FRANKFORT, Ky (WEHT) – Governor Beshear gave another Team Kentucky update.

Omicron has caused a huge spike that can rival measles outbreaks, according to Governor Andy Beshear. It has also broke Kentucky’s previous record. “Omicron continues to burn through the commonwealth, growing at levels we have never seen before. Omicron is significantly more contagious than even the delta variant,” said Gov. Beshear. “If it spreads at the rate we are seeing, it is certainly going to fill up our hospitals.”

Omicron also seems to cause less severe illness, especially among people who are vaccinated. Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH), provided some tips to help Kentuckians during the surge:

  1. If an individual is sick, they should stay home until they feel better.
  2. Get vaccinated or boosted, if eligible. Boosters dramatically bolster protection against severe disease and death.
  3. Wear a well-fitting mask at all times when indoors in public places such school, work, stores, etc.
  4. If anyone thinks they have COVID-19 and/or have had a high-risk exposure, and if testing is a possibility, they should get tested.

Dr. Stack also said, “Most importantly, universal masking is essential with omicron. If universal masking is not required in K-12 schools, omicron will spread rapidly and result in rapid and massive student and staff absences to due illness.” If a school requires universal masking then it:

  1. Does not have to do contact tracing within the school population if a positive person is identified in the school population.
  2. Does not have to quarantine any of the students or staff in the school population due to finding a positive person in the school setting.

In schools that do not require universal masking, the schools are urged to maintain robust contact tracing when positive persons are identified in the school setting and to quarantine all persons not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccination if exposed in the school setting.

In other news, Governor Andy Beshear addressed the tornado victims of Kentucky. “For those who are displaced because of the tornadoes staying in our state parks, we’ve got you,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are going to make sure that we can make that transition to semi-permanent housing and do it the right way. We are going to keep that housing available for at least another 30 days.”

The next order of business will be the proposed 2022 budget. Governor Andy Beshear will speak on his proposed budget plan January 13.