LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 diagnosis is the latest example of a rapid rise in cases that are also being seen in the Commonwealth.

“We’ve got a lot more red, we’ve got a lot more yellow, and we have very little green. There is a lot of COVID out there,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday referencing the state’s COVID community level map.

In April, Kentucky was touting a map filled with green counties. Then a slow climb began during the summer, rising and returning the state back to a positivity rate of more than 17%.

“It has decreased in terms of its danger for most people but that doesn’t mean it’s a zero risk, so it doesn’t mean we need to be haphazard with it,” FOX 56 Chief Medical Contributor Dr. Ryan Stanton said.

Stanton explained this current variant of COVID is far easier to spread, but outside of rare cases recovery comes in days.

“The thing with the ba.4 and the ba.5 is you can still get infections even you’ve had the vaccine it really is about protecting against the complications of COVID more than anything,” Stanton said.

That is why more vaccinated people are getting infected. Senate President Robert Stivers appeared in public Thursday after testing positive over the weekend.

“I’ve just come out of Covid protocols having been quarantined for the last 5 days,” Stivers said.  

As schools prepare for the return from summer break, Kentucky Department of Education spokesperson Toni Tatman told FOX 56 in a statement:

School districts in Kentucky continue to monitor COVID rates in communities across the state. Rising incidence rates with the beginning of the school year coming up are a concern. We continue to urge districts to follow recommendations from the CDC and the Kentucky Department of Public Health, but decisions around protocols are presently local determinations.

Kentucky Department of Education spokesperson Toni Tatman

“I want as normal of a school year as we can get,” Gov. Beshear said during his Thursday briefing.

Cases are likely to continue to rise heading into the school year. Dr. Stanton said it is common to see viruses spike when kids go back to school, and now that will include COVID.

“This is not the point where I feel we need to lock down or shut everything down,” Stanton said.   

Dr. Stanton said mask-wearing is still recommended if you are someone who is at risk, but he says, regardless, the best prevention for an extreme case is being fully vaccinated.

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