Kentucky state Capitol dome

The dome of the Kentucky state Capitol is lit green to remember those who have died of COVID-19 and their families.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky reported more than 600 new coronavirus cases and 13 more virus-related deaths Tuesday as the governor continued urging people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The statewide rate of positive cases was 3.44%.

“As our case numbers seem to be plateauing, it’s more important than ever for us to make sure our vaccination numbers are rising consistently,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Last week, Beshear pledged to lift capacity and physical distancing restrictions for nearly all businesses, venues and events catering to 1,000 or fewer patrons once 2.5 million Kentuckians receive at least their first COVID-19 shot.

Once that vaccination threshold is achieved, “we can get back to more of the activities we enjoy and keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe,” the governor said.

Anyone 16 or older is eligible to be vaccinated in Kentucky.

The state reported 609 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday.

The 13 additional virus-related deaths included six that were discovered through the state’s audit of deaths from prior months to get a more comprehensive count of the death toll. Total virus-related deaths in Kentucky reached at least 6,360 since the pandemic began.

More than 410 virus patients are hospitalized in Kentucky, including 121 in intensive care units.

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