State officials also update Kentuckians on Johnson & Johnson vaccine, unemployment insurance
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 22, 2021) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will stand up two new regional vaccination sites soon in Eastern and Western Kentucky.
The Governor said the state’s largest vaccination site, UofL Health’s Cardinal Stadium location, can now vaccinate up to 6,000 Kentuckians per day. To sign up, visit UofLHealth.org.
Kentuckians should visit vaccinemap.ky.gov to find a COVID-19 vaccination site near where they live and to see a list of vaccination sites with openings this week.
“We need you to get vaccinated. The good news is there are half a million first doses ready to go into people’s arms. At many of these vaccination sites, you can sign up right now for tomorrow at about any time, or any day that’s most convenient for you,” said Gov. Beshear. “Make the decision tonight.”
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets tomorrow, April 23, for follow-up discussion on its recommended temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following reports of exceedingly rare, but dangerous, blood clots.
“The risk of severe harm and death from COVID-19 vastly exceeds any rare risk from the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, and most experts anticipate the pause on this vaccine will be lifted soon, possibly as soon as tomorrow,” said Dr. Stack.
Dr. Stack also commented on an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at a Kentucky skilled nursing facility, which he previously reported and has discussed on multiple occasions, after most residents and some staff members had already been vaccinated. The outbreak was featured in the CDC’s most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“Compared to vaccinated residents, unvaccinated residents had a three-fold increased risk of infection and unvaccinated staff a four-fold increased risk of COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Stack. “Vaccination was approximately 87% effective in preventing symptomatic infections among both residents and staff. These vaccines work. They are highly safe and effective. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner COVID-19 can be put behind us and we can more fully resume our pre-COVID-19 lives.”
Kentuckians put themselves at significant risk if they do not get vaccinated. Looking at the overall population, roughly 1 in 706 Kentuckians has died from COVID-19 since the first case of the virus was confirmed in the commonwealth; approximately 1 of every 69 Kentuckians who has been infected with COVID-19 has died.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
Kentuckians vaccinated (have received at least one dose): 1,696,530*
New cases today: 628
New deaths today: 5
New audit deaths: 3
Positivity rate: 3.36%
Total deaths: 6,381
Currently hospitalized: 440
Currently in ICU: 121
Currently on ventilator: 55
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Boone, Warren and Daviess. Each county reported at least 20 new cases.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
*Vaccination data will continue to update after the state’s reporting system completed a security upgrade.
Unemployment Insurance Update
Today, Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, updated Kentuckians on unemployment insurance (UI).
Kentucky Career Centers In-Person Appointments
Cubbage said there have been more than 4,400 in-person appointments scheduled for unemployment insurance assistance at 13 regional Kentucky Career Centers. New appointments are available each night at midnight Monday through Friday. Cubbage said if Kentuckians have an in-person appointment, they should bring two forms of ID with them. The website kcc.ky.gov, under “unemployment services,” lists what identification documents are acceptable.
UI Help Line
Over the last two weeks, we have assisted more than 37,000 claimants with their PINs and with registering in the updated UI system on our Help Line, 502-564-2900. To date, more than 102,000 people have registered in the UI system,” Cubbage said.
Unemployment insurance specialists will begin assisting people with their claim issues again April 26. The UI Help Line phone menu will be updated for PIN reset and registration assistance and claim assistance. The hours for the UI Help Line effective next week are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. EST.
Work Search Requirements
Cubbage said the Office of Unemployment Insurance will reinstate work search requirements May 9. Claimants will be required to seek suitable full-time employment and report at least one job contact per week.
It is recommended that claimants keep a record of all of their job contacts, including the name of the business, the title of the position, the name/title of the person contacted, the date of the contact and the method of contact (phone, email, address, etc.). Claimants will be required to provide these details during their bi-weekly benefit requests.
“You are allowed a reasonable period of time to find work that is comparable in pay and skill level to your most recent employment. If you are not able to find comparable work after a reasonable period of time, or if that type of work is not available in your area, you must adjust your work search,” Cubbage said.
Claimants will not be required to conduct a job search if they:
• Are members of a trade union that finds work for them;
• Are students in an approved training program;
• Have a definite recall date within 12 weeks of their initial claim filing date;
• Are on a temporary leave of absence while still considered an employee; or
• Know their employer filed a mass electronic claim (E-Claim) on their behalf.
More information on work search requirements is available at kcc.ky.gov.
Gov. Beshear Helps Launch AppHarvest Container Farm Classroom
Today, Gov. Beshear visited Madison Central High School, where agricultural technology leader AppHarvest announced the expansion of the company’s educational high-tech container farm program for Eastern Kentucky high school students. To see photos from the Governor’s visit click here (credit – Governor’s Communications Office). To learn more, see the company’s full release.
Gov. Beshear Commits $23 Million for School Highway Safety Projects
Gov. Beshear announced plans to invest $23 million to improve highway safety near public schools, protecting students, educators and families. Nearly 70 safety improvement projects in 44 counties across the state are included in the award: to see the full list, click here. To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear Allocates $5 Million to Revive, Repair and Build Roads Statewide
Gov. Beshear announced renewed road and infrastructure repairs are coming for much of the commonwealth through a $5 million transportation investment. Nearly 60 miles of roadway will be resurfaced, repaired or built with the funding. To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear Takes on PokerStars in Court After Illegal Company Scams Kentuckians
In 2012, the Commonwealth brought a new lawsuit against the owners and operators of the PokerStars’ websites, which are part of the largest illegal internet-based gambling company in the world. Between 2008 and 2011, more than 34,000 Kentuckians played a quarter of 1 billion hands of internet poker on PokerStars’ illegal, unregulated gambling websites, and lost more than $290 million in real money.
The Franklin Circuit Court entered a final judgment against PokerStars for Kentuckians’ actual losses, which it then tripled as required by Kentucky law to more than $870 million. In December 2020, the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed that judgment, which as of today, with interest, stands at almost $1.6 billion dollars.
“We will receive the first $100 million by May 14, and I look forward to announcing more recoveries in the future,” said Gov. Beshear.
To see all vaccination sites and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit vaccine.ky.gov. To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.