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Majority of Kentucky counties are in the green for COVID-19 community spread

J. Tyler Franklin

A majority of Kentucky counties continue to see downward trends in COVID-19 rates. Most are classified as green in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s community spread level. 

“114 counties are green, six are yellow,” Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health said at a press conference Thursday. “It is good to be green.”

The CDC recently changed its community levels guidelines to combine community spread level with health care capacity. 

Green is the lowest level of community spread. To reach green, a county cannot have more than 10 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people and must have less than 10% of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. The county must also have fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

In Kentucky, the positivity rate was at 1.97% for the week. This is the lowest weekly positivity rate since 1.92% in July of 2021.

As cases begin to decline, health care leaders continue to monitor the BA.2 omicron sub-variant. 

Stack said nationally BA.2 makes up about 72% of cases.

“In our region, region four, it’s about 60% BA.2 and 40% BA.1. We lag just a little bit,” Stack said. 

Despite concerns about the new sub-variant, Stack warned people not to stress too much about new variants.

“I strongly recommend you tune out the buzz and chatter about the variant de jour, it just adds to anxiety and worry to things you can’t control anyway,” Stack said.

People 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised are eligible to receive a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the second booster is not required to be considered up to date.

“We will stay vigilant at the Kentucky Department for Public Health and with Governor Beshear in monitoring development here in the state and worldwide,” Stack said.

Gov. Andy Beshear said that while things are improving, COVID-19 continues to affect people. 

“The pandemic isn’t over, and living with the pandemic is not ignoring it,” Beshear said.

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