Ky. counties seeing surge in COVID-19 cases have low vaccination rates, Dr. Stack says

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Steven Stack, says, despite a new increase in COVID-19 cases, he thinks most events this year will be allowed to go on as planned.

However, Dr. Stack says this is still a time to be cautious and to get a vaccine.

During the taping of the latest episode of Kentucky Newsmakers, Dr. Stack said the crisis may have passed in the immediate form but the pandemic is still underway. He says the counties seeing the worst of it have one thing in common.

“Low vaccination rates generally,” Dr. Stack said. “So, yesterday, at the press conference, I said at 4 o’clock there were 10 red counties. We updated the map after the press conference and now there’s 13. It’s changing quickly. There were no red counties on July 1.”

Stack said he doesn’t see the state returning to mandates like we did last year, because adults who want to protect themselves now have the tools, since the vaccine is so readily available.

However, they believe the delta variant will continue to cause problems for the unvaccinated.

Our hospitalizations are beginning to increase. As those increase what follows after that almost always are deaths,” Dr. Stack said. “And, unfortunately, what I think we’re going to find is when we look back a couple months from now is those deaths, however many they were, are going to be concentrated in communities that were unvaccinated.”

There was a bit of good news. When asked about outdoor activities like the Railbird Festival and football games, Dr. Stack said most people should be able to attend without any issues.

“If you are a generally healthy person, who’s vaccinated in an outdoor setting, I think you can go ahead and do a lot of those activities,” Dr. Stack said. “You just have to be cautious in the settings, when people packed in the concession area, people are having their third or the fourth beer and, I’m talking loud in the shouting over the noise in the crowd, those are the areas where you are likely to spread things. But when you’re outside and spread out in an outdoor venue, you can go ahead and do a lot of those activities.”

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