Hoosiers ages 30 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccination, the Indiana Department of Health announced Monday. This latest expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to more than 840,000 additional Hoosiers. Beginning Wednesday, Hoosiers age 16 and older also will be able to schedule vaccination.
Meanwhile, on Monday Kentucky expanded its vaccination program to all residents 40 and older and beginning April 12, all Kentuckians 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 14,500 residents have been vaccinated in Jefferson County with 6,076 of that total now fully vaccinated and 8,619 with the first of two doses of the COVID vaccine. Switzerland County has vaccinated more than 2,700 people including 1,077 who have been fully vaccinated and 1,666 who have received the first of a two-dose vaccination series.
In Indiana, a total of 1,088,141 Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated by receiving a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Overall, there have been 2,696,073 doses have been administered in Indiana since late December. This includes 1,607,932 first doses of a two-dose vaccination series.
In Kentucky, 1,347,152 residents have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 731,464 have been fully vaccinated.
On Monday, Jefferson County had no new cases of the coronavirus for an overall total of 3,008 COVID-19 cases. Jefferson County’s seven-day positivity percentage is currently 3.8% and the unique positivity rating is 6.2% . Jefferson County’s number deaths due to the virus pandemic now stands at 78.
Switzerland County had no new cases of COVID-19 with a total of 764 positive cases. The total COVID-19 deaths remains at eight. The seven-day positivity in Switzerland County is 5.6% and the seven-day unique positivity rating is 15.6%.
Both Jefferson and Switzerland counties showed an increase in their positivity rates despite reporting no new cases Monday. Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Tammy Monroe noted there were a couple of factors involved.
Monroe said one issue is that the numbers are a seven-day average, and that can impact percentages when different days are factored. Additionally, the percentages are based on positive test results per total tests processed. With fewer residents currently being tested — on Monday only four individuals were tested in Jefferson County — the percentages can be greatly impacted by fewer positives. She note that if 100 residents were tested with one positive that would be 1% while if only four were tested with one positive the percentage would be 25%.
The Indiana Department of Health announced Monday that 730 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 684,733 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus. To date, 12,622 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of five from the previous day.
In Kentucky, 361 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on March 28, according to the Kentucky Department of Health. There have been 425,024 positive cases overall and 6,031 deaths including eight new deaths.
In information from the North Central District Health Department, Trimble County has reported 670 cases of COVID-19 with 18 active cases and overall six deaths during the pandemic. Carroll County has reported 954 cases of COVID-19 with 16 deaths.
Hoosiers age 30 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents, first responders who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to render medical assistance, and educators and school support staff through grade 12 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Appointments in Indiana must be scheduled by visiting www.ourshot.in.gov or calling 2-1-1. Jefferson County Health Department is providing vaccinations at 715 Green Road, Madison. Switzerland County Health Department is operating a vaccine clinic at the Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, 708 West Seminary Street, Vevay.
Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program appear on the clinic map at www.ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.
In Kentucky, call the vaccine hotline at 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians) for assistance to register. Kentuckians can also visit vaccine.ky.gov, which in addition to finding out how to schedule an appointment, they will find a map with additional vaccination sites at retail locations.
Madison Police arrested a local man on charges of child molestation and sexual misconduct with a minor, two felony charges punishable by more than 50 years in prison.
Keifer M. Jones, 31, of Madison, was arrested Thursday for child molestation, a Level 1 felony, and sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 4 felony.
Jones was arrest by Madison Police after a weeks long investigation led by Detective Kyle Cutshaw. Madison Police identified several juvenile victims during the course of the investigation and presented their findings to the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office for review. A warrant for Jones’ arrest was issued Thursday and he was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.
Cutshaw was assisted in the investigation by Detectives Ricky Harris, Jeremey Perkins and Shawn Scudder, as well as Capt. Rick Mundt and Patrolmen Jordan Perry and Josh Nolan.
Efforts are ongoing to promote tourism in Jefferson County and Visit Madison Inc. seems to be getting closer to reaching a contract with the Jefferson County Board of Tourism.
Both board president Lucy Dattilo and VMI marketing and advertising director Sarah Prasil have been pleased with recent opportunities to meet with JCBT and also participate in a recent Jefferson County Tourism Caucus. In particular, Prasil said she came away from the caucus “feeling good that we are doing a lot things right.”
Dattilo said VMI has reviewed the contract with JCBT, and is also having it reviewed by its attorney. She is hopeful the agreement can be finalized in April with plans for it to run through March of 2022.
Prasil said she is optimistic the VMI is moving in a good direction, noting this past weekend was a busy one in Madison for visitors and VMI is getting strong interaction concerning upcoming visits.
Brad Walker, property manager at Clifty Falls State Park, reported the park was at full capacity last weekend with visitors in all 642 parking places. “This will be a record season for us,” Walker said.
Event coordinator Katie Burress announced plans for Ribberfest on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20-21. “We are in the process of deciding when to put tickets on sale and to announce the music lineup, but we’re super excited about it.”
In other business:
• Prasil announced that the 2021 visitors guide has been finalized and that 30,000 copies will be printed — an increase of 5,000 over the most recent 25,000 projection due to the number of requests VMI is receiving. She said the visitors guide has also been digitized on social media including Facebook where it has recorded 15,000 page engagements and 700 interactions. “We’re excited” about the response so far, Prasil said.
• Prasil said she expects the Rockport Analytics/Longwood International report on Jefferson County’s 2019 tourism numbers will arrive in the next two weeks. “We anticipate this is going to be another strong year,” Prasil said.