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COVID/Monkeypox update: Slight increase counties at high COVID level (NKY low), more monkeypox

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The latest COVID-19 Community Level map, issued each week based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed a slight increase in the number of Kentucky counties that have a high community level.

Guidance for those in “low” zone counties.

The Community Levels map breaks down the COVID level by county, with green for low, yellow for medium and red for high levels, which the CDC says is designed to help individuals and communities decide which prevention actions to take based on hospitalizations and cases.

The August 26 map has 74 red counties, with 36 in the yellow and 10 in the green. The August 19 map had 73 red, 38 yellow and nine green counties. Going back to July 29, there were 80 red counties, and 40 were yellow with no green counties.

The three Northern Kentucky counties, Boone, Campbell and Kenton, are now in the low (green) zone.

“We continue to recommend that masks be worn, especially by people at high risk where the counties are red,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “And if you’re sick, stay home. Please stay home. Treatments are widely available, so if you test positive talk to your doctor. The new treatment, which is a set of pills, has helped a lot of people and made it much less severe, once they have started it.”

He continues to urge everyone to get vaccinated against COVID, and to get their booster, and the second one, if they qualify.

For more details and guidance, go to the state’s COVID-19 website.

Monkeypox update

In addition to COVID-19, the Kentucky Department for Public Health is also doing a weekly report on monkeypox cases in the state.

The number of monkeypox cases in Kentucky has risen to 26, which is up from 18 last week and 11 two weeks ago. Twenty-five are male and one is female. Six are in the 18-29 age group with the other 20 ages 30-64. By ethnicity, 13 are Black, 12 are white and one person is listed as “other.”

Breaking down the cases by county alphabetically, Barren has had 1, Christian 2, Fayette 2, Jefferson 14, Kenton 1, McCracken 1, Montgomery 1, Oldham 1 and Warren 3.

Beshear said “To reduce risk of transmission, avoid close physical contact with partners who have skin rashes or lesions. Anyone who is concerned they have symptoms, should talk with their healthcare provider. Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine, get it as quickly as you can.”

The CDC reported 16,926 monkeypox cases nationwide, as of Friday afternoon.

More information can be found here.

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