The Green River District Health Department reports six new COVID-19 cases for McLean County. This puts the county at 144 active cases which is 43 more than last week.

The McLean County Health Center is still offering free virus testing on Jan. 20 and 27 from 2 to 3 p.m. Health First Community Center is also offering drive-thru testing at the Calhoun Baptist Church parking lot every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

McLean County residents who qualified as 1A vaccine recipients have begun receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

1A residents include long-term care and assisted living residents, as well as healthcare workers. Those who live in long-term care and assisted living will receive their dose through either CVS or Walgreens. The McLean County Health Center is working on EMS and healthcare worker vaccines.

“We are still primarily focused on the 1A priority phase,” said GRDHD Public Health Director Clay Horton. “We are filling in with 1B first responders as the vaccine has been available. We anticipate that we will begin vaccinating others in the 1B phase in the next few weeks. Although how to sign up for those vaccinations can not be finalized until we know what our future allocations of vaccine will be.”

1B will include anyone over 70-years-old, those in the education workforce and first responders, which includes police and correction staff, according to Horton.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the county’s incidence rate is 90, leaving it in the red.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday that there are 3,000 new cases statewide.

“This is the fourth-highest Tuesday, it’s higher than the last couple weeks, so we’re trying to determine where these numbers are going,” said Beshear. “We are sure that this is a surge caused by gatherings through the holidays, but there is a chance from what we are seeing in the data that while people gathered during the holidays, maybe now they’ve changed their behavior back to being very careful. If that’s the case, hopefully we’ll see a leveling off, but only the data over the next week is going to let us know.”

Statewide, there have been 308,729 total positive cases, 2,944 deaths and 39,200 recovered cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Beshear also signed an executive order Tuesday, which created the Unemployment One-Time Relief Payment Program. This program will be administered by the Office of Unemployment Insurance and will be funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund money for up to $48 million, according to a press release sent out by Beshear.

A one time payment of $400 will be sent out to claimants under any OUI programs who would have qualified for 2020 FEMA Lost Wages Assistance but the weekly benefit amount was under $100, and those who had an approved claim in November and December of 2020 but the weekly benefit amount was less that $176.

According to the press release, 25,000 state residents are qualified for this payment.

A one time payment of $1,000 will be sent out to claimants under any OUI program between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2020 who have been verified but whose claims were not adjudicated and paid.

According to the press release, 16,500 state residents are qualified for this payment.

“For those who were able to file a claim, we want to help these people until we can get to their claims,” said Beshear. “And we want to help the people who were working regular, full-time jobs before this crisis but still didn’t make enough to qualify for Lost Wages Assistance when they lost their jobs.”

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