CDC says no Ky. counties at high risk of Covid-19; state planning moves to adapt to May 11 end of federal public-health emergency

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

No Kentucky counties have a high risk of Covid-19, according to this week’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s weekly risk map, and only 30 of the 120 counties are at medium risk.

The CDC map, which is based on the number of new coronavirus cases and Covid-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals, shows 90 counties have a low level of infection, shown in green. The 30 with a medium level of infection, shown in yellow, are largely in the western and Appalachian areas of the state.

In counties at medium risk, 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 community transmission level map, largely used by researchers and health-care facilities, that shows the level of virus in each county, at one of four levels. The map shows Magoffin County with a low level of transmission, 28 counties with moderate levels and the rest with either substantial or high levels, showing that the virus continues to be widespread in those counties.

As of Thursday, March 2, The New York Times ranked Kentucky’s infection rate over the previous seven days as third in the nation, despite a 27 percent drop in cases in the last two weeks.

State to scale back Covid-19 measures

Looking to the end of the national Covid-19 public-health emergency on May 11, state Health Commissioner Steven Stack said at Gov. Andy Beshear’s weekly news conference Thursday that the state will no longer have the same access to Covid-19 therapeutics to distribute or dispense, and its dedicated Covid-19 hotline will end on May 12.

Stack said Covid-19 surveillance in Kentucky will continue, but will probably evolve into a fall/winter respiratory report that includes Covid-19, influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

This change will provide “a more comprehensive look at the most common infections that typically cause problems for health care capacity,” said Stack, who is a physician.

There will be changes in what states are required to report regarding Covid-19, and that will alter the data available, Stack said. And while hospitals will still be required to report Covid-19 data for another year, Stack said the frequency of that reporting will likely change.

He said the state’s Covid-19 website will continue, but will be more streamlined. These changes will begin on Monday, March 6, when the state will move all its Covid-19 data to one site and remove any duplicate reporting. He said the site will keep providing educational information, but much will be linked directly to CDC information.

Previous Article
Next Article