CDC risk map shows 93% of Ky. counties with high or medium risk of Covid-19 infection, increased risk in Bowling Green area

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Kentuckians in general have about the same risk of catching Covid-19 as they did a week ago, with 93% of the state’s counties at a high or medium risk of transmission and The New York Times ranking Kentucky second among the states for new coronavirus cases in the last seven days.

Last week, 92% of the state’s counties were at high or medium risk. And even though the latest Covd-19 risk map, issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows some shift among counties moving to a lower level of risk of Covid-19, most of the state’s counties remain in the high- and medium-risk groups.

Some of those in which the risk grew were Warren, site of Bowling Green, the state’s third-largest city; Hardin, another very populous county; and every county adjoining Warren: Butler, Edmonson, Barren, Allen, Simpson and Logan.

The CDC map, which is based on new coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and hospital capacity, shows 70 Kentucky counties in orange, at high risk, four fewer than a week ago; 42 in yellow, at medium risk, six more than a week ago; and eight in green, at low risk, two fewer than the week before.

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.

The CDC also publishes a map showing levels of community transmission, Every county in Kentucky is ranked high except Ballard, Lyon, Edmonson, Metcalfe and Robertson, all small counties. State officials say the other map, estimating risks, is the best one to guide preventive actions,

At his weekly news conference Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear again urged Kentuckians to stay home if they are sick, consider wearing a mask until you know you don’t have Covid-19, get tested if you think you have been exposed, and treatment if the test is positive, and get vaccinated and boosted.

“We continue to recommend that everyone six months of age or older stay up to date on their vaccinations and receive any booster doses,” he said.

His advice comes as a new, updated Covid-19 booster shot that targets the original strain of the coronavirus and major Omicron subvariants has been approved. Beshear said the new booster could be available to Kentuckians as early as next week.

So far, state data shows that fewer than half (46.6%) of the 2.6 million fully vaccinated Kentuckians have been boosted.

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