NewsCovering Kentucky


'We are blessed': Governor weighs in on Kentucky's low COVID-19 transmission levels

Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 18:35:13-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, all Kentucky counties are green on the transmission map. That means all 120 counties are reporting low levels of COVID-19 in their communities. And Governor Andy Beshear says the timing couldn't be better.

"We are blessed. It is a wonderful time for our state to be fully green for the first time since pretty much the beginning of the pandemic," said Beshear.

"For this timing to happen at the time of the Kentucky Derby, when so many people come together, means Derby is going to be much safer," he added.

Beshear says a full green map is a milestone the state has been trying to reach since the vaccines became available.

"What it means is we have fewer people in the hospital, fewer people in ICU or fighting for their lives on a ventilator," said Beshear. "In fact, I think it’s the least amount of people we’ve had on a ventilator since the first month of the pandemic."

So, Beshear says everyone should feel safe celebrating the Kentucky Derby.

"I hope people get out and enjoy. But enjoy responsibly," he said.

Does that mean no masks are needed at Churchill Downs? Beshear said that's a decision individual people should make depending on their health.

"A person’s health - whether or not they may have a chronic condition, whether or not they have gotten their booster - can all go into that. People should look and see a green map, but they should realize people are coming from outside of Kentucky to a very big event. Then, just make the best decision they can," said Beshear.

"I will say I’m going to have a mask with me at Churchill Downs," he added. "I don’t expect to be wearing it in many or potentially any of the rooms, but I want to give myself - and I hope everyone else will give themselves - the opportunity that if they begin feeling uncomfortable or that calculus changes, they have the opportunity to add that extra layer of protection."