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FEMA opening COVID-19 vaccine sites in two KY counties. 607 new cases & 22 deaths.

Lexington Herald-Leader logo Lexington Herald-Leader 4/24/2021 Alex Acquisto, Lexington Herald-Leader

Apr. 23—As he continued his push for more Kentuckians to get vaccinated, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 607 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky on Friday, raising the state's total number of confirmed cases to 440,149.

"Now, fewer than 800,000 Kentuckians 16 and older need to sign up to receive their [shot] in order for us to reach our goal and lift a lot more restrictions," he said in a written update, referencing his goal of inoculating 2.5 million people before he lifts coronavirus restrictions on businesses.

Twenty-two more people have also died from the virus, he announced, 17 of which were discovered through the state's audit to find previously uncounted coronavirus deaths. The state has confirmed a total of 6,403 deaths attributable to the virus.

The positivity rate dropped slightly from Thursday, to 3.26%. There are 420 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 113 in intensive care and 50 on a ventilator.

Close to 1.7 million people have received at least an initial dose of a coronavirus vaccine — an increase of 11,788 in the last day, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

As the state increasingly contends with vaccine hesitancy, Beshear has sought to enhance access to doses by stocking rural communities with more supply, rather than rely primarily on larger regional vaccination sites in larger towns and cities. Earlier on Friday, Beshear and President Joe Biden announced a partnership between Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up community vaccination sites in Laurel and Henderson counties, both of which are at high risk for COVID-19 exposure, according to the White House.

The Laurel County Cooperative Extension site, at 200 County Extension Road in London, will open Wednesday, April 28. The Henderson site, at 3341 Kentucky 351 (Zion Road) in Henderson, will open Thursday, April 29. Each will run for six weeks, and both sites will have capacity to administer up to 7,000 doses per week. These doses will be in addition to the weekly allocation apportioned to Kentucky by the federal government.

Both sites will accommodate walk-up visitors.

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