COVID-19 beginning to spread throughout state

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, July 23, 2022

By Tom Latek

The latest weekly map of COVID-19 community levels in Kentucky, released on Friday, shows nearly all of Kentucky’s 120 counties are now either at the medium or high level, indicating an increasing number of cases statewide.

“We have a lot more red, we have a lot more yellow, and we have very little green,” said Gov. Andy Beshear, referring to the colors used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There is a lot of COVID out there.”

He noted, “We are now seeing an escalation week over week.  COVID is spreading. It’s spreading a lot faster than it was last month, and a lot of people are getting it.”

Back on May 16, for example, there were 13 yellow counties, indicating a medium level, while the other 107 were green, or low level, with no counties in the red.  On the July 22 map, there were only seven counties were in the green, 33 yellow and 80 were red.  The county-by-county community level map accompanies this story.

The CDC reported on Friday that omicron BA.5 continues to be the predominant variant, causing an estimated 78% of COVID cases. BA.5 has fueled the rapid rise in cases since June, suggesting that it spreads more easily than previous Omicron lineages.

Beshear also urged all Kentuckians, especially those 65 and older, to make sure they have all vaccinations and boosters they are entitled to receive, as they are the most vulnerable.

“97% of Kentuckians 65 and older Have gotten at least one shot,” he said. “86% are fully vaccinated, but only 60% are boosted. Waning immunity is real. The current COVID variant [BA.5] can cause significant harm, especially if you are over 65.  My message to everyone is if you are not boosted, go get it as quickly as you can. If you’re eligible for your second booster, go get it as quickly as you can.

For more details and guidance on precautions based on your county’s community level, go to the state’s COVID-19 website, http://kycovid19.ky.gov/.