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'Not out of the woods on this.' COVID back on the rise in Lexington

Josh James

While COVID-19 reports have taken a backseat for the last few months, upward trends – driven by highly contagious subvariants – are putting the pandemic back in the headlines. And Lexington isn’t immune.

So far the numbers are nowhere near what Lexington saw in January and February, but the variables are there for another spike – fast-spreading subvariants, a public that’s largely let down its guard with the end of mask mandates, and waning immunity in some who haven’t finished their vaccine series or been recently boosted.

"COVID is still here and we have to work together to slow this down."
Kevin Hall, Fayette County Health Department

In just the last three weeks, Lexington has gone from a rolling 7-day average of 107 cases a day to 195. And Hall says the reliance on home tests probably means there are "likely much higher case counts than what's being reported."

The latest graph of the epidemic curve in Fayette County (7/12/22), as provided the City of Lexington.
Fayette County Health Department
The latest graph of the epidemic curve in Fayette County (7/12/22), as provided the City of Lexington.

In that environment, Hall says it makes sense to return to or keep up the precautions that we’ve all become familiar with — wearing a mask when going out or visiting others, maintaining six feet of distance if possible, frequent hand washing, and staying up to date on vaccines.

"People are acting like this pandemic is over," Hall warns. "We are not out of the woods on this. We want people to be able to go back to enjoying some of the things that they did pre-pandemic, but to do so cautiously and safely."

Soon, that could mean a second booster for all adults, as the federal government weighs dropping the current age requirement on that shot.

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.