Scott County has Kentucky’s third lowest COVID death rate, according to a study by Kentucky Health News.
Jefferson and Fayette counties, the state’s most populous counties, led Kentucky with death rates of 2.03 per 1,000 and 2.07 per 1,000 population. Scott and Woodford counties were right behind with 2.09 per 1,000 population each. Other counties with low COVID death rates include Campbell (2.15), Clark (2.21), Oldham (2.34), Meade (2.34), Boone (2.47) and Calloway (2.59).
Overall, Kentucky lost more than 17,000 people to COVID-19, which has killed more Kentuckians than World Wars I, II and the Vietnam War combined.
Kentucky Health News used the number of deaths within a county per 1,000 population to make its determination for a county death rate.
The community’s response to the pandemic was critical to keeping COVID-19 under control, said Dr. Crystal Miller, WEDCO director of public health.
“It was all hands on deck,” Miller said. “All our community partners bought in and everyone contributed. From elected leaders to businesses and industries, the hospital, schools and the newspaper, everyone wanted to do the right thing. A big portion was community support. The calls we received at the health department were, ‘how can we keep people safe?’”
“We did not get a lot of push back. I know that was not the case in other communities, where people refused to even wear masks.”
When the vaccines became available, the community was responsive, which saved lives, Miller said.
“We set up vaccine clinics immediately and the community responded very well,” she said. “We had one of the biggest vaccine acceptance rates in Kentucky, and this also contributed to the overall success.”
Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather and Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington gave most of the credit to Miller, WEDCO and Scott County Public Health.
“A great three-way partnership between WEDCO, Georgetown and Scott County focusing on the health of our citizens,” Prather said. “Public health is a priority here!”
“Our health department was front and center on educating our community and helping guide us through,” said the judge-executive. “The health department, city and county worked to collaborate with business and community members. We all found a way to navigate through a very tough situation.”
According to the latest statistics compiled by The New York Times through state reports, Scott County experienced 119 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020 and some 21,538 total cases.
Currently, Kentucky is averaging 60-to-80 COVD deaths per week, according to state statistics. Kentucky has the ninth highest COVID infection rate in the United States.
Robertson County is rated as the county with the most COVID deaths per capita, with a death rate of 10.41. However, Robertson County’s population is 2,108 and 22 COVID deaths were reported, meaning one percent of the county’s population died due to the disease.
Other counties with the highest COVID-19 death rates were: Harlan (8.5 per 1,000), Monroe (8.0), Perry (7.8), Lee (7.5), Metcalfe (7.3), and Owsley (7.2).