8 COVID-19 tests pending, no confirmed cases

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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After a busy Easter weekend advising others against in-person gatherings, Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley updated locals via Facebook once more regarding the county’s number of pending tests and confirmed cases. According to his post, Mosley said as of Monday there are still zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Harlan County after several tests came back as negative, with at least eight more tests pending.

“As I have said over and over, even though the number is zero, I firmly believe it’s here and ask that we all continue to practice social distancing and proper hand washing in warm soapy water for 20 seconds,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Governor Andy Beshear announced 177 new cases in Kentucky, bringing the state total to 2,210. He reported 11 additional deaths, bringing the state’s total of COVID-19 deaths to 115. The United States death toll has climbed to over 25,400, an increase of more than 2,200 deaths from yesterday.

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Mosley said, “This has been one of the largest single day increases in several days. Our flags at the courthouse and justice center have been lowered to half-staff just like other state office buildings to honor coronavirus victims.”

Mosley said he continues to hear from locals who are having difficulty signing up for unemployment benefits, adding Kentucky’s system has been overwhelmed with more than 300,000 claims having been filed since March 1. He said the state usually has 9,000 claims in a typical month.

“The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (recently) announced that 521,592 claims have been filed since March 16. That is astronomical! Their spokesperson said today that their office answered 20,000 calls today,” he said. “If you are still having issues filing your claim or have not received payment yet, please know we have communicated that many of our citizens are still having issues. Keep trying and they will get your claim processed.”
Mosley listed these as the top four reasons some payments of claims have not been processed:
  • The 13-15 day window since filing a claim has not passed yet.
  • An error was made by the filer when filing the claim and accidentally filed a new claim resulting in duplicate claims for the same filer.
  • The cabinet is verifying identification of the filer.
  • The claim itself is under review for the following reasons:
    • Employer Protest of Claim
    • Claim is missing information
    • Multi-State Claim where someone worked in a different state for a period of time and wages must be verified in other state
    • An Issue is flagged with a Past Unemployment/Insurance Claim because of potential fraud or an over-payment.
“Governor Beshear promised that if you’ve not been helped, that you would not be forgotten. He said, ‘if your call has not been answered, it’s not good enough. We will keep working on it.’ Those who had been unemployed prior to this pandemic and your benefits were exhausted, you will receive information soon on how to reopen your claim.”
If you haven’t filed your claim yet, visit the Kentucky Career Center website for more information at https://bit.ly/3aNpPMP

Mosley said he wanted to thank all of the churches that had virtual or drive-in services for Easter “so that we all could experience it even during this pandemic.” He added he is thankful those who were planning in-person services decided to join the hundreds of other churches in the county to make sure its members could stay safe and healthy by deciding to switch to drive-in or virtual services.

Over the weekend, Mosley also said locals need to “be thankful to those people who have fought and/or died for our freedom and our rights to live in this great country.”

“Here are a few countries that handle things a whole lot differently for violation of quarantine: China — This country welded doors and windows shut at homes of people who failed to adhere to quarantine requirements during COVID-19. Philippines — Executions occur for violation of quarantine. Russia — Failure to adhere to quarantine can result up to 5 years of imprisonment.

“So, aren’t you glad you live in a place like we live in here in Harlan County Kentucky in the USA? I know I am. Be thankful where you live and quit being selfish because of what is being asked of you. If we can all do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll get through this quicker and with less casualties. Please be a part of doing it the right way. Thank you so much to the many of you who are doing what is asked.”

Mosley said he heard from several who had concerns of a few local stores being overcrowded. He added, not only is Harlan ordering one person per household in a store at a time, but the order is also in effect statewide.

“Our law enforcement cannot be at each store all day due to responding to other needs and issues. Store management have a responsibility to make sure social distancing is occurring. Our local health department has made all of them aware of this,” he said. “We as citizens have a responsibility to adhere to this without having to be told ‘you can’t go in’ or ‘please leave the store because you aren’t complying.’ Do your part. Don’t be the reason someone catches this. Don’t think you are above the rules.

“Also, if a store looks too busy, don’t go in, go home, and go back later or find another store to go in. We have multiple grocery stores in Harlan County. You aren’t required to shop at the same one each time you need groceries. Keep doing your part and please reduce any time you have to spend in public, particularly a store. If someone tries to stop you to have a conversation while in a store, tell them you’ll see them when this pandemic is over!”

Mosley also gave a brief update after Sunday night’s storms regarding the river levels and flash flooding.

“Fortunately, the river stopped rising this morning (Monday) just as it went above flood stage from the almost three inches of rain that fell Sunday evening and overnight. The Cumberland River at Baxter crested at 17.3 feet, a little over one foot above flood stage,” he said.

Mosely added there were a number of trees downed by strong gusts of wind that state and county crews worked to remove throughout Monday .

“There was also some flash flooding in Elcomb, which caused water to get into one home, where a couple of CSX railroad tiles failed. We did have reports of mudslides and those are being evaluated by emergency management and road department personnel,” he said. “Fortunately, there were no injuries in Harlan County as a result of the flooding or wind damage. Considering the damage I’ve heard and photos I’ve seen of across the region, state and southern United States, we were very fortunate in Harlan County.”

Mosely again asked locals to fill out their 2020 Census application while staying healthy at home, adding Harlan Countians have “responded in a big way the last few days.”

“Keep that up! We’re up another 1 percent in responses! This is so important! All federal funding and representation at the state and federal level is tied to population. It’s so important that an accurate count is done and that’s where you come into play as well, just like in this fight against the coronavirus.”

Visit 2020census.gov for more information or to complete your questionnaire online.