Even with 76% of Kentucky counties at low risk of coronavirus transmission, state ranks first in nation for new cases in last week

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Three-fourths of Kentucky counties have a low risk of Covid-19 transmission, and only two of the 120 counties are at high risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s weekly risk map.

But the risk has been declining nationally, so on Feb. 17 Kentucky’s new-case rate over the previous seven days was first in the nation, according to The New York Times. Fayette, Clark and Greenup counties ranked fourth, fifth and sixth in the nation for new cases in the last seven days, according to the Times.

The CDC’s risk map is based not just on new cases, but on the number of patients in hospitals with Covid-19. It shows 91 Kentucky counties at low risk, shown in green, and 27 at medium risk, shown in yellow. The two high-risk counties, shown in orange, are Greenup and Elliott.

Even as the risk of Covid-19 transmission decreases, the CDC continues to offer the same recommendations for medium and high-risk counties.

In high-risk counties, the CDC recommends 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.

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 provides a transmission level map, largely used by researchers and health-care facilities, that shows the level of the virus spread in each county, at one of four levels.
For the first time in a while, the map shows two counties with a low level of transmission: Ballard and Robertson. Thirteen counties had a medium level of transmission, and the rest had either substantial or high levels of transmission, showing that the virus continues to be widespread.
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