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'Until we can get that number up none of us are truly safe' | Metro Health reports 38% of individuals vaccinated in Jefferson County

Some Louisville doctors say they will keep their masks on to protect others because not enough residents in Jefferson County are fully vaccinated.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some Louisville doctors say they will keep their masks on despite the new CDC guidelines because not enough residents in Jefferson County are fully vaccinated.

The CDC announced the changes last week allowing people who are fully vaccinated to go out mask-free in most settings. 

In Mayor Greg Fischer's COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness said 38% of Jefferson County have received the vaccine, which adds up to about four out of every 10 people. Metro chief health strategist Dr. Sarah Moyer called it 'frustrating' because the number is less than half of the county's population. 

"The world is changing, guidelines and mandates are changing on the assumption that people are or will get vaccinated," Moyer said. 

Moyer says for now, she will keep wearing a mask at least in crowded settings, mostly to protect people around her who potentially are not fully vaccinated.

"I like [Moyer] will be wearing my mask when I go to the store or other areas," chief administrative officer at Norton Medical Group Dr. Joe Flynn said. "I don't know what everyone else has going on, but also it's a show of support to them to say it's okay to still mask."

Vaccinations opened to kids as young as 12-years-old last week and doctors are advising parents to register their child for an appointment before booking summer vacations.  

Data shows exposure tends to happen in gatherings like weddings, proms and parties. If you're not fully vaccinated doctors say the threat of contracting COVID-19 is higher.

"What scares me is we're going to be in a retail area where a bunch of people are not wearing masks and how many of them are not vaccinated," chief medical officer at Baptist Health Dr. Chuck Anderson said. 

Moyer said until we can get the number of people vaccinated up 'none of us are truly safe.'

"More than half when you're going out to the grocery store or other places should be wearing a mask," Moyer said.

If Jefferson County doesn't reach at least 70 percent of the population being fully vaccinated, doctors say we could find ourselves back at square one.

"If we are still sitting in the situation we are in once school restarts and we start getting into fall and people start moving indoors, we're going to see another big hit to the pandemic," chief medical officer at UofL Health Dr. Jason Smith said "And we're going to see that group of people that have not gotten the vaccine are going to start to get the disease at a much more rapid and aggressive fashion."

To find three vaccination sites near you text your zip code to "GETVAX - 438829." For Spanish, text "VACUNA - 822862."

Contact reporter Senait Gebregiorgis at SGebregior@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. 

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