The number of confirmed COVID cases in Scott County is rising after a short respite, but hospitalizations remain low, said Dr. Crystal Miller, WEDCO public health director.
“People don’t seem to be as sick as before, but there has been an increase of cases in all three counties we serve,” said Miller. WEDCO serves Scott, Harrison and Nicholas counties. “Hospitalizations are low, which is very good.”
December opened with 54 cases on Wednesday, including 33 people 40 years of age or younger.
A state audit has identified six additional Scott County COVID-related deaths pushing the county’s pandemic death toll to 63. The deaths were identified either as those who may have passed away at an out-of-county hospital facility, or when they were out of town. Medical records are also being studied three days prior to death to determine if the deaths are actually COVID-related, which could add or take away from the death totals, Miller said.
The latest deaths were four people who were unvaccinated, females, ages 54 and 61 and males, 60 and 70. Two people were vaccinated, males, ages 61 and 77.
One reason officials suspect the case number may be rising is COVID fatigue.
“People were outside during the summer and they didn’t have to wear their masks,” Miller said. “Now, it is getting cold and they have to stay inside. Everyone is tired of wearing a mask.”
But now that the omicron variant has been identified in the United States, people must remain cautious, she said.
“It has not been identified in Kentucky, yet, but it won’t take long to spread,” Miller said.
Vaccinations and booster shots remain the best weapon against COVID-19, she said.
“A perfect example of the value of vaccinations are in our long-term care facilities,” Miller said. “When the pandemic began we were worried about our long-term care residents and if you’ll remember we were having new cases and even deaths almost on a daily basis.
“The facilities now require vaccinations and they have a 95-to-100 percent vaccination rate. And there is no problem now. That an easy example to show the value and importance of getting a vaccination.”
The Scott County Public Health Department at 300 East Washington St. in Georgetown will hold its COVID Clinic this Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Vaccines and booster shots will be provided anyone five years of age or older. During its most recent clinic, some 400 people received a vaccine or booster shot and health officials are expecting a similar turnout this Friday. No appointment is necessary.
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.