Gov. Beshear encourages Kentuckians to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases rise

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 8:20 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 3:03 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear held a briefing on Kentucky’s response to the Delta variant at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 19.

“We have the most aggressive variant that we have seen to date in our battle against COVID. It’s a serious, even deadly, threat to unvaccinated Kentuckians,” said Governor Beshear. “If more adults don’t get vaccinated, it’s not just adults who pay the price. It’s our kids who will. Many of them can’t get vaccinated yet, and they count on us to make good decisions and do the right thing.”

The governor and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, encouraged unvaccinated Kentuckians and Kentuckians in jobs that require consistent contact with the public, to take extra precautions, including:

  • All unvaccinated Kentuckians should wear masks indoors when not in their home
  • Kentuckians at higher risk from COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions should wear masks indoors when not in their home
  • Vaccinated Kentuckians in jobs with significant public exposure should consider wearing a mask at work
  • All unvaccinated Kentuckians, when eligible, should be vaccinated immediately

“Getting vaccinated is a choice,” said Dr. Stack. “We’ve said that all along. It’s your choice. It’s an incredibly important choice. It’s a choice that should you choose to get vaccinated, you protect yourself and also all the others who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated because the more of us who are vaccinated, the less the virus is able to spread, to infect people and to hurt people. If you choose not to get vaccinated, that is your choice as well, but it is a particularly dangerous choice.”

The governor said, currently, 2,248,235 Kentuckians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sixty-one percent of Kentuckians 18 or older have been vaccinated, but only 51 percent of Kentuckians age 40-49, 46 percent of Kentuckians age 30-39 and 36 percent of Kentuckians age 18-29.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant is a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus and first detected in the U.S. in March 2021.

Currently, there are five counties in the Commonwealth in the red zone, which indicates a high rate of COVID-19 cases.

Three of these counties, Hopkins, Webster and Muhlenberg, border Heartland counties.

Counties in the red zone are advised by the state to follow these recommendations in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19:

  • 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 take-out; 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.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the positivity rate in the state as of Monday morning is 4.49 percent.

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