McLean County adds 12 new positive coronavirus cases making the number of current active cases is 101, three more than last week, according to the Green River District Health Department.

The McLean County Health Center is still offering free testing on Jan. 13, 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.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, McLean County’s incidence rate is 57.4, leaving it in the red.

There have been 280,836 total positive cases in Kentucky with 2,772 deaths and 37,502 recovered, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

So far, McLean County Health Center has received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine, but have not begun the process of administering dosages.

GRDHD Public Health Director Clay Horton said the plan is to distribute vaccines in order of priority, beginning with 1A residents.

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.

On Monday, the Kentucky Department for Public Health rolled out the next phase of the vaccines. 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.

1C residents will include anyone over 60-years-old and other frontline workers.

One new stipulation regarding vaccines is 90% of the received vaccines must be administered within seven days, Horton said. When frozen, the vaccine can last up to six months. If refrigerated, the vaccine has a 30-day shelf life. If a vile is opened, the dose must be given within six hours.

“Vaccine we have has gone through FDA approval,” Horton said. “They had clinical trials to determine if they are effective, which they are. We face a lot of skepticism and critics about vaccines in general, but they are safe and effective. It’s probably in people’s own self interest to develop an immunity to COVID-19, but certainly in the loved ones around them and the community in general.”

Horton said the challenges of rolling out the vaccines have been immense.

“They’re not unique to McLean County, our district or even Kentucky,” he said. “There have been bumps in the road. We ask for some patience. As we get into 2021, we will get a little bit more cadence around the vaccine. Stay tuned to the news and stay tuned for our messaging.”

“2021 is going to be the year that we defeat the coronavirus,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in a Tuesday press release. “It’s going to take months. We are still going to sustain heartbreaking losses along the way. But vaccines are here. The first two that received emergency approval are highly effective. And I’m working day in and day out, along with the Department for Public Health and many others in state government, to get them out even faster. That is my primary mission right now.”

The state is expected to receive an additional 53,800 doses of the initial vaccine during the week of Jan. 11. 27,300 will be from Pfizer and 26,500 will be from Moderna, according to the press release.

This week, the state can expect to receive an additional 57,000 doses of the initial vaccine, which does not include the booster doses.

According to the press release, 66,582 initial doses have already been administered statewide.

“While we all are anxious to be vaccinated, until we can be, we have to do the things we always harp on: wearing a mask, social distancing, getting tested if you feel sick, washing your hands and participating in contact tracing,” Cabinet for Health and Family Services Executive Polly Advisor Mark Carter said. “If we can do that, we’ll get to the vaccine and we’ll get through this pandemic together.”

Karah Wilson, kwilson@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2835

Karah Wilson, kwilson@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2835

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