CDC says Covid-19 risk is growing in Ky.; it’s high in 22 counties and medium in 37; virus transmission levels are still high in 111

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

This week’s federal Covid-19 risk map shows almost half of Kentucky’s counties at increased risk. The rankings are based on new coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and hospital capacity.

Twenty-two Kentucky counties are orange on the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention risk map, indicating a high level of risk. That’s up from 19 orange counties on last week’s map.

Thirty-seven counties are yellow, indicating a medium level of risk. Last week, 29 were yellow.

The press release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s weekly press conference Thursday didn’t mention the pandemic, but he said it’s still important to talk about Covid-19 and to consider this map when you are doing business in orange counties (which he called red).

“It is not time to stop talking about Covid,” he said. “It is time to learn to live with Covid. But understand that while most of our state is green or yellow, there are red counties. We need to be thoughtful if we are traveling to or doing business in red counties [around] what steps that we take.”

This week’s map showed much shifting of counties between the colors but many counties that remained with the same level of risk as the week before.

Ten of last week’s yellow counties moved up to orange this week: Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, Graves, Crittenden, Marshall, Powell, Knott, Pike and Johnson. The other 12 orange counties were also orange last week: McCracken, Livingston, Lyon, Woodford, Fayette, Rowan, Greenup, Boyd, Wolfe, Breathitt, Leslie and Perry.

Seven of last week’s orange counties moved down to yellow this week: Hardin, Clark, Menifee, Carter, Lawrence, Martin, and Morgan. Fifteen of the counties are yellow for a second week in a row, including Muhlenberg, Meade, Breckinridge, Grayson, Larue, Monroe, Jessamine, Scott, Owsley, Lee, Robertson, Lewis, Elliott, Magoffin and Floyd.

Newly yellow counties on this week’s map are Calloway, Caldwell, Hart, Barren, Metcalfe, Allen, Taylor, Washington, Anderson, Montgomery, Bracken, Mason, Fleming, Letcher and Harlan.

In orange counties, state guidelines call for wearing masks in indoor public spaces, limiting in-person gatherings, limiting the size of gatherings, and social distancing.

The CDC says people in yellow counties who are immunocompromised, or at high risk for severe illness from the virus, should talk to a health-care provider about whether they need to wear a mask or take other precautions.

CDC map, adapted by Kentucky Health News

The CDC also publishes a map showing virus transmission levels. As it did last week, it shows 111 of the 120 counties with high levels, and the rest are all orange: Fulton, Trimble, Gallatin, Cumberland, Lincoln, McCreary, Whitley, Bell and Jackson.


State officials say the risk map is the best guide to protecting yourself from the virus.

Kentucky’s weekly pandemic report, released on Monday, showed the state had an average of 1,132 new cases a day last week, down 41% from the week before. The report showed fewer Covid-19 deaths and hospital rates that are still low, but creeping up. The positive-test rate increased to 12.45%, up from 12.07% the prior week.

Beshear again stressed Thursday that while “it is a blessing” that overall case numbers are no longer directly connected to serious illness, hospitalizations and death, it’s still important to protect yourself against the virus and get vaccinated and boosted.

“We are still seeing . . . huge advantages in terms of cases, in terms of overall outcomes if you are vaccinated, versus unvaccinated,” he said. Later adding, “So please, if you haven’t gotten vaccinated, if you haven’t gotten your first booster, if you’re over 50 and you haven’t gotten your second booster, go out and get it.”

Previous Article
Next Article