Beshear Urges Mask Wearing as Omicron Variant Confirmed In NKY

The latest variant of COVID-19 appears to be much more transmissible than other variants.

(Frankfort, Ky.) – Governor Andy Beshear has confirmed the COVID-19 Omicron variant in multiple counties.

On Saturday, the governor said Gravity Diagnostics reported positive Omicron test to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). The positive tests were from patients in Kenton, Campbell, and Fayette counties.

Beshear is urging masks be used in schools and workplaces.

“This thing is going to spread so fast that any school that is not doing mandatory masking, any business that is not having their folks wear masks could see entire schools, entire shifts get infected very, very quickly,” Gov. Beshear said. “Folks I’m telling you: If we don’t make the decision to put back on that mask in these situations, it’s going disrupt everything we’ve worked so hard to get back up and going.”

According to KDPH, the Omicron variant is much more transmissible than other variants. Other key facts include:

  • It appears to take a much smaller amount of omicron to produce spread.
  • So far, omicron appears to cause mostly mild disease. South Africa and the United Kingdom, where there already is significant spread, have not reported severe rises in hospitalizations. However, it is too soon to tell how Kentucky will fare.
  • Recent data suggests monoclonal antibody treatments may not be as effective a treatment against the omicron variant.

Governor Beshear continues to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated and receive their booster shot to help prevent severe illness and/or hospitalization.

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