FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear continues to urge Kentuckians to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors as more information is learned about the highly contagious delta variant.
On Friday, the governor referenced a recent report by the CDC that found the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and can potentially be spread by vaccinated individuals.
"That is a big deal," Beshear said. "It is one of the most transmissible viruses they have ever seen."
While vaccinated people could spread the virus, he said, it's still unlikely they will become seriously ill.
"I hate that we have had to pull these masks back out and I don't think that we're gonna have to wear them for very long," he said. "But none of us want to cause anyone any harm and we've got to understand that the guidance didn't change, the virus changed."
In Lexington this month, there has been a major spike in cases in children ages 5-17, according to Kevin Hall, Communications Director for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
"They've increased more than 500 percent in this month alone," he said.
As kids prepare to return to school, Beshear said this new information from the CDC emphasizes the importance of requiring masks.
"I'm calling on school districts that have thus far said they're not going to require masking to reconsider," Beshear said, "because they will fail and it'll be the students that lose out on in-person learning that they would otherwise be in and it's unprotected parents and grandparents that may pay a bigger price."