4th NKY county in ‘red zone’ on Kentucky’s latest incident rate map

4th NKY county in ‘red zone’ on Kentucky’s latest incident rate map
Kentucky's COVID-19 incident rate map. (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Grant County has joined the list of ‘red’ counties in Northern Kentucky according to Kentucky Department of Public Health’s Friday incident rate map.

The incident-rate map, published daily, places counties into one of four groups: ‘green,’ ‘yellow,’ ‘orange’ and ‘red.’

The groups represent average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the most recent seven days. ‘Red’ counties have an incident rate higher than 25.

Grant County reported an incident rate of 30.8 Friday, placing it in the ‘red’ for the first time. Just one day prior, Thursday’s map showed the county with an incident rate of 22.2, suggesting either a spike in cases Friday or a comparatively low figure last Friday (which is now no longer reflected in the seven-day average.)

Indeed, last Friday, Grant County reported two cases, according to the case report. Today, the county reported 17.

Thursday’s map showed Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties are in the ‘red zone’ as well — Boone for the first time.

The situations have noticeably worsened in those three counties over the last eight days. Below are the incident rates last Thursday (when Kenton and Campbell first entered the 'red zone’) versus this Friday:

  • Boone County: 20.9 - 33.8
  • Kenton County: 26.7 - 36.1
  • Campbell County: 27.5 - 41.2

Residents, businesses, governments and schools in ‘red’ counties are urged to follow 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 (Boone, yesterday,) the target date for following the recommendations and school guidance is the Monday of the following week.

Grant County has until next Thursday to get its incident rate below 25, or it will be asked to follow the recommendations and school guidance as well.

The governor’s 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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