A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Vast improvement in COVID numbers — 103 counties in green zone; now in ‘living-with-COVID’ phase

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The latest weekly COVID-19 Community Levels map, issued each Friday by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, indicates the trend of a vast improvement that has occurred over the past month is continuing.

The map, which is generated from data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates counties as having a low, medium, or high community level by whether their color is green, yellow or red.

On the Oct. 14 map, 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now in the green, indicating a low community level of COVID. 16 others, primarily in eastern Kentucky along with two in the south, are yellow, with Letcher County being the lone red county in the state.

“We are solidly now in the living-with-COVID-19 phase,” said State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.  “Living with COVID-19 does not mean that COVID-19 is gone. We still sadly announce 60 to 80 deaths every week from COVID-19.  It will still be the third leading cause of death in Kentucky this year.  The single most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe from severe illness and death is get vaccinated.”

Beshear said the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, patients in the ICU, patients on ventilators and COVID-19 related visits per day have decreased. He continued to urge eligible Kentuckians to get the new booster shots to protect against COVID-19.

He also noted that this week, the FDA authorized the new bivalent booster for children five years of age and older, to combat the omicron variants and new subvarients.  Locations and appointments can be found on vaccines.gov.

For more details on Kentucky’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, community levels, guidance and more, go to the state’s website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.

The weekly monkeypox report from the Department for Public Health, meanwhile, shows another small increase in cases: from 59 last week to 63 this week. At the beginning of September, the total was 31.

Jefferson County continues to have the most cases at 35, followed by Fayette with 9, Warren 4, Kenton 3, Christian 2, and one apiece in Barren, Boone, Floyd, Hardin, Hopkins, Jessamine, McCracken, Montgomery, Oldham, and Simpson counties.  62 of the 63 cases were found in men.

There have now been 27,096 monkeypox cases across the U.S., according to the CDC, along with two deaths. The worldwide total from the 2022 outbreak now stands at 72,874.

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