New recommendations for ‘red’ COVID-19 counties in Kentucky

Gov. Beshear provides Monday update on COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear introduced a series of recommendations Monday for counties labeled ‘red’ in the state’s color-coded COVID-19 incidence rate map.

“It is not a good time to be out in public. This is the most dangerous it has been in eight months,” Kentucky Health Department Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, said. “The risk of you getting infected in the state of Kentucky has never been higher.”

Kentucky’s incident rate map places counties into one of four groups: ‘green,’ ‘yellow,’ ‘orange’ and ‘red.’

The groups represent blocks of average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents:

  • ‘Green’ counties (of which there are none presently) have fewer than one case per 100,000 residents.
  • ‘Yellow’ counties have between one and 10 cases per 100,000 residents.
  • ‘Orange’ counties have between 10 and 25 cases per 100,000 residents.
  • ‘Red’ counties have more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents.

More counties are currently red than at any time during the pandemic, Beshear said Monday.

Kentucky's COVID-19 incidence rate map, or newly confirmed daily cases per 100,000 residents.
Kentucky's COVID-19 incidence rate map, or newly confirmed daily cases per 100,000 residents. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Under existing recommendations, when a county goes ‘red’ schools are advised to go virtual, sports are paused and visitation at long-term care facilities is restricted.

The governor’s new recommendations for ‘red’ counties are as follows (bold in the original:)

  • Employers allow employees to work from home when possible;
  • Non-critical Government offices to operate virtually;
  • Reduce in-person shopping; order online or curbside pickup;
  • Order takeout; avoid dining in restaurants or bars;
  • Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce mask mandate and other guidelines;
  • Reschedule, postpone or cancel public and private events
  • Do not host or attend gatherings of any size;
  • Avoid non-essential activities outside of your home;
  • Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including 10 steps to defeat COVID-19.

Monday Kentucky announced 953 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and three new deaths. The state’s positivity rate stands at 5.84 percent.

The case count Monday is the state’s highest ever for a Monday, following similar records being set each of the last four days.

Weekly cases in the commonwealth continue to climb, with record highs coming five of the last six weeks.

Kentucky COVID-19 cases by week
Kentucky COVID-19 cases by week (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

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