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Gov. Beshear: Masks recommended for unvaccinated Kentuckians when indoors and not at home

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Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 23:21:00-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The state is making new mask recommendations following an increase of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Kentucky.

"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 Gov. 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."

Gov. Andy Beshear says they're recommending that Kentuckians who are unvaccinated from COVID-19 should wear a mask while indoors and not in their home.

Other recommendations include:

  • Kentuckians at higher risk 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

Governor Beshear says there have been 34 "cluster events" of COVID-19 since May 31 that are responsible for 335 cases in the state. Most begin with a person who was unvaccinated from the virus.

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Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack discussed recent outbreaks that have occurred in other states, accelerated by the Delta variant, including incidences in Illinois, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri.

"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."

Gov. Beshear says a majority of Kentucky counties have less than 50% of their population vaccinated from COVID-19.

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So far, 2,248,235 total Kentuckians have been vaccinated from the virus. That's about 61% of people living in the state.

Ages of People Vaccinated:

  • 65+ years: 83%
  • 50-64 years: 65%
  • 40-49 years: 51%
  • 30-39 years: 46%
  • 18-29 years: 36%
  • 12-17 years: N/A

240 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Kentucky. 4 more Kentuckians died from the virus. The state's positivity rate is 5.48%. 337 people are hospitalized from the virus, 104 people are in the ICU, and 38 are on a ventilator.

4,102,931 total doses have been administered throughout Kentucky.

All Kentuckians can sign up for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment near where they live or work here.