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Harlan cases continue to surge, totals second-highest weekly

Over the course of the last three weeks, coronavirus numbers have continued to climb in Harlan County, which recorded its second-highest week with 60 new cases since the start of the pandemic, something Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said different parts of the states and nation are also seeing daily.

“Today (Monday), we received confirmation of six additional cases of COVID-19 in Harlan County. With today’s new positive cases, that brings our total number of cases to 756,” he said.

There are currently 64 active cases in Harlan County, with six cases that are hospitalized in association with the virus. A total 15 deaths since the pandemic hit Harlan has also been recorded.

“Harlan County remains in a red category in the state incidence rate map with today’s (Monday’s) numbers. Our incidence rate is currently 31.9. There are currently 103 out of 120 total counties in Kentucky that are in the red category. It’s important that our case incidence return to the orange, yellow, or green categories, so that our kids can receive in-person instruction and enjoy other opportunities they love,” Mosley said.

In order to get out of the red category, the state has made recommendations to help reduce the spread of the virus:

  1. Employers should consider allowing employees to work from home when possible.
  2. Reduce in-person shopping, limit time in stores; consider curbside pickup
  3. Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
  4. Prioritize businesses that follow CDC guidelines and require masks.
  5. Reschedule, postpone, or cancel public and private events.
  6. Do not host or attend gatherings.
  7. Avoid non-essential activities.

“It is so 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,” Mosley 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 staff.”

Mosley also urged locals to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and loss of taste and/or smell.

In a month-by-month comparison of cases, Mosley explained the surge in cases is alarming, but can be managed through social distancing and mask wearing:

  • March: 0 cases
  • April: 0 cases
  • May: 3 cases
  • June: 22 cases and 3 deaths
  • July: 192 cases and 1 death
  • August: 126 cases and 6 deaths
  • September: 131 cases and 2 deaths
  • October: 156 cases and 2 deaths
  • November: 127 cases and 1 death so far through the 16th

Gov. Andy Beshear also announced 1,514 new cases on Monday in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total cases to 139,097.

Last week was once again the highest week of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky since the pandemic started, an ongoing trend over the last several weeks, with weekly totals topping the previous week’s totals, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office.

The state’s death total from COVID-19 is now at 1,664 at a positivity rate currently sitting at 8.98 percent, a 1.49 percent increase from last Monday.

The United States death toll from COVID-19 is now over 247,000, up more than 9,200 deaths since Monday evening of last week.

For more information regarding COVID-19 in Harlan County, go to www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

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