Mosley: 88.5% of COVID-19 cases occurred in July
Judge-Executive Dan Mosley announced seven new cases in Harlan County as part of his Monday night update, noting 88.5 percent of COVID-19 cases entering August occurred in July. Mosley said of the total 235 cases, 193 were reported during the previous month, including one of the four total deaths.
The seven new cases include a 81-year-old female, 62-year-old female, 59-year-old female, 62-year-old male, 54-year-old male, 39-year-old female and 57-year-old female.
“This is a new month though. It’s a month that always sees our kids wrap up summer and return to school traditionally,” he said. “We must do all we can to slow the spread of this virus so that our kids can safely get an education moving forward and so that our teachers can teach in a safe environment.”
Mosley said the community spread in the Dayhoit, Tremont, Wallins and Coldiron areas that accounted for more than 70 percent of cases within the last four weeks have now been contained. The Evarts area, however, currently has 11 active cases tied to community spread throughout its communities, but is improving, according to health officials.
“This is improving though, as at one point we saw more than 30 cases active in this area. We need to make sure we’re doing all we can such as wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and not gathering in groups larger than 10 to prevent this spread,” he said.
There are currently 49 active cases in Harlan County and 182 cases that have recovered. Seven cases are also hospitalized, with the total deaths remaining at four.
As of 5:30 p.m. on August 3:
— 4,221 tests have been conducted in Harlan County.
— 3,734 tests have been negative.
— 252 tests are currently pending.
Mosley said 15.1 percent of the county’s population has been tested, with 5.5 percent of individuals testing positive for the virus.
“This does not include tests that were negative on residents of Harlan County who were tested out of county and out of state,” he said. “Experts say these numbers of positive cases don’t give the whole picture because many cases, including mild or asymptomatic infections, have not been diagnosed.”
He is encouraging locals to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and loss of taste and/or smell.
“If we have those symptoms, we need to call our health care provider about getting tested or what level of care we need. If you are sick, please stay home,” he said.
A mask mandate is also in effect by Beshear. Mosley said if anyone needs a mask, call his office at 606-573-2600 and “we will gladly mail you one.”
Mosley said it is also important that businesses are conducting health screenings of employees when they arrive for work, including temperature checks.
“A business should never allow an employee who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to work their shift and potentially infect others,” he said. “Healthy at Work guidelines can be viewed at healthyatwork.ky.gov. Protect your employees by following these guidelines and in turn you are protecting your customers and your community.”
He said the Health Department determines if a business needs to close for cleaning if an employee who works for the facility tests positive.
“Some businesses have voluntarily closed on their own out of an abundance of caution to clean. If you have questions or concerns about this, I would encourage you to speak directly with the health department,” he said.
To report non-compliance of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, Mosley said to call the Harlan County Health Department at 606-573-4820.
If you were a close contact of any of the positive cases, the Health Department will reach out to you directly as part of its contact tracing and will instruct you on what measures are necessary to protect you and your family.