A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

COVID numbers in state bounce up and down but nearly half of counties are at low level

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

There was a big improvement in the weekly COVID Community Levels map released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health Friday.

The CDC breaks the state down by county based on whether they have a high, medium or low level of COVID, which are shown on their maps as either red, yellow or green, respectively.

While the number of red counties rose from 13 last week to 16 in the latest report, yellow counties dropped from 64 to 49, and green counties jumped from 43 to 55, making nearly half of Kentucky’s counties at a low community level.

“COVID-19 is increasing in the United States and we have seen some increases in Kentucky,” said Gov. Andy Beshear, “but we haven’t seen the substantial increases in cases that some other states are seeing. Nor are we seeing substantial increases in hospitalizations, although that number is trending up a little bit.”

He said Kentucky has been seeing a bounce up and a bounce down, over the last couple weeks.

“Overall, it’s elevated from before the holiday season,” Beshear continued, “but we are not experiencing anything like what we saw after the two holiday seasons before this.  Yes, we see more cases; yes, we see a little more hospitalization; but vaccinations work, the treatments work, the mitigation factors that people use, they work.”

That includes some people who still wear a mask when they are out in public, if they are at risk.

He reminds Kentuckians that COVID-19 is real.

“We are watching this new XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant. I think we’ve seen enough to say it is more contagious than previous omicron variants, but we haven’t seen anything yet to suggest it’s going to be more severe, but it is still early on.”

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

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