Lexington on Tuesday reported its 300th COVID-19-related death since the pandemic started in March 2020.
The city reported three new deaths in total, which pushed the death toll to 302 for Lexington residents. Four of those deaths have occurred in April, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
New deaths in the city have declined since January, which saw 61 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, the most in any month yet for Lexington. Officials say reaching 300 deaths is a reminder the pandemic isn’t over yet.
“This sad milestone should remind us that this pandemic is not over,” said Kevin Hall, spokesman for the Lexington health department. “The vaccine is definitely a provider of hope, but we still have a long way to go to reach the community immunity needed for a return to pre-COVID-19 life.
“More and more vaccine opportunities become available each week, and we need the people of Kentucky to get the shot.”
Local officials said during earlier phases of vaccine rollout that prioritizing older residents was helping contribute to the death decline. Fayette County has vaccinated 74 percent of its residents who are 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the sixth-best county vaccination rate in Kentucky for residents 65 and older.
Fayette County’s vaccination rate for the whole population was 36.8 percent as of Monday, which was third-best among all 120 counties. Woodford and Franklin counties had better vaccination rates.
In addition to three deaths reported Tuesday, Lexington also reported 57 new COVID-19 cases. Those cases were newly-confirmed from Sunday and Monday. Lexington has reported 587 COVID-19 cases through the first 19 days in April. The city is on pace to report fewer than 1,000 new cases in a month for the first time since June.
The local health department is asking residents to get vaccinated in order to “protect your friends, family and yourself” from coronavirus. The health department was set to host a vaccination clinic Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Consolidated Baptist Church, and appointments were still open Tuesday morning. The health department hosts the vaccination clinics weekly.
Appointments for Wednesday’s clinic and future weekly clinics can be scheduled at lfchd.org/vaccine or by calling (859) 899-2222. The health department’s clinics are open to anyone 18 or older. In addition to appointments, walk-ins were also going to be accepted on Wednesday between 10 and 11:30 a.m., and 1 and 2:30 p.m.
Other local vaccination clinics can be found at lexingtonky.gov/vaccines. The vaccine is generally available to all residents 16 or older, per state guidelines.