FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided his Team Kentucky update and said 60% of all Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. At least 2,682,277 Kentuckians have been vaccinated: 64% of all Kentuckians five and older, and 72% of all Kentuckians 18 and older.
“I want to acknowledge that 60% of Kentuckians vaccinated is not enough, but this has never been done in the history of the world before,” said Gov. Beshear. “It hasn’t even been a year since the first vaccines were shipped out, and we’ve got 60% of every man, woman and child who lives in this state vaccinated. We need to be proud of that accomplishment and use it as motivation to keep going.”
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, noted the COVID-19 omicron variant has now been identified in the United States. The variant has not yet been found in Kentucky. Dr. Stack said he is working with local health departments and labs to identify suspected cases as quickly as possible. The variant has several genetic changes. Research is underway to determine if these changes impact transmissibility, severity, immunity and treatments.
“The question is: What is the impact and what do we do about it? It is important to be careful and concerned but it is not a time to panic,” said Dr. Stack. “We have much better tools than when this pandemic started – the future is not outside our control.”
The Governor and Dr. Stack said it is more important than ever to: Get vaccinated and boosted (all Kentucky adults are eligible to receive a vaccination booster); wear a mask in indoor public settings; get tested after experiencing symptoms; and stay home when sick.
As of today, 581,442 Kentuckians have had a vaccination booster, approximately 13% of the population.
From March 1 to Dec. 1, 2021, 82.6% of all COVID-19 cases, 84.6% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and 82.7% of all COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky were among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.
Enhancements to the COVID-19 Public-Facing Dashboard
Gov. Beshear said as the pandemic evolves, so does the data that state officials track and publish on kycovid19.ky.gov.
“Since the start of administering vaccines, we’ve been frequently asked what ‘vaccinated’ means. To help provide that information, we’ve made enhancements to the vaccination data,” said Gov. Beshear.
It is now possible to find the number of fully vaccinated Kentuckians and the number who have received the booster. The Governor said the site continues to define “fully vaccinated” as being two weeks beyond receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks beyond the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccination shot. This information can also be broken down by age and vaccine brand using a dropdown menu. Users can now access a map where they can learn the number of vaccinations and boosters by county broken down by age and vaccine brand.
Gov. Beshear to Propose $10 Million in Next Budget for Waterfront Park Expansion in West Louisville
This week, Gov. Beshear said his upcoming budget proposal will include $10 million to support the Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion between 10th and 14th Streets in Louisville.
“For so many people in this city, Waterfront Park is not just a place, it’s an experience. It’s the backdrop for some of their happiest moments with family and friends,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s time that this experience is accessible to all members of the Louisville community. Let’s make sure these dollars stay in the budget and that we get this expansion done.”
The total cost of the expansion is $50 million, making it the largest public amenity investment in West Louisville in decades. Waterfront Park requested funds from the next state budget to help increase access to the Ohio River and open space. To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear Awards $8 Million Through Better Kentucky Plan Cleaner Water Program
On Monday, Gov. Beshear awarded more than $2.5 million to one city and six utilities for 10 projects in Floyd, Magoffin and Johnson counties.
On Tuesday, Gov. Beshear awarded more than $2.7 million to two cities and one utility for three projects in Anderson and Franklin counties.
On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear awarded a total of $2,787,139 for six projects to the cities of Georgetown and Cynthiana, as well as the Harrison County Sanitation District and the Harrison County Water Association.
The funding, from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program, will deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems. State officials estimate that the program will create approximately 3,800 jobs across the commonwealth.
Pineville Community Health Center to Receive Funding Through Newly Established Rural Hospital Loan Program
Rural communities across the commonwealth are looking to improve health care access for Kentucky residents, and yesterday, Gov. Beshear announced Pineville Community Health Center Inc. (PCHC) is the first health care facility to be approved for support through the Kentucky Rural Hospital Loan Program (KRHLP). To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear Congratulates SendCutSend on Opening of Paris Operation
Companies continue to locate in Kentucky to capitalize on the state’s logistical advantages, and yesterday Gov. Beshear congratulated SendCutSend LLC, a manufacturer of customized laser-cut metal parts, on the recent opening of its $3.9 million operation in Paris, creating 75 full-time jobs for Kentuckians. To learn more, see the full release.
Lt. Gov. Coleman, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Richmond Build-Ready Tract
Last week, Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman congratulated local officials in Richmond and Madison County, as they cut the ribbon on the community’s first Build-Ready-certified site, positioning the location to attract new business to the region.
The Madison County tract, located in Richmond Industrial Park South III, builds on the growing list of sites certified by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (KCED) and available statewide for companies looking to quickly begin construction and start operation as soon as possible. To learn more, see the full release.
Eligible Kentuckians Can Now Apply for $18 Million in Funds from Temporary Water Assistance Program
As part of an ongoing effort to address the financial impact of COVID-19, Gov. Beshear has announced that Kentucky will receive over $18 million in federal aid to help households that have fallen behind on paying their water bills and face disconnection of service or have already been disconnected.
The funding – $18,684,749 – will come from the federal Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). Applications opened yesterday, Dec. 1. To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear, First Lady to Light State Christmas Tree Saturday During 73rd Annual Frankfort Christmas Parade
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear invited Kentuckians to view the Frankfort Christmas Parade and the lighting of the state’s Christmas tree this Saturday, Dec. 4, on the state Capitol grounds.
To honor all of the heroes in Frankfort and across Kentucky who have been on the front lines through the pandemic, this year’s parade theme is Superhero Christmas. The parade will honor heroes like first responders, service members, local health leaders, doctors, nurses and so many more. Click here to watch a video message from Gov. Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear. To learn more, see the full release.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Today, Gov. Beshear honored Elle Smith, a Louisville journalist who was crowned Miss USA 2021 this week. She will now compete for the title of Miss Universe in Israel on December 12.
“Elle is an incredible Team Kentucky All-Star representing her community on a national – and now international stage,” said Gov. Beshear. “Good luck, Elle! We’re all rooting for you.”