On Thursday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided an update on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in the Commonwealth.
According to Gov. Beshear, all Kentuckians age 50-years-old and above can now schedule their appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We are asking vaccine providers to further open up Priority Group 1c to all Kentuckians 50 years or older," Gov. Beshear said Thursday.
Kentucky residents age 50-years-old and above can begin scheduling their appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately. However, Gov. Beshear says those appointments won't be held until Monday, March 22, at the soonest.
Until then, Kentuckians can still receive the COVID-19 through special waiting lists, like the ones offered by Deaconess in Henderson and Union counties.
"You can also check with vaccine providers that are working through the weekend. If they have any excess capacity, they can, and they should, come down a group to get you or anybody else to make sure they get all of their vaccines used every week," Gov. Beshear said.
Kentucky Plans to Expand Vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16 and up by April 12
Gov. Beshear also said Thursday that the Bluegrass State plans to open vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16-years-old and up by Monday, April 12.
"Second major announcement today is we are committing to opening up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16-years and older by April 12," said Gov. Beshear "That is the drop-dead date for when we expect to open vaccine eligibility for everybody."
This aligns with Illinois' plan, which was also announced on Thursday by Governor JB Pritzker, to expand vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16-years-old and up.
Indiana has yet to announce a timeframe as to when Hoosiers age 16-years-old and above will be able to receive the vaccine.
Updated Hours of Operation for Kentucky Bars and Restaurants
In addition to updating the Commonwealth on vaccine eligibility, Gov. Beshear on Thursday said that bars and restaurants could now stay open longer than previously permitted.
"We are altering restaurant and bar hours by extending the curfew starting on Friday," said Beshear.
As of Friday, bars and restaurants in Kentucky can serve customers until midnight, as opposed to the previous time of 11:00 p.m.
Additionally, doors can stay open until 1:00 a.m., as opposed to midnight, according to Gov. Beshear.
For now, capacity at bars and restaurants remains at 60%, Gov. Beshear added, with social distancing and masking also remaining in place.
Gov. Beshear said a main factor in the decision to expand hours for bars and restaurants was the state's positivity rate being the lowest it's been since July.
You can watch Gov. Beshear's full Thursday update by clicking here.