New Hospital Funding, COVID-19 Cases and Vaccines update

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2021) –  Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on increased funding for Kentucky hospitals, COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 vaccines as well as bills he is vetoing because they are unconstitutional and a threat to Kentucky lives during this pandemic.

“I come to you today as our country passes a grim milestone of losing 400,000 Americans to the coronavirus. That is a staggering loss. It’s so large it’s hard to actually see it in your mind, to process how big it is,” said Gov. Beshear. “You could fill up both UK and UofL stadiums three-and-a-quarter times and that would represent the number of lives, the number of people that we have lost in America.”

The Governor said 332,450 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been received in Kentucky and 221,440 doses have been administered. Of the doses administered, 36,970 have been given to long-term care facility residents and staff.

More than 83,000 doses were administered from Jan. 10 to 16, about 16,000 more than were administered the week prior. Of the doses administered, 209,736 were first doses and 11,704 were booster doses.

The Governor said Kentucky is now administering the vaccine faster than the federal government is sending it new doses. The state expects to receive 56,175 new doses next week. Kentucky has been recognized as one of only nine states that have administered more than half of the doses they’ve received.

“Right now we can’t guarantee that every pharmacy across Kentucky gets vaccine, because we don’t have enough supply. That’s why today I formally requested from Operation Warp Speed that the federal government double the amount of vaccine we receive every week,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are proving we can get it out there. We are proving that we are efficient. We are proving that we can get it into people’s arms.”

“I am confident that in Kentucky if we had unlimited vaccine, we could easily immunize 200,000 to 250,000 people a week, if not more today, if we had enough vaccine,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We get about 54,000 doses per week approximately, and that’s all we can do.”

The Governor also announced Kentucky hospitals will receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and provide a stable base for hospitals that will extend beyond the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said, “This is an opportunity for Kentucky to really take a step forward in coverage for our fellow Kentuckians, for improving the quality of care and for paying hospitals what we should.”

Kentucky Hospital Association President and CEO Nancy Galvagni, said: “Our hospitals are proud to offer high-quality care close to home. And this program that CMS approved will help them continue to meet that goal. This enhanced funding will be crucial to our hospitals for upgrading equipment, for retaining their employees and covering the cost of providing quality care for their communities.”

To learn more, see the full release.

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 2,250
New deaths today: 27
Positivity rate: 11.55%
Total deaths: 3,194
Currently hospitalized: 1,633
Currently in ICU: 442
Currently on ventilator: 208

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Campbell, Warren, Fayette and Kenton. Each of these counties reported 80 or more new cases.

To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

Governor vetoes bills

Today, Gov. Beshear vetoed five bills, including House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1, allowing him to continue taking bold, effective actions to save lives, and ensuring future governors have the tools they need to address new emergencies quickly.