5 new NKY counties in ‘red zone,' but Beshear nixes notion of shutdowns

Kentucky releases decisive Thursday COVID-19 incident rate map

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Five more Northern Kentucky counties are in the ‘red zone’ according to the state’s Thursday COVID-19 incident rate map.

The map shows confirmed cases per 100,000 residents on average over the previous seven days in Kentucky’s counties. Counties with incident rates above 25 are considered ‘red.’

Kenton and Campbell counties were ‘red’ on the Thursday incident rate map from Oct. 29. Boone County was added Oct. 5.

Grant and Pendleton counties went ‘red' previously this week. They remain ‘red’ on the decisive map Thursday (below) and are joined by Bracken, Robertson and Mason counties.

The only Northern Kentucky counties in FOX19 NOW’s viewing area that are not red are Owen and Gallatin counties.

Ninety-four Kentucky counties are in the ‘red zone’ on Thursday’s map, an increase of 13 since last Thursday.

Residents, businesses, governments and schools in ‘red’ counties are urged to follow recommendations intended to slow the spread of the virus:

  • 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.

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

For counties newly ‘red’ in a Thursday map, the target date for following the recommendations and school guidance is the Monday of the following week.

“Remember, what this is supposed to do is provide a way for communities to come together to stop the virus,” Beshear said. “The biggest employer in Franklin County is the state government, and we will be following the ‘red zone’ recommendations next week. Anybody who can work virtually is going to work virtually. Any service that can be done virtually will be. We are going to live up to what we’re asking other people to do.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine threatened a statewide shutdown of bars, restaurants and gyms if Ohio’s virus surge continues. Asked whether he would consider the same in Kentucky, Beshear demurred in favor of the ‘red zone’ recommendations, whose effectiveness could begin to show next week, two weeks after the initial counties first implemented them.

“We’re following it closely,” Beshear said. “We are committed to taking actions as we need to right now. We are monitoring the ‘red’ county reduction recommendations and we have to see if those work.”

Later he added: “Right now we are not considering any full shut down of any industry.”

Provided below are the incident rates for all NKY counties in FOX19 NOW’s viewing area on Thursday, Oct. 29 versus Thursday, Nov. 12:

  • Boone: 20.9 - 51
  • Kenton: 26.7 - 45.8
  • Campbell: 27.5 - 48.8
  • Gallatin: 11.3 - 24.2
  • Owen: 10.5 - 13.1
  • Grant: 24.5 - 46.7
  • Pendleton: 18.6 - 42.1
  • Bracken: 12 - 32.7
  • Robertson: 94.9 - 81.3
  • Mason: 15.9 - 32.7

Kentucky’s incident rate maps (current and former) as well as Kentucky’s case reports (current and former) can be found here.

Thursday Kentucky reported 2,342 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 18 virus-related deaths.

Some 1,311 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, an all-time high, and 199 are in ICUs statewide. Both figures are more than double what they were a month ago.

COVID-19 incident rates in Kentucky counties for Thursday, Nov. 12
COVID-19 incident rates in Kentucky counties for Thursday, Nov. 12 (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

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