FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2021) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced six new regional vaccination sites across the commonwealth and said vaccines will now also be available at mobile clinics, 10 Kroger stores, 15 Walmart stores and 125 pharmacies, including Walgreens and Good Neighbor independent pharmacies.
In total, there are more than 150 vaccination sites in Kentucky, in addition to local health department vaccination programs.
“We are efficient. We have built a system that can administer more vaccinations than we are currently getting,” said Gov. Beshear. “These new sites are a big deal. They are going to move us forward and build out what we need so when supply increases, we are ready to get it out even more quickly to communities throughout the state.”
“Each new site we open offers additional capacity to administer more vaccines than we currently have supply to give them. The good news is that, as supply increases, each site will be able to ramp up immediately to reach more people without start-up delays,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, the Vaccine Distribution Project Director. “The logistics are incredibly complex, but we’re continuously increasing both our capacity and our efficiency to eventually meet the needs in every Kentucky community.”
Kroger Stores Offering COVID-19 Vaccines
Kentuckians can see a full list of Kroger store sites here. Sign up for Kroger store vaccine appointments here.
New Federal Pharmacy Program
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said starting this week, approximately 13,000 additional first doses per week will be coming to Kentucky through 125 pharmacies. COVID-19 vaccines will be offered at 78 Walgreens branches and 47 Good Neighbor independent pharmacies aimed at serving vulnerable Kentuckians.
Individuals can sign up for Walgreens appointments here. Kentuckians will need to create a Walgreens account for scheduling opportunities.
Additional Vaccination Partnerships Promote Access, Equity
Lt. Gov. Coleman said she knows there are significant barriers for receiving the vaccine in both rural and urban areas of the commonwealth, and that the administration is committed to addressing them.
“We are working to remove barriers that exist for folks who want to get the vaccine but cannot do so easily,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “I am excited to announce numerous initiatives across the state where the work to provide equitable access for the vaccine has come to fruition.”
Blue Grass Community Action Partnership Offering Free Transportation
Blue Grass Community Action Partnership (BGCAP) announced its BGCAP Transit service will immediately begin offering free transportation to and from two regional COVID-19 vaccination sites. Residents within the BGCAP 11-county service territory are eligible to reserve an appointment for round-trip transportation from their home to either the Kentucky Horse Park or Ephraim McDowell Hospital. Those 11 counties are: Anderson, Boyle, Casey, Franklin, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, Mercer, Scott, Washington and Woodford.
To reserve a ride, residents should call BGCAP Transit at 800-456-6588 at least 24 hours in advance of their vaccination appointment time. All BGCAP Transit vehicles are wheelchair accessible. Face masks are required at all times while riding on any BGCAP Transit vehicle.
Norton Healthcare Vaccine Clinics
Norton Healthcare is launching vaccine clinics in partnership with the Beshear administration to reach at-risk, underserved individuals ages 70 or older in Louisville at St. Stephen Baptist Church and Bates Memorial Baptist Church.
“At Norton Healthcare, it is our responsibility to remove any barriers we can that prevent individuals from getting vaccinated. We recognized the need to further expand access, so we reached out to our faith community partners to help us register their members,” said Russ Cox, Norton Healthcare president and chief executive officer. “We are honored to work with them to bring the vaccine directly to those who want and need it this week at St. Stephen Baptist Church and Bates Memorial.
“As more tiers open up, we will continue to reach out and do what we can to ensure that everyone in our community who wants the vaccine has an opportunity to receive it.”
University of Kentucky (UK) Mobile Vaccination Units
“The University of Kentucky will begin offering four outreach clinics on successive Saturdays targeting areas with underserved populations due to race, language, economic or other barriers,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Registration coordinators will provide materials to patients while they are in their post-vaccine observation period focused on empowering the patients to promote the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine among their networks.”
UK is consulting with state and city partners to identify four community organization partners, one for each outreach clinic beginning this month.
Rural Health Clinics
“Finally, there are several federally qualified health care centers or rural health clinics who are providing local outreach designed to assist vulnerable populations get access to the vaccine,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation is serving Letcher, Owsley and Perry counties. Primary Care Centers of East Kentucky are providing outreach to Perry and Leslie counties. Juniper Health is assisting in Breathitt, Lee and Wolfe County. And the June Buchanan Clinic is serving Knott County.”
“We are very thankful to partner with these organizations to provide as many Kentuckians as possible the opportunity to receive their shot of hope,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 1,880
New deaths today: 36
Positivity rate: 7.08%
Total deaths: 4,211
Currently hospitalized: 1,142
Currently in ICU: 278
Currently on ventilator: 156
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette and Kenton. Each of these counties reported 100 or more new cases; Jefferson County alone reported 283. To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
Today’s positivity rate is the lowest since Nov. 6.
Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund
In partnership with the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), Gov. Andy Beshear relaunched the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund on Monday with an additional $264 million to keep Kentuckians safe and housed throughout the pandemic.
Starting Feb. 15, tenants who qualify can apply for rent and utility assistance to cover their past-due and future bills. If approved, lump sum, direct payments will be made to landlords and utility providers. To learn more, see the full release.
Unemployment Insurance Update
Today, Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, updated Kentuckians on unemployment insurance (UI).
Bank of America (BOA) Debit Cards
“Claimants who did not change their method of payment from debit card to direct deposit in their UI account were moved on Feb. 1 to receive their benefits by paper checks that will arrive in the mail,” said Cubbage.
If claimants still have a BOA debit card, funds must be spent off the cards no later than Feb. 28. If there are funds on the debit card after Feb. 28, BOA will return those funds to the state and UI staff will send them back to claimants with a paper check.
If you received a paper check and believe you should not have received a check please send that check back to:
Office of Unemployment Insurance
500 Mero Street 4th Floor
Frankfort KY 40601
Include your name, contact information such as phone number and email address and message that you never filed for UI.
IRS Guidance on 1099-G Reporting
The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns on Feb. 12. On Jan. 28, the IRS put out a statement about claimants reporting their 1099-G wages.
“We have FAQ’s that should help you with 1099s on the homepage of the KCC website under Important UI Messages,” said Cubbage.
If claimants received an incorrect 1099-G, they should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They should provide their name as it appears on the 1099-G, the last four digits of their Social Security Number, a phone number, valid email address, company name and reason that 1099-G is incorrect.
Additional Fraud Enhancements Applications
“We have upgraded to a national fraud enhancement application called Benefit Audit Reporting Tracking System (BARTS) which enhances the protection of not only the claimant as well as the state from fraudulent claims,” Cubbage said. “We are launching a new application to assist people with their identity verification next week. This is another way we are enhancing our efforts to combat fraud that is happening across the nation.”
New User Friendly Interface Being Tested
“UI information technology staff have been working tirelessly on a new claimant experience for the UI system,” Cubbage said. “A group of selected claimants will be testing the new interface and giving us feedback next week. This is not a new UI system, but an enhancement to the welcome screens the user sees when they first log on to their account to make it more user friendly. Proposals are currently being reviewed for a new UI system.”
Broadband Speed Test Update
Today, Lt. Gov. Coleman reminded Kentuckians to take the state’s broadband speed test, which will assist the commonwealth in its efforts to provide broadband internet connectivity to every Kentuckian.
Kentuckians can visit speedtest.ky.gov to take the free, anonymous, 30-second test.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Reminder
“The FAFSA is required for students to be eligible for federal Pell grants and student loans. Kentucky has consistently been above the national average for FAFSA completion. Last year, Kentucky ranked 13th of all states in completion percentage,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “However for the class of 2021, we are down 19% compared to last year.
“The numbers are even lower for low-income students, schools with high minority populations and rural communities. As a teacher and school administrator, I cannot overstate the importance of completing these financial aid forms. This decrease in FAFSA applications could lead to a decline in students seeking higher education this fall.”
Financial aid is available for 2-year and 4-year colleges. There is no downside to applying – the FAFSA is free, it takes 30 minutes or less to complete and there is an 85% chance applicants will receive some form of financial aid. In order to apply, visit fafsa.ky.gov. For help getting started, contact KHEAA outreach counselors at kheaa.com.
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.