FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than half of Kentucky's counties are now considered "red zones," with a high coronavirus spread, and Governor Beshear is repeating his call for people to take action to get numbers back to manageable levels.
There are currently 68 "red zone" counties. That means the county has 25 or more average daily cases per 100,000 people. Under the COVID-19 reduction plan, those counties are recommended to follow state guidelines on schools, long-term care facilities, businesses, and personal gatherings starting Monday.
- 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
Schools are already advised to go virtual in the "red zone," and long-term care facilities are told they should cut visitations.
The governor is calling on employers and local governments in "red zones" to allow as many people to work virtually as possible. He's also asking each person to limit their contacts by opting for curbside shopping, ordering takeout from restaurants, and to hold off on Halloween parties and other gatherings.
Governor Beshear says it will take everyone working together to push back on the virus.
"This is exploding across the nation," said Gov. Beshear. "It's threatening to take more lives ... in the last couple of months that we even fathomed we could lose, so we need your help."
To see if your county is in a "red zone," click here. The governor advises people to check the map every Thursday afternoon. The governor says that people living in the "red zones" should begin taking these steps immediately and focus on the mission starting on Monday.
Gov. Beshear stressed these are not mandates and are solely recommendations on how people can make their community safer.
"Mandates only work if people follow them," said Gov. Beshear in a news conference earlier this week. "We know that encouragement will do more than enforcement to get people on board, but this also puts ownership in each community."