Paducah- Today's briefing was chalked full of good information. Across Kentucky and throughout the U.S., positive news is spreading regarding steps taken to beat COVID-19. Discussions included new recommendations on wearing masks, the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund, new vaccination sites across the state, and the COVID-19 daily numbers.
New guidelines for wearing masks to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 have been circulating over the past week. Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health said masks that don't fit tight across the nose and sides of the face, aren't as protective as they need to be. There's data out there that proves the rate of transmission is lessened by those who wear masks properly.
A solution to this problem lies in doubling up. Wear two masks instead of one. The bottom layer should be a surgical mask and the top layer a cloth mask. There are ways to tighten the mask as well. The diagram at the top of the page shows various ways one can wear their masks more efficiently.
Also discussed was the efficacy of the vaccine. It's been proven that death and serious illness due to COVID-19 can be prevented by being vaccinated. There's no data available that says a person who's been vaccinated, can't get a mild case of the coronavirus. Therefore, it's important to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and using proper hygiene.
Once vaccinated, the effectiveness of the inoculation has been proven to last for 11 weeks or three months. In a recent study, Interim Clinical Consideration for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines, it states, "“While there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination, current evidence suggests that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is low in the months after initial infection but may increase with time due to waning immunity.
Dr. Stack said, "This isn't a Get out of Jail FREE card." If you've been vaccinated and find out later you've been exposed to COVID-19, contact your local health department for direction on how to proceed with the potential need to quarantine.
The Healthy at Home Eviction Relieve Fund is being 'beefed up.' More money will be available for paying rent and utilities. In some instances, landlords may receive direct payments.
There are 156 new vaccination sites across Kentucky. Six new regional sites, 10 Kroger locations, 15 Walmart's, and 125 pharmacies. Western Kentucky will have two Kroger stores: Paducah and Murray. Three Walmart locations: Paducah, Hopkinsville, and Mayfield.
Today's COVID-19 numbers showed that positive cases are declining. There were 1,880 cases reported February 11. Hospitalizations, ICU, and ventilator patients were stable. The Positivity rate is 7.08%. There were 36 deaths reported.