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As COVID Cases Rise In The Commonwealth, They Remain Low In Vaccinated Kentuckians

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Credit Karyn Czar, WUKY
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Driven by the delta variant, Kentucky is seeing COVID-19 cases at rates not seen since this past March and Governor Andy Beshear said we are on track to have four straight weeks of surging case numbers. Most cases are in people who have not gotten vaccinated. Governor Andy Beshear said, “From March 1 to July 21st, this is about the time when a whole lot of people had the opportunity to be vaccinated, 95% of all positive cases were among unvaccinated individuals.” The other statistics laid out by the Governor… of the 61,000 new COVID cases between March first and yesterday, 92% of hospitalizations and 447 deaths were unvaccinated Kentuckians.

The state’s positivity rate continues to rise and as of Wednesday, there were ten red-zone counties, which indicates high infection rates. There were none on July 1st. Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack gave new recommendations for counties that are in the red. “Encourage physical distancing and please do stuff outdoors. Outdoors is so much safer than a small confined indoor space,” Stack said. “Medically vulnerable persons should try to avoid gathering with unvaccinated folks. If you’re having a large public event consider if you can rearrange it, if you can postpone it, if it’s indoors move it outdoors.” Other recommendations for red zone counties include encouraging mask-wearing and having a strong plan with community partners. Topping the list remains getting vaccinated.

Dr. Stack and the Governor reiterated that these are currently recommendations, but Beshear did say he would not rule out future mandates. “If I think we have to take steps to save lives we’re going to do them.” Beshear added that because of vaccinations, “decision calculus” would be very different than it was a year ago.

 

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