Covid-19 risk in Kentucky remains about same as a week ago, and the 7-day new-case rate is second highest among the states
CDC map, adapted by Kentucky Health News
By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
The risk of catching Covid-19 in Kentucky last week was about the same as the week before, with nearly 92% of the state’s counties at a high or medium level of risk and The New York Times still ranking Kentucky first second among the states for new coronavirus cases in the last seven days.
“Covid is still with us and everybody needs to get vaccinated and get your booster. . . . We need people to protect themselves. And then especially if you’re in the high-risk category in a red county, you need to think about wearing that mask,” Gov. Andy Beshear said at his weekly news conference.
The latest Covid-19 risk map, issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows 74 Kentucky counties at high risk (shown in orange, not red, on the map), one more than a week ago.
The CDC map shows 36 counties at medium risk (yellow on the map) and 10 at low risk (green). Last week, 38 were at medium risk and nine were at low risk.
In high-risk counties, the CDC recommends that you wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor spaces, and if you are at high risk of getting very sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
If you live in a medium or high-risk county, the CDC advises wearing a well-fitting mask when indoors and in public and to consider getting tested before having social contact with someone at high risk for getting very sick and consider wearing a mask when indoors when you are with them.
Beshear said he is hopeful that Kentucky is seeing a plateau in cases, but when asked what Kentuckians need to be doing to protect themselves with case rates still high, he cautioned that there are still a lot of Kentuckians getting “fairly sick” from the virus and again encouraged people to get vaccinated and boosted, especially if they have heart, lung or kidney disease, or if they had the virus and it made them really sick.
“When we look at our numbers, there’s a lot of people out there that could go out and get their booster now and be much better protected,” Beshear said. “Obviously, we’re watching the news about whether we will have a booster targeted more towards Omicron, but we need people to protect themselves.”
Covid-19 vaccine boosters targeting recent Omicron strains of the virus are expected to roll out next month. The Times reports that they will be offered to anyone ages 12 and up who has completed a primary vaccine series.
Fewer than half (46.5%) of the 2.6 million fully vaccinated Kentuckians have received a Covid-19 booster shot.
Beshear also encouraged Kentuckian who test positive for the coronavirus to seek medical care and treatment, which he said are now better than they have ever been.