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Two new positive COVID-19 cases in Harlan County

Harlan County officials received confirmation of two additional positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the county’s total to three confirmed cases. The two positives include a 74-year-old female and a 55-year-old, who are both locals but were tested out of the county.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said the additional positives are “to be expected due to the increased testing that has been occurring for the last month.”

Harlan County Health Department officials said they are working with other local and state departments to track individuals who have had close contact with the new cases and are at risk for infection. These individuals will be contacted by the health department with instructions on proper quarantine measures and monitored to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The health department is committed to protecting the health and wellness of its community,” said Bobbie Crider, director of the Harlan County Health Department.

Mosley said he has also been asked about antibody testing in Harlan County, adding there are several medical providers, like Harlan ARH and the Cloverfork Clinic, that are conducting the tests.

“Antibody testing determines if you contracted COVID-19. It’s possible you could have had it and thought you had it, but didn’t seek medical treatment. It is possible that you had it and did not know you had it,” Mosley said. “This type of test requires a doctor’s order and is different than the regular COVID-19 swab testing.”

Since antibody testing first began in Harlan County, Mosley said there has been seven positive antibody tests, “which proves COVID-19 has been here as health professionals, government officials and citizens thought.”

When an individual has an antibody test, there are four possible outcomes:

  1. Both IgM and IgG are negative: This means the patient has never been infected with COVID-19 or is still in the incubation period.
  2. IgM is positive and IgG is negative: This means the patient is having an early phase active COVID-19 infection.
  3. IgM is negative and IgG is positive: This means the patient has recently been infected with COVID-19 and now has protection against it.
  4. Both IgM and IgG are positive: This means the patient has an active COVID-19 infection and is still fighting the infection. Healthcare practitioners must follow all CDC guidelines in the event both are positive.

“Continue to practice healthy habits to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Mosley said. “Join me in praying for these two individuals who have tested positive.”

If you have general questions about COVID-19, call the virus hotline at 1-800-722-5725. Visit kycovid19.ky.gov to stay informed on the latest updates in the state.