Franklin County's COVID-19 incidence rate is back in the red zone at 25.3, according to a state report posted Friday.
The red zone is classified as "critical" and consists of counties with incidence rates higher than 25. The county hasn't been in the red zone since Feb. 8.
The seven-day incidence is calculated by taking the total number of unique new cases in each county over the past seven days, divided by seven to get a daily average, divided by the U.S. Census Bureau county population, and multiplied by 100,000 to get the incidence per 100,000 people, according to https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.
The cases counted each day are based on the date an investigation was opened in National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS). Duplicate cases are removed before the calculation, so each positive case is only included once. State and local health department data will vary for a variety of reasons including data entry timing, communication processes and seven-day averaging, according to the website.
The Capital City Activity Center announced Friday that all in person activities are canceled until further notice due to Franklin County being in the red zone.
On Thursday, the Franklin County Health Department reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 since its last report on Monday. The number of active cases had risen from 37 to 81 in three days.
“Franklin County is currently seeing a surge in cases,” FCHD Deputy Director Brittany Parker said Thursday. “We are reporting 4,271 cases to date (since the pandemic began in March 2020).
“Additionally, there are 35 more cases to be worked as there were over 50 cases reported today (Thursday) alone. We know how to defeat this and slow the spread — take the precautions and get the vaccine. If you need testing or a vaccine, please give us a call at 502-564-7647 to get scheduled.”
FCHD Director Judy Mattingly said the health department is "extremely concerned about being back in the red." However, she did expect it with the delta variant and what she's seen in other countries, the nation and state.
For counties in the red zone, the state offers the following recommendations:
• Increase vaccination efforts to reach unvaccinated persons.
• Encourage masking as an effective way to reduce spread.
• Encourage physical distancing and maximize usage of outdoor spaces for gatherings.
• Encourage medically vulnerable persons to avoid social activities with unvaccinated persons.
• Consider postponing large public events.
• Engage community partners and stakeholders to implement a strong communication plan.
"We strongly recommend that everyone use their masks inside public places and of course get vaccinated," Mattingly said in a statement to The State Journal. "We should all remember to also distance, wash our hands and stay home when sick.
Officials from the health department plan to be at most back-to-school events for 12 year and older students, family or faculty that would like the Pfizer vaccine. There is also a vaccine event being planned for Saturday, Aug 7, in conjunction with the city, county and Emergency Management. A vaccine event is also planned to take place at the Downtown Frankfort Inc.'s Concert Series Friday, Aug 13. Follow the FCHD Facebook page for more information.
Mattingly said the vast majority of the county's cases are in unvaccinated individuals.
"In the breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated community members, we are by and far seeing extremely mild illness," she said. "If anyone is hesitant to receive their vaccine we urge them to speak to a trusted medical professional to weigh the risks of this extremely serious illness."
Mattingly applauds the community for its actions during these uncertain times.
"We know our community is close knit and is tired of these extra precautions," she said. "However, Franklin County has shown throughout this pandemic that we take care of one another with us having one of our state’s highest vaccination rates.
"I know that our community will continue to protect each other and mask up when in public and encourage our friends and family to get vaccinated. We applaud all businesses and agencies that are protecting public health."
To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, call the FCHD at 502-564-7647. FCHD can also be contacted for limited COVID testing appointments for those who have been exposed to a positive case or are experiencing symptoms.
"We are extremely grateful for our county and city leaders, all of our community partners and community members," Mattingly said. "Keep each other safe."