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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Commonwealth saw its highest daily COVID-19 case count right before the New Year holiday. And the state’s positivity rate is the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic.

Gov. Andy Beshear gave a much-needed update on COVID-19 in Kentucky on Monday.

To start, Beshear said the omicron is hitting the state hard. The most recent 7-day total shows there were more than 29,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last week.

The high case number raises concerns for the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Steven Stack, who stressed the importance of still wearing masks.

Dr. Stack said, “If you open a school this week and you’re not requiring a mask you’re going to infect the whole school within the first two weeks.”

COVID-19 is being compared to the measles by health experts as one of the most contagious viral infections in the last 100 years.

And just last week, the CDC revamped its recommendations for isolation and quarantine in an effort to keep businesses and schools open.

Dr. Stack explained the new guidelines, “Say you have the sniffles on day 1 and 2 you get a test, you’re positive. And by day 5, your symptoms are fully resolved you can shorten the isolation period to 5 days.”

These new recommendations prompted Beshear to reiterate his push for more testing, more vaccines and more boosters.

Beshear added, “Those who test positive you have to do three things. You have to self isolate. If you have omicron and you don’t isolate you will infect a ton of people.”

Beshear said moving forward all Kentuckians will have to do their part, which means wearing a mask, getting vaccinated and getting a booster shot

If not, the governor warned that the omicron variant could bring more devastation to the state.

Beshear continued, “We are facing our plague. Look at how many people it’s taken. We’re approaching 13,000 Kentuckians, and 800 ,000 Americans dead. “

Last week the state had a total of 29, 955 new cases, including the state’s highest day total since the pandemic of 6, 441 new cases.