The COVID-19 surge has Scott County, along with much of Kentucky, firmly in its grip.
As of Thursday morning, WEDCO Health District statistics show Scott County is among some 85 Kentucky counties in the red alert status — where community spread is at a critical level. WEDCO has started monitoring Scott County’s COVID levels because state data often lags local statistics. WEDCO will release its weekly information Thursday night on its Facebook page, and that data will be used to determine by teh school system to determine what action, if any, is necessary.
Tuesday, 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported, a single day high for the county, followed by 16 Wednesday to bring Scott County’s total to 1,406 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. The county’s death toll has remained at 22 for over a week, but hospitalizations have started to creep up with 33. Health officials say hospitalizations are a critical number indicating how the community is really doing.
Gov. Andy Beshear issued a warning this week that Kentuckians are in “significantly greater danger,” and announced a single-day record of 2,700 new cases in the state. The state’s positivity rate has been climbing, topping out at 8.12 percent, the highest since May.
Halloween parties are being partially blamed for the current surge, which is why the state, the Centers for Disease Control and other health organizations are issuing stark warnings about Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. These warnings from the CDC include avoiding potluck-type dinners, eat outside or at least open windows to improve ventilation and cut the time for gatherings short to reduce possible exposure.
Health officials are also encouraging people to fight off “COVID fatigue.” The Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington issued a warning Wednesday that if people relaxed such measures as wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands regularly an additional 100,000 lives would be lost within the next 120 days. Also, on Wednesday, the CDC shared a report on Delaware, a state that imposed state-at-home orders, mandated masks and started contact tracing, the weeks followed were marked by an 82 percent drop in COVID cases, an 88 percent drop in hospitalizations and a 100 percent drop in COVID deaths.
In Scott County, family and community gatherings are at the center of its surge. So far, Scott County Schools has managed to control the outbreak within the school system. Its database, which is linked to the state database, shows 58 students and 22 staff members have been confirmed positive since in-person classes began in October, including 13 this week. The school database is updated daily and the link can be found at scott.kyschools.us homepage. To view the full daily COVID-19 report, incidence rate map, testing locations, long term-care and other congregate facilities update, school reports, the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and other key guidance visit kycovid19.ky.gov.
The school system will not have in-person classes at all during Thanksgiving week in order to give the buildings a thorough cleaning.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.