We are no longer seeing high community-spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky, but the pandemic is still impacting the health of the state. Data shows chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease have increased during the pandemic.

There are so many layers to these numbers. In some cases, the COVID-19 virus may be directly to blame for developing a chronic condition. For others, living through the pandemic may be the source. People spent time isolated at home, unable to follow healthy habits like getting preventative care, staying active, and eating well. And unfortunately, should people with chronic conditions contract COVID-19, they are at a greater risk of hospitalization and other side effects.

Ben Chandler is president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on addressing the unmet health needs of Kentuckians. Learn more at Healthy-KY.org.

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