Number of Ky. counties with high and medium Covid-19 risk tick up a bit; Beshear says it’s likely due to ‘post-Thanksgiving bump’

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The number of Kentucky counties with high and medium risk of Covid-19 transmission on the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention map released Thursday were about the same as the week before, when they were higher than they had been for a while.

At his weekly news conference Thursday, which was held before the map was released, Gov. Andy Beshear said recent increases in counties with high and medium transmission risk in the previous map,, and the increase in cases on Monday’s weekly state report, were likely due to a “post-Thanksgiving bump.” He said the pandemic in Kentucky still appears to be on a general plateau, but he expects cases will tick up for a few weeks before they come back down.

“Here’s the good news, though: It is nowhere near what we saw after each of these holidays the last couple of years,” Beshear said. “This means Covid has fundamentally changed and our highs are going to be a lot lower and that’s a very good thing for all of us.”

The latest risk map, which looks at both cases and hospital data to determine risk of transmissions, shows 12 Kentucky counties at high risk, up from 10 the week before. High-risk counties, shown in orange, were in Western Kentucky except for Bourbon, Nicholas and Pike counties.

In high-risk counties, the CDC continues to recommend that you wear a well-fitting, high-quality 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.

Medium-risk counties, shown in yellow, numbered 44 this week, down from 48 on the previous map. These counties are found in several pockets across the state, mainly in the east and south. Again, barely a majority of the state’s 120 counties (64) have a low risk of Covid-19 transmission, shown in green.

If you live in a medium or high-risk county, the CDC advises those who are at high risk of getting very sick to wear 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 has a transmission-level map that shows the level of virus spread in each county, at one of four levels. It shows 13 Kentucky counties with a moderate level of transmission and the rest have either substantial or high levels of transmission. This data is largely used by researchers and health-care facilities.

State officials have encouraged Kentuckians to use the other CDC map to guide their preventive measures.

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