LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In hopes of not having Kentuckians drive more than one county to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the state is adding 156 new vaccination sites next week, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday.
The 156 vaccination sites include 10 new Kroger stores, including one in Elizabethtown and 15 Walmart stores, which includes La Grange, Crestwood, Carrollton, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville and Campbellsville.
As part of a new federal pharmacy program, Kentucky is also opening 125 federal pharmacy sites across the state. Those sites will be split between 78 Walgreens and 47 independent pharmacies, which will target "underserved communities." The state expects 13,000 doses per week to arrive for these locations.
Beshear said the state is also adding six new regional sites in Frankfort, Henderson, Columbia, Grayson, Louisa and Morganfield. The state recently opened its first regional vaccination site in Lexington.
“These new sites are a big deal," Beshear said. "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.”
The governor also reported 1,880 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, as Kentucky's positivity rate and cases continues to decline statewide.
Kentucky's positivity rate, which measures the proportion of coronavirus tests returning positive, dropped from 7.5% on Wednesday to 7.08% on Thursday— the lowest it's been since Nov. 6.
While Beshear said hospitalization rates have declined, the number of deaths related to the respiratory virus remains high. Thursday marked the 23rd consecutive day in which Kentucky has reported more than 30 coronavirus-related deaths.
According to the state's vaccination dashboard, over 497,000 Kentuckians as of Thursday had received the first dose of the two-shot coronavirus immunization.
The state has not yet announced how to sign up for appointments with the 47 independent pharmacies who will be administering the vaccine.
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