A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor reports 1.25 million Kentuckians vaccinated, 726 cases, 19 deaths, 2.92% positivity

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday the pace of Kentucky’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts continues to accelerate.

“As of today, we’re right at 1.25 million Kentuckians who have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is more than 36% of our adult population, which is really exciting,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is the pace we want to keep up.”

The Governor reported 726 new COVID cases, 19 deaths, and 2.92% positivity.

He highlighted vaccination sites with available appointments and encouraged Kentuckians in Phase 1A, 1B or 1C, as well as any Kentuckians who are 50 and older, to sign up.

Gov. Beshear said on March 29, all Kentuckians 40 and older will be eligible for all three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, although vaccination sites will continue to prioritize older individuals.

Kentuckians can see all regional vaccination sites, as well as lists of other vaccination sites organized by provider brand and program, here.

Case Information

Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 726
New deaths today: 19
New audit deaths: 88
Positivity rate: 2.92%
Total deaths: 5,970
Currently hospitalized: 403
Currently in ICU: 106
Currently on ventilator: 49

Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson (121), Fayette (49), Scott (39) and Kenton (34).

The Governor reported no deaths from long-term care facilities.

“The message to share with the public is how important these vaccines are and just how well they work,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “This is your shot of hope, it’s our shot of hope and it’s how we get out of this pandemic that has upended our lives for the past year and has taken so many of our loved ones from us.”

Kentucky’s COVID-19 Vaccine Website shows Kentuckians which phase they are in specifically.

Unemployment Insurance Update

Amy Cubbage, general counsel for Gov. Beshear, updated Kentuckians on unemployment insurance (UI).

Cubbage said as of Tuesday, more than 24,500 claimants had registered using the new UI interface that is more user-friendly and secure. All users will need to start with the “Click Here to Register” tab and create a new, secure password. The Kentucky Career Center (KCC) homepage will have information and a tutorial video about the new registration process.

U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) Launches New Website to Assist UI Fraud Victims

The U.S. DOL has launched a new website to help victims of unemployment identity theft. The U.S. DOL attributes much of the widespread surge of fraud attempts on organized criminal factions that acquire stolen identities from previous, unrelated data breaches on the internet.

“Those perpetrators then use that information to file claims on victims in multiple states and try to collect the benefits,” said Cubbage. “This website is a great resource for victims of UI identity theft and houses all the states’ fraud website links.”

$10,200 UI Tax Break

The American Rescue Plan that was signed into law March 11 by President Joe Biden provides tax relief for the first $10,200 of UI benefits sent to people with adjusted gross incomes of less than $150,000 in 2020. By the time the law passed, some Kentuckians had already filed their taxes.

“The IRS is working on a fix that means most people in that situation will not have to take any extra steps, such as sending in an amended tax return, to recoup the taxes they paid but don’t owe per the new rule,” said Cubbage. “IRS staff believe they will be able to automatically issue refunds associated with the $10,200.”

Senate Bill 7

“We get many questions relating to the new Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) that the Governor signed to waive requests from the state for claimants to repay unemployment overpayments,” said Cubbage. “The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance is reviewing the language in SB 7 and will be working with U.S. DOL’s federal guidance in order to implement the new waiver program as quickly as possible.”

Virtual Appointment Tips

“If you have a virtual appointment, please make sure you have your cellphone’s spam filter turned off or you may not receive our call, as we use Amazon Connect to dial out to you,” said Cubbage. “Last week there were 625 scheduled appointments, and staff assisted 577 claimants. There were 48 that did not answer the phone or email. Staff make every effort to reach out to the Kentuckian with each appointment and resolve their issue.”

Kentucky Career Centers Opening

Kentucky Career Centers are opening in mid-April to in-person UI services. There will be 13 locations in Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Hazard, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead, Ashland, Owensboro, Paducah, Prestonsburg and Somerset.

“Kentuckians will be able to make an appointment using the same program as we use for the virtual appointments today online,” Cubbage said. “Watch the KCC website for the launch of the appointment system for these in person services.”

Not only will claimants be able to receive assistance with UI but they will have access to the many other resources available in the career center such as: assistance with finding a job, assistance with job training and apprenticeship opportunities, vocational rehabilitation services and adult education services, such as the free GED program that is being offered for first-time test takers.

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