COVID-19: NKY Counties Closer to "Red Zone" Status
Kenton, Campbell, Boone, and Grant counties moved closer to being classified as "red zone" counties as COVID-19 cases continue to rise here and across the state.
Red zone counties received new recommendations from Governor Andy Beshear this week in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Another 1,864 cases were confirmed statewide on Wednesday, including 126 in the four counties that make up the Northern Kentucky Independent Health District.
Kenton County saw 59 additional cases and two deaths, 80- and 82-year old women.
Boone County recorded 32 while Campbell County saw 26 and Grant County counted 9.
Red zone counties are those with 25 or more average daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents. Since Monday, Kenton saw its average daily case count rise from 18.9 to 23.6 on Wednesday.
Campbell County's case average went from 17.1 to 22.7 over the three-day period, while Boone County increased from 18.6 to 19.4, and Grant from 13.7 to 21.1.
Conversely, Bracken County dropped over the same period from a 32.7 daily average rating to 18.9.
The governor said that 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 recommendations announced Monday:
- 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
“It takes an entire community to protect the most vulnerable, to keep our schools open and to keep our economy running,” Beshear said. “What we need to see is that when a county hits red, everybody comes together in a coordinated effort.”
When a county gets out of the red zone, schools can reopen, businesses have more flexibility, nursing homes can accommodate visitors and Kentuckians are able to enjoy more activities with loved ones, he said.
“This will not just protect nameless, faceless people somewhere in Kentucky. It will protect the people you see every day,” said Beshear.
“This is the worst our incidence rate map has ever looked and every indication would suggest that it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “This is a human problem. A global problem. Everyone wants it to be over. But if we get cavalier about it, it’s like being at a casino – the house always wins. The virus is the house. When everyone flaunts the guidelines, they don’t work.”
Fourteen deaths were reported in Kentucky on Wednesday, including the two from Kenton County. The state's positivity rate is now at 6.07%.
927 people are currently hospitalized with 235 in intensive care units and 110 on ventilators.
Beshear also offered an update on Virgina Moore, the sign language interpreter who had gained a bit of statewide stardom during the governor's daily pandemic updates. She had announced weeks ago a cancer diagnosis, but is now cancer free, Moore said in a video.
“Team Kentucky’s kindness lifted me up and gave me the strength to go through this. It was overwhelming and just remarkable,” Moore said. “Let’s take that kindness and support and give it to everyone out there who is battling the coronavirus.”