to the mall, no problem.”

Kessler received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine with his twin 18-year-old daughters.  His wife and son who are both educators have already received both doses.

Kentucky Gets Bump In Supply Of Vaccine Doses

Feb 17, 2021
Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday that the federal government is increasing Kentucky’s supply of vaccine doses by nearly a third in the coming week. 

“Starting next week we’re getting another 29% increase in our supply. That’ll mean since this new administration took over they have increased our weekly amounts by 57%,” Beshear said. 

Beshear said the state received about 53,800 doses in mid January and doses have increased in recent weeks. Next week it will receive approximately 87,800 doses.

Kentucky has recorded five cases of the B-1-1-7 variant of coronavirus first reported in the United Kingdom, Beshear said. By the end of March, he said, some health officials predict that more infectious strain could become the dominant variant found in the U.S.

Corinne Boyer | Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentuckians who need help paying rent and utilities during the pandemic can now apply for available funds online.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced during a coronavirus briefing Monday that the commonwealth has received $297 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for eviction relief.

“The healthy at home eviction relief fund follows earlier similar efforts to help our people stay in their homes, to pay their bills to landlords and to utilities and to get out of this pandemic without suffering from a significant amount of debt,” he said.

Beshear said tenants and landlords can apply; Tenants have to meet certain requirements. Late fees charges for past due rent must also be forgiven. 

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that child care workers in Kentucky are now considered part of the 1B priority group for COVID-19 vaccinations.  The 1B group is currently the priority for getting the vaccine.

Beshear also reported 723 new cases of COVID-19 in his update. He said that’s the lowest number of new cases since Oct. 12, and further evidence that the state is seeing a positive downward trend in COVID-19 cases.

This is the fifth consecutive weeks the number of cases has declined.

The state is also seeing a decrease in the number of Kentuckians hospitalized, in the ICU, or on ventilators because of COVID-19.

President Biden has finalized deals to buy 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of July, increasing the likelihood of delivering on his promise to have all Americans inoculated by mid-summer.

Ryan Van Velzer

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday the opening of 156 new coronavirus vaccination sites in Kentucky.

Six of the new sites will serve as regional vaccination facilities, located in Adair, Carter, Franklin, Henderson, Lawrence and Union counties. Ten of the sites will be at Kroger stores throughout the state, and 15 more will be at Walmart stores.

A majority of the new locations will be operated at Walgreens and Good Neighbor independent pharmacies as part of a recently-announced federal program. Beshear said the program will administer 13,000 additional first doses a week at 125 pharmacies.

“We are expanding at a phenomenal rate,” he said. “We are very quickly covering the whole state to get to our desired outcome, where you never have to drive more than one county to get vaccines. We know that there’s more that we need to fill in.”

Ryan Van Velzer

Forecasters are predicting a “major, major” winter weather event to hit Kentucky and southern Indiana beginning Wednesday afternoon, according to Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett. He warned ice could be a significant threat.

Dossett said the most significant precipitation is expected between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday. Total precipitation is expected to be between 0.25 inches to 0.5 inches.

“The roadways are going to be extraordinarily dangerous,” due to freezing rain, ice, sleet and snow, Dossett said. The greatest impact will be in central and southern Kentucky.

John Boyle

 As Kentucky continues to vaccinate only first responders, teachers and people most vulnerable to the virus, some state lawmakers are pushing for Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration to move child care workers to the front of the line.

During a meeting of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, Paducah Republican Sen. Danny Carroll said he doesn’t understand why K-12 teachers are eligible for the vaccine, but child care workers aren’t.

“Our child care workers have been working daily ever since the child care centers were allowed to reopen,” Carroll said.

“So we’re vaccinating people to sit at home when you have another group who is working with kids, who is working every day, who can’t get the vaccine.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that three of the regional COVID-19 vaccination sites will be closed on Thursday due to the predicted ice storm that will make driving dangerous.

The Kroger regional vaccination sites at Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green, as well as the sites in Lexington and Covington will be closed.

Beshear said Kroger will contact those who have appointments and will reschedule them as soon as possible.

Gov. Beshear said the federal government is increasing Kentucky’s allocation of vaccines by another 6%  next week. That adds up to an increase of 28% in three weeks.

Gov. Beshear announced 2,339 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. That brings the total number of cases in the state to 381,121 since March.

Stephen Jerkins | WPLN

Whether someone is in the country legally will have no bearing on whether they get a COVID-19 vaccine in Tennessee, says the state’s health commissioner.  

Dr. Lisa Piercey says people also don’t have to show what county they live in, or for that matter, that they’re a resident of Tennessee. 

“We are not denying vaccine to anyone who shows up at our site and is in phase,” she tells WPLN News. “This is a federal resource, and if you’re in this country, then you get a vaccine.”

There was hesitation among some undocumented immigrants about COVID testing for fear identifying information would be shared with law enforcement – and in some cases it was. Piercey says she expects similar hesitancy with vaccinations, so she says local health departments will work with trusted community groups to vouch for the process or even administer the shots.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has announced four new regional vaccination sites, including one in Bowling Green and one in Glasgow.

The Bowling Green vaccination site is at Greenwood Mall at the former Sears building.  That site will be open weekly Thursday through Saturday.

The location is through a partnership with Kroger. Scheduling an appointment can be done online.

An appointment at the Greenwood Mall site can also be made by calling 866-211-5320.

The second site is in Glasgow at the T.J. Health Pavilion. The schedule for vaccinations has not yet been released. Information is available online, or by calling 270-659-1010.