Boone County in the ‘red zone’ on decisive COVID-19 incident rate map

Boone County in the ‘red zone’ on decisive COVID-19 incident rate map
Thursday COVID-19 incident rate map in Kentucky (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Thursday Kentucky reported 2,318 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, 20 new virus-related deaths and a 6.5 percent positivity rate.

Currently 1,102 Kentuckians are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 291 are in ICUs, both more than double what they were a month ago.

Meanwhile, the same three Northern Kentucky counties that were red at the beginning of the week continue to be red in the state’s decisive Thursday COVID-19 incident rate map.

Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties are in the ‘red zone’ for COVID-19, according to the map, meaning they are reporting more than 25 average daily new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents.

Kenton and Campbell were in the ‘red zone’ last Thursday as well. Boone was added in Monday’s map.

Northern Kentucky’s four other counties (Gallatin, Grant, Pendleton and Bracken) are labeled ‘orange’ in Thursday’s map, meaning they are reporting 10-25 average daily new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents.

Grant County was in danger of being in the ‘red zone’ last Thursday with a 24.5 incident rate, but it has since dropped to 22.2.

But the situations have worsened over the last seven days in Kenton, Campbell and Boone. Below are the incident rates last Thursday versus this Thursday:

  • Boone County: 20.9 - 30.8
  • Kenton County: 26.7 - 33.4
  • Campbell County: 27.5 - 36.8
Community testing locations in Northern Kentucky
Community testing locations in Northern Kentucky (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Eighty Kentucky counties are ‘red’ as of Thursday, up from 68 ‘red’ counties in the map released one week prior.

“This means we just need more out of everybody,” said Beshear. “It’s got to be a concerted community effort everywhere this virus is out of control.”

Residents, businesses, governments and schools in the three ‘red’ counties will be urged to follow, or continue following, recommendations intended to slow the spread of the virus.

School districts in ‘red’ counties are advised to go fully virtual, per guidance issued last month.

For counties newly red in a Thursday map (here, Boone), the target date for following the recommendations and school guidance is the Monday of the following week.

The governor’s new recommendations for ‘red’ counties are as follows:

  • 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.

Previously Beshear argued the new recommendations strike the balance between what the public will tolerate and what is needed to slow the wildfire-like spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth.

“We believe this is the most surgical way to reduce widespread community transmission in our specific locality,” Beshear said last week, later adding the recommendations provide “a level of coordination where we feel the impact can be fairly immediate and fairly significant.”

He continued: “If you’re in a red county, anything you don’t need to do, don’t. Stay home as much as possible. Schools shouldn’t be the only ones that are taking these steps. When you coordinate these two responses, the schools and the community together, we can get the best result.”

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