The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in Scott County increased to eight with two new confirmed victims Monday night.

The latest patients are a male and female, each over the age of 60, according to Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington. WEDCO is doing contact investigations on each of these people, he said.

Private labs are now doing testing in addition to the state lab, so the number of confirmed patients is increasing regularly, Covington said.

“We expect to see additional cases,” he said. “We also expect to see (confirmed) cases at varying times throughout the day due to lab reporting times.”

Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday Kentucky has 480 COVID-19 patients with 11 deaths. He estimates between 15,000 and 21,000 tests have been administered. The state lab has administered 6,810 tests, he said.

State, local and health officials are expressing concerns about the number of people crowding into businesses that have remained open throughout the quarantine period. Social media has been filled with photos at local grocery and lawn and garden stores of people almost shoulder to shoulder. Employees at those businesses have also starting expressing fear and concern about the crowds and the failure of some to exercise “social distancing.”

Some businesses have started installing shields between the checkout employees and the customers.

“There is a natural tendency to want to shop for materials for home projects during times like this,” said Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather. “However, stores must manage their business and customers to ensure social distancing at all times. 

“While most retailers are trying, we have received complaints of large crowds at some retail stores — especially at the checkout areas. These crowds should not continue for everyone’s benefit. We want these retail stores to remain open for those who truly need them. To continue not to do so will require that stores and shoppers manage the problem. Judge Covington, Dr. (Crystal) Miller and I urge your help and be Healthy at Home. We’re in this together.”

The governor expressed similar concerns and said he has spoken with representatives of Lowe’s and Home Depot and told them, “we have to do better.” The business leaders agreed and told the governor they were working on enforcing the six feet apart rules within their stores.

Beshear added he would shut them down if the social distancing rules are not followed. Prather said he agreed with the governor and was prepared to take action if necessary.

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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