TRI-STATE (WFIE) - 2020 was a year of the unimaginable as the coronavirus pandemic played a major part in each of our everyday lives.
From mask mandates to people postponing or canceling milestone moments, 2020 has been full of heartache, and eventually some hope.
Earlier this year, shelves stocked with disinfectants went empty as Tri-State residents prepared for the longest year of their life.
Finally, the first local coronavirus case was confirmed.
“We all knew that it was just a matter of time,” Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said on March 19 in response to those reported cases.
Shortly after Daviess and Henderson Counties announced their first cases, hundreds of people began testing positive for COVID-19.
Nearly one week later, Hopkins County officials announced the first death in the Tri-State. As of New Year’s Eve, 917 people have died from complications with COVID-19.
“There’s been an outbreak of COVID-19 here,” Mary Fuller, a daughter of a resident inside the Redbanks Skilled Nursing Facility said on October 7.
Long-term care facilities like Redbanks in Henderson and Signature Healthcare in Newburgh were among the many nursing homes impacted by the pandemic.
With no cure, but vaccines in the works, people were asked to do what they could to slow the spread of the virus - mask up, social distance and wash their hands.
Throughout the year, schools bounced back and forth between in-person learning and online learning.
Fast forward to December, the Tri-State received their first shipments of vaccines.
“We are so excited to be able to have this vaccine,” Margo Ashby, the director of pharmacy at Baptist Health Madisonville said on December 16 after the hospital acquired its first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
On the last day of 2020, local communities gladly wave goodbye and start fresh on New Year’s Day.
“This will hopefully get us to some new norm, whatever that is,” Michele Davis, an administrator at Redbanks Colonial Terrace in Webster County said on December 23 following the facility’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
More people will have the opportunity to get vaccinated in 2021.
Kentucky is expecting to start Phase 1b on February 1. This phase will include people over 70 years old, first responders, as well as educational personnel between kindergarten and 12th grade.