Louisville health officials are ramping up operations in the city's drive-thru vaccination center now.

The Broadbent Arena drive-thru site began administering vaccines Monday. Vaccinations are just being given to people in tier 1a of the vaccination plan, which includes frontline health care workers.

At a virtual press briefing using the health department and Mayor Greg Fischer, Associate Medical Director Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage said 400 appointments were scheduled for Tuesday, double the number provided Monday.

“Yesterday was our launch, and it went very smoothly,” she said. “In fact, it went so smoothly that we contacted some folks and that we made extra appointments for today to increase our capacity.”

About 50 vehicles were served in the first hour of operation Tuesday. Vaccinations are expected to spread out to people in tier 1b in the coming weeks. Based on a plan outlined by the Beshear administration on Monday, 1b includes police, firefighters and other first responders, people aged 70 and older and K-12 teachers and staff.

As vaccines become more widely available, Fischer said he really wants to ensure the city is able to deliver them effectively. On Wednesday, the recently-formed vaccine distribution task force will hold its first meeting.

The task force comprises a number of entities from across the healthcare spectrum, including Louisville's major hospital systems and health worker associations. Bill Altman, who has been an advisor for Louisville's testing efforts, will co-chair the job force with Hartlage.

Altman said developing a distribution plan is going to be an “all-hands-on-deck effort,” so the number of available vaccines never outweighs the city's ability to deliver them.

“The site out at Broadbent Arena is a critical a part of what we're doing, but it is not going to be enough to get vaccines out to the broader community,” he said. “Especially because the supply chain opens and especially as we transfer to the later tiers, where the numbers of individuals who want to get vaccinated grow.”

Louisville nutritionists reported a rise in COVID-19 cases a week ago. Chief Health Strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer announced 2,991 cases in the Tuesday briefing.

Moyer said holiday gatherings likely played a job within the increase in cases, but hospitalizations have leveled off.

“It [COVID-19] doesn't care about holidays, so we're seeing those numbers trend up a bit, but, thankfully, our hospitalization numbers are in a plateau,” she said. “It's a high plateau. I know our health care personnel are tired and incredibly looking forward to the vaccine.

Louisville continues to be in the red zone, with 55.7 cases per 100,000 people. Moyer also reported 28 additional deaths last week.