COVID cases on the rise in the Commonwealth

BOWLING GREEN Ky. – COVID cases have been steadily rising both nationally and statewide for the past month. Some experts believe the prevalence of new more highly transmissible strains and heatwaves keeping more people indoors when they otherwise wouldn’t be has had an impact.

Warren County specifically has the second highest case rate in the state with this weeks numbers from the Kentucky Cabinet for health and Family Services. Currently, the case count is higher than in Fayette County.

Dr. Ryan Babb at the UK College of Medicine recommends masking if anyone feels that they are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms, this is because the new strains of COVID exhibit the exact same symptoms.

“Thankfully, the symptoms aren’t nearly as severe as they were with the Delta variant. And the main symptoms to look out for is similar to a common cold or the flu. You have runny nose, cough, generally fatigued, and more mild symptoms for the general population. It still can be deadly or severe for people that are elderly or immunocompromised,” Babb said.

Fortunately, there are new vaccines that are made to specifically combat the new strains and they will be available by the end of September or early October. These will grant better immunity to the virus than the older vaccines which in most cases have mostly or completely worn off.

“So the new COVID vaccine, it’s expected to be out late September or October. It targets one of the more prevalent strains that are going through the community right now, and that is XBB.1.5 variant. The previous vaccines that original Monovalent and the previous Bivalent that covered strains that were circulating at that time. So it is extremely important to get this COVID vaccine because it’s going to give you the protection that you need for what’s going through the community right now.” Babb said.