Which Kentucky counties do you need to wear a mask in?


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WOWK/Nexstar/FOX 56) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new mask guidelines following the latest data results on the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

According to the CDC, health officials reviewed new data in recent days that showed individuals who are fully vaccinated can still spread the Delta variant to others more easily than with previous versions of COVID-19.

Because of this data and a rise of COVID-19 cases across the country, the CDC is recommending that even fully vaccinated Americans who live in areas that have “substantial and high” transmission rates should wear masks in indoor public spaces.

According to a map provided on the CDC website, approximately 63.11% of counties in the U.S., including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have a “substantial and high” transmission rate. This includes 1,495 counties with “high transmission” and 548 counties with “substantial transmission.”

Screenshot of the CDC’s COVID-19 county-by-county map showing rates of transmission on July 27, 2021. (Photo Courtesy: CDC.)

The indicators used to determine the COVID-19 transmission rate include the total number of new cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period and the percentage of positive Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) for COVID-19 during those seven days.

If a county has more than 100 new cases per 100,00 people or a NAATs percentage of more than 10%, the county is considered as having high transmission.

CDC chart explaining how the rate of COVID-19 transmission for a U.S. county is determined (Photo Courtesy: CDC)

Several counties from Kentucky are listed as having high or substantial transmission.

The Central Kentucky counties with high transmission rates include:

  • Bourbon County
  • Clark County
  • Fayette County
  • Madison County
  • Woodford County
  • Anderson County
  • Jackson County
  • Lincoln County
  • Mercer County
  • Nicholas County
  • Rockcastle County
  • Washington County

Central Kentucky counties with substantial transmission rates include:

  • Franklin County
  • Garrard County
  • Boyle County
  • Harrison County
  • Montgomery County
  • Bath County
  • Menifee County
  • Lee County

The CDC also says some Kentucky counties do have what they consider low transmission rates. These counties include:

  • Robertson County
  • Owsley County
  • Trigg County
  • Cumberland County
  • Clinton County

Jessamine County, Scott County, Estill County, Powell County, and 14 other Kentucky counties have “moderate transmission,” meaning the rate of spread is between 10 and 49.99 new cases per 100,00 people or the NAATs percentage is between 5% and 7.99%.

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