Number of Ky. counties where masks are advised is down to 32

Ky. Dept. for Public Health version of CDC map, adapted by Kentucky Health News

Only 32 Kentucky counties have such a high risk of coronavirus infection and hospitalization that residents should wear masks in indoor public spaces, according to the latest weekly ratings by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of those counties are in Eastern Kentucky, but include Fayette and four adjoining counties, and Crittenden and Livingston counties in Western Kentucky. Crittenden County has the state’s highest rate of new coronavirus cases; Pike County is second, according to CDC data in The New York Times.

Rated at medium risk are 38 counties, where the CDC says residents who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness should talk to a health-care provider about “additional precautions, such as wearing masks or respirators indoors in public. If you live with or have social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness, consider testing yourself for infection before you get together and wearing a mask when indoors with them.”

The plurality of counties, 51, are rated at low risk. There, the CDC recommends residents “stay up to date with Covid-19 vaccines and boosters” and “maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.” The ratings are based on new coronavirus cases and Covid-19 hospitalizations.

As a whole, Kentucky ranks fifth in the rate of hospital patients with Covid-19 in the last seven days, and has the nation’s eighth highest rate of new cases over that time. Many Kentucky counties are in the Times list of the 100 counties with the highest rates of new cases.

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