Gov. Andy Beshear reported 963 new coronavirus cases Thursday as state officials said crews were working to restore power to nearly 74,000 homes in the state, especially in eastern Kentucky.

“There are 10 primary counties that still have lost power,” Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said during a virtual briefing.

He named Boyd, Carter, Lawrence, Pulaski, Johnson, Rockcastle, Laurel, Greenup, Martin, Jackson and Elliott counties in particular.

“These counties were literally devastated with the outage and there still remains a lot of work to do,” Dossett said.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet crews worked through the night and into Thursday morning clearing roads after the third winter storm in a week hit Kentucky. Power outages peaked at 154,000, Beshear said in a news release earlier Thursday.

Coronavirus-related deaths continued to remain high in the state Thursday, with Beshear announcing 37 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 4,373. Beshear said an 83-year-old Barren County woman, a 64-year-old Logan County woman and a 70-year-old woman in Warren County were among Thursday’s deaths.

Beshear described the 963 new COVID-19 cases as the lowest amount for a Thursday since Oct. 8, but the state’s positivity rate climbed to 7.07%, he said.

The Barren River District Health Department was closed Thursday due to the weather. In Allen County, the health department reported 11 additional virus cases since Wednesday, bringing the total there to 1,773 since the start of the pandemic. The virus has claimed 22 lives in Allen County to date.

As of Thursday, 555,373 Kentuckians had received the first of two vaccine shots needed to reach full vaccination against COVID-19.

Beshear also announced that additional outside visitation can resume at certain long-term care centers, provided visitors have been fully vaccinated.

This applies to assisted living centers, independent living and other non-certified facilities, Beshear said.

Beginning next week, Beshear said the state will have a total of 291 vaccination sites, and he announced several new locations set to open. To find a location, go online to vaccine.ky.gov.

‘There is a provider that has vaccine close to where everybody lives in the commonwealth,” Beshear said. “We need more supply. We don’t have nearly what we could put in people’s arms.”

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.