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Keeping track of COVID variants and subvariants too much? Just stick to the basics, Kentucky's top health official says

Nam Y. Huh/AP
FILE - A dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at Lurie Children's hospital, Nov. 5, 2021, in Chicago. Three new U.S. studies offer more evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are standing up to the omicron variant, at least among people who have received booster shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the studies, Friday. Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

With new coronavirus cases at a low ebb, Kentucky's top health official says questions surrounding masks and boosters become a little more nuanced.

For now, Kentucky's map looks a lot greener — and a lot more reassuring — for state and local health authorities. And while Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack says they're keeping watch on the Omicron subvariant currently dominating cases, it's not necessary for most people to follow every new development with a microscope.

"For the general public, I strongly recommend you tune out the buzz and chatter about the variant de jure. It just adds to anxiety and worry about things you can't control anyway. And the way you can control it, we already know."
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack

And that includes staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters. As for that second booster you've been hearing about, Stack advises, "If you're over 65, it's probably a good idea to get one soon because you want to keep your protection high, but for a lot of other folks it's a little bit more nuanced now."

Those other folks include younger residents who may be immunocompromised or feel they need the extra protection. In those instances, Stack recommends consulting with healthcare providers on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, on masking, Stack said those in Kentucky's 116 green counties can safely go without face coverings around others, but he urged support and tolerance for those who continue to mask up for their own safety or the safety of others.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.