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Ky Public Health Comm. Advises Following State COVID-19 Testing Guidance After CDC Revisions

Screenshot of Governor Andy Beshear's Facebook Live

Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said people should follow Kentucky’s COVID-19 testing guidance, following a new revision to Center for Disease Control and Prevention testing guidance. 

The CDC on Monday revised guidance to say people who do not have symptoms but have been in close contact (within six feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes “do not necessarily need a test….” Exceptions include vulnerable individuals or people whose health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend they be tested.

Stack said the guidance is good “in many ways” and draws attention to high-risk populations and nursing homes. But he said the part of the revision that has started controversy is that the guidance “appears to discourage people from getting tested, even if you may have had a high-risk exposure.”

“And in that case, if you’re not symptomatic, the guidance creates the opportunity to not get tested. This has a number of us in public health concerned,” he said. 

Stack said he would still encourage people to follow state guidance on testing. He said the CDC guidance says testing may be required more widely in “areas where the disease is more active,” which he said includes Kentucky. Stack said people with symptoms and high-risk exposures should get tested and not use the CDC guidance to justify not getting tested.

Governor Andy Beshear called the CDC’s new guidance reckless and said it contradicts everything we know about the virus. 

Beshear confirmed 696 new cases of coronavirus today and said the positivity rate dropped to below 5% to 4.64%. He said three school-aged kids in Calloway County and nine kids in Warren County have tested positive. 

Beshear said 606 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized with 146 in the ICU and 96 on a ventilator. He reported seven new deaths due to the virus. Beshear said 839,454 tests have been completed.

In long-term care facilities, Beshear said 53 new residents and 25 new staff members have tested positive. He reported one new resident death and one additional facility affected by the virus.

Beshear said two new childcare facilities have at least one positive. He said three new staff members have tested positive.

Cases from colleges and universities are not all from today, but were reported today. Beshear said 60 new students have tested positive and one new school has reported at least one case.

In Kentucky K-12 schools, he said two new students and four new teachers have the virus. He said four new schools are represented in those numbers.

Beshear said people can see COVID-19 reporting at Kentucky schools and colleges and universities online. 

Beshear said state officials believe they will have a new announcement on childcare Monday. 


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