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COVID-19: New Recommendations for Red Zone Counties; Positivity Rate at 5.84%; 69 New Cases in NKY

Fifty-five Kentucky counties received new recommendations as "red zone" counties related to the spread of COVID-19, Governor Andy Beshear announced as coronavirus cases continue to increase across Kentucky.

Beshear noted that the 953 newly confirmed cases announced on Monday mark the highest total for that day of the week. Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing in the state, he said.

“Every Kentuckian in a red zone county needs to work together to protect one another by following these recommendations,” Beshear said. “Now is not the time to give up – this is a time when more people are going to be at risk. It is a time when we need everyone to do better.”

None of the red zone counties are in Northern Kentucky, though local counties continue to see an increase in their numbers.

Kenton County had 24 new cases on Monday while there were 22 in Boone County, 19 in Campbell County, and 4 in Grant County for a total of 69 in the Northern Kentucky Independent Health District counties.

Red zone counties are those with 25 or more average daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Local county numbers are: Kenton 18.9, Boone 18.6, Campbell 17.1, and Grant 13.7. Pendleton County, which is in a different health district, which added one newly confirmed COVID-19 case on Monday, is at 11.7.

The nearest red zone county to Northern Kentucky is Bracken with a rate of 32.7. Robertson County has a rate of 74.5.

The governor said when a county turns red, the state is already asking schools to go virtual, for sports to pause and to restrict visitation in long-term care facilities.

Red Zone Reduction Recommendations:

  • Employers should allow employees to work from home when possible
  • Government offices that do not provide critical services need to operate virtually
  • Reduce in-person shopping; order online or pickup curbside as much as possible
  • Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
  • Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce the mask mandate and other guidelines
  • Reschedule, postpone or cancel public events
  • Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
  • Avoid non-essential activities outside your home
  • Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including the 10 Steps to Defeat COVID-19

“This isn’t too much to ask to keep your neighbors and your loved ones alive,” said Beshear.

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

Three additional deaths were reported on Monday. The state's positivity rate has increased to 5.84%.

There are 858 people currently hospitalized, 253 in an intensive care unit, and 112 on ventilators.

-Staff report

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