Lowest daily, weekly totals since November

After record totals of coronavirus positives in December and January, Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said he is happy to report the first full week of February had a substantial drop in cases.

“This is a trend we need to see continue to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community and make sure our kids can receive the in-person educational instruction they need and deserve,” he said. “Just because we’ve seen this decline, we can’t let our guard down.

We need to continue to follow CDC recommendations to slow the spread. I’m so thankful our numbers have declined. We should all be thankful! But we must remain committed to doing the things that are necessary to contain this virus, and keep numbers as low as possible as more people are vaccinated.”

For the third consecutive week, totals in Harlan County have declined, as confirmation of 65 cases last week compared to 122 the previous week showed this trend from health officials.

Mosley said this is the lowest weekly total of cases recorded in Harlan County since the week of Nov. 8, which was three months ago.

The county’s total case count currently stands at 2,293.

“Sadly, within the last week we have confirmed that five additional Harlan Countians have passed away as a result of this virus, two of which were confirmed today. Our death total has reached 66,” he said. “Our mortality rate is now 2.88 percent, and one of the top ten highest COVID-19 mortality rates in Kentucky. Please continue to remember the families of these folks in your prayers, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.”

On Monday, healthcare workers in Harlan County reported seven new cases of COVID-19. Mosley said seven of the last eight consecutive days, single-digit daily case numbers have been reported.

There are at least 102 active cases currently in Harlan County.

“Our hospitalized cases have also declined. There are currently nine Harlan Countians hospitalized with COVID-19. Approximately 1,500 Harlan Countians have recovered from the virus,” Mosley said. “The number of recoveries are difficult to calculate due to incomplete follow-ups at this time. Just because a case is outside of their quarantine period, doesn’t mean they have recovered from the virus. We are hopeful now that cases are declining, more follow-ups can be conducted on the 1,304 cases we had in December and January to determine if they have recovered or are still battling the effects of this virus.”

For the first time since mid-November, Harlan County moved into the orange category on Sunday on the state incidence rate map. The incidence rate for the county was reported at 22.0. As of Monday, there were 95 out of 120 total counties in Kentucky that were still in the red category.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,003 new cases on Monday in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total cases to 378,793. The state’s death total from COVID-19 is now at 4,091, with a positivity rate at 7.78 percent, down 1.07 percent from last Monday.

The United States death toll from COVID-19 is now nearly 464,800 up more than 22,000 deaths since Monday evening of last week.

So far, Mosley said 444,930 people have received at least a first dose of the vaccine in Kentucky. This includes those allocated for and administered in long-term care facilities.

The state continues to operate in Phase 1B of the vaccine plan, which includes people who are 70+ years old, first responders, and K-12 school personnel. Those scheduled to receive second doses of the vaccine during the next two weeks will still receive those on the day scheduled by the facility that administered your initial dose.

Although improving slightly, limited quantities of the vaccine is still an issue this week. The federal government allocated an additional 5 percent of vaccines to Kentucky last week, and that number may continue to increase as we move through time.

“We must all continue to be patient with this process. I assure you that our healthcare providers are getting vaccines in people’s arms as fast as they’re received,” Mosley said.

In Harlan County, as of Monday, 2,538 doses of the vaccine have been administered by Harlan ARH, the Harlan County Health Department or the contracted pharmacies assigned to service the long-term care facilities and assisted-living facility. More than 1,960 doses have been first doses and nearly 576 doses have been second dose vaccines.

For daily positives and more, continue to follow the Harlan County Health Department on Facebook.