FRANKFORT – (KT)  Kentucky saw its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly six months on Monday, and the CDC released new guidance for those who are fully vaccinated.

During a Capitol press briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear said, “We are reporting just 331 new cases of COVID-19. That is the lowest since Sept. 14.”

Only six counties had double digit numbers of new cases: Jefferson 62, Fayette 31, Franklin and Knox each had 14, Scott reported 12 and McCracken 11.  This raises to 411,040 the number of positive cases in Kentucky.

Recapping last week, the governor noted, “We had our eighth consecutive week of COVID declines. Remember, we had never had four consecutive weeks before this current set of declines.  We are now down to pretty much where we were in September, as the number just started taking off.  This is the exact type of trajectory we want to see as we are vaccinating people.”

The number of deaths reported on Monday in Kentucky fell to 10. That is down from 13 on Sunday, 52 on Saturday and 22 on Friday. The pandemic total has now reached 4,829.

The latest victims ranged in age from 62 to 93. There were two each in Fayette and Jefferson counties, while Boone, Franklin, Harrison, Henderson, Logan, and Muhlenberg counties had one apiece.

“Some of the best news we’ve seen is in long-term care,” Beshear said. “Just three of those 10 individuals who died, or 30%. That has plummeted from two-thirds to a third or less.”

The number of Kentuckians hospitalized was 539 on Monday. Of them, 161 were in the ICU and 82 on a ventilator. The first two numbers were lower than those reported on Sunday, while the number on a ventilator remained the same.

The state’s positivity rate was 4.06%, down from Sunday’s 4.12%, which had ended a long string of declines.

Beshear also announced that 834,130 Kentuckians, 25% of Kentucky adults, have now received at least one dose of one of three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on Monday for those who have been fully vaccinated, which is two weeks after your second shot if you’ve had the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or two weeks after taking the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.

State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack explained the new guidance.

“For adults who are fully vaccinated, the CDC is now saying those individuals within their own households can gather in small groups with other fully vaccinated adults,” he said.  “If, however, vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix together at a gathering, you should still practice social distancing and wear your masks.”

Stack continued, “When you are out in public settings, whether you are vaccinated or not, the CDC is still asking everyone and urging everyone to wear your mask, socially distance, practice your hand and cough hygiene.”

He added, the CDC has issued no changes in travel guidance for those who are fully vaccinated, nor has new guidance been issued for visitation at those long-term care facilities which are regulated by the federal government, Medicare or Medicaid.

To see the full daily COVID-19 report for Kentucky, which includes such information as the red zone counties and red zone recommendations, testing locations, vaccine information, the weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky, executive orders, and other information on the state’s pandemic response, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

Beshear’s next scheduled live press briefing on COVID-19 is Tuesday afternoon at 3 CST, and can be viewed on both his Facebook page and YouTube channel.

(By Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)