LEXINGTON, Ky. — As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear has taken additional measures to help reduce the spread.

What You Need To Know

  • Public health expert welcomes governor's new COVID-19 recommendations

  • Expert says restrictions are necessary when people don't change their behavior

  • If behaviors don't change, more restrictions could be issued, expert says

On Monday, Beshear announced two actions in hopes of curbing the spread of COVID-19. Social gatherings now must be 10 or less people compared to the 50 or less prior. Also, anyone traveling from a state reporting a positive COVID-19 testing rate of 15 percent or higher to Kentucky is recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days once they enter the commonwealth.

Jessica Cobb with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department said the best resource the agency has is its contact tracing. It has taught Lexington-Fayette Urban County a lot about where new cases are coming from. The common thread? People that were within six feet of someone else for longer than 15 minutes are testing positive for COVID-19. 

“This could be from travel. This could be from their workplace if they are working at workplace where social distancing is impossible. It can be from a child care center or day camp or just any other setting where the social distancing practices are challenging,” Cobb, the department’s community health officer, said. 

Cobb said Lexington-Fayette Urban County sees 50 to 60 new cases a day, so she welcomes the governor’s new actions.

“Certainly the governor was on point with his recommendations regarding travel because we have seen that a lot of individuals have traveled to different areas,” Cobb told Spectrum News 1. 

Cobb also said since cases have been linked back to BBQs, holiday and family gatherings, restricting gatherings to 10 or less people right now is also a good idea. She wants to see people’s behavior change so the number of positive cases will go down. 

“I think that sometimes restrictions are necessary when people don’t change their behavior and that’s really what has been kind of followed here in the state, and we support that,” Cobb said. “But if people would just change their behavior in terms of the social distancing and wearing a mask then I think we would see a big difference in the number of cases that we are seeing,” she added. 

Cobb said that cases follow exposure, and exposure is related to behavior. She said if people continue behavior that increases exposure to COVID-19, then there is a possibility that further restrictions will be made. 

“And that is for, again, for the health and safety of everybody to protect those who are most vulnerable and those who may not even know or think that they can be vulnerable.”