RANKFORT, Ky. (March 18, 2021) – On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced all Kentuckian 50 and older can sign up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments on or after March 22.
He said all Kentuckians ages 16 and older will be able to sign up for appointments by April 12.
“Kentuckians deemed most vulnerable should still get priority, and they will, but we can’t have these vaccines sitting in a freezer. We are in a race against the COVID-19 variants and we’ve got to get it out fast,” said Gov. Beshear.
Bar and Restaurant Curfew Extension
Today, Gov. Beshear said he is extending the curfew on bars and restaurants by one hour. Businesses can now serve food and drinks until 12 a.m. local time and can stay open until 1 a.m. local time.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, March 18, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 785
New deaths today: 448
Positivity rate: 3.23%
Total deaths: 5,504
Currently hospitalized: 449
Currently in ICU: 110
Currently on ventilator: 57
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette and Simpson. Each county reported at least 35 new cases.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
Gov. Beshear explained the state reported record deaths today because 417 of those deaths were determined to have been caused by COVID-19 after an additional death certificate audit. When Ohio conducted the same type of audit, they reported 4,000 additional deaths; Indiana reported more than 1,500 additional deaths after this type of audit.
“The way that we normally get our information on deaths is through local health departments. We then check the information, make sure it is a COVID-19 death – it goes through a committee – and then it moves onto our report. That’s why sometimes local health departments will report a death earlier than we do.
“There are some deaths we receive that we determine are not a COVID-19 death. Our commitment is first to be accurate, but second, to make sure that there are no unknown soldiers, that we account for every single individual we’ve lost and we recognize every single grieving family. So what we have done is we have pulled every death certificate from November to the end of January that lists COVID-19. We have then compared those to what we have reported, what came up from the local health departments.
“For those who we don’t have a report for, we then see if there is a positive COVID-19 test we can connect their case to. With those, where we know the individual had it, we then look at the documentation in the same way that we would if it came up through the local health department.”
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website, vaccine.ky.gov, shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically. Individuals can sign up for notifications so state officials can communicate with them when doses become available at new and existing sites. Kentucky’s vaccine map lists regional vaccination partners statewide, so individuals can search their county or region and see how to schedule an appointment. Below the vaccine map, Kentuckians can find additional vaccination sites at Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens stores, as well as independent pharmacies.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians), has the same features as the website. Kentuckians can get assistance completing the vaccine eligibility questionnaire and scheduling an appointment when doses are available. The hotline is available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.
Free or reduced-cost transportation to and from vaccine appointments is offered by public transit agencies across the commonwealth. These services are already operating in over 90 counties, covering 75% of all counties across Kentucky. Kentuckians can find transportation services near them by heading to kycovid19.ky.gov for a full list of participating public transit agencies and their phone numbers, or by calling the Kentucky COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.
Deadline to File State Taxes Extended to Match New Federal Deadline
Today, Gov. Beshear said the state income tax filing deadline for individuals has been extended to May 17. Individual taxpayers can postpone Kentucky individual income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. Individual taxpayers unable to meet the May 17 return filing deadline may request an automatic extension to file calendar year returns by Oct. 15.
This relief does not apply to 2021 estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. It also does not apply to the corporate income tax, pass-through entities income tax, limited liability entity tax, withholding tax, sales and use tax, or other types of state taxes.
This decision mirrors the federal individual income tax relief provisions issued March 17 by the IRS in response to COVID-19. To learn more, see the full release.
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.