Harlan reports highest incidence rate in state

As most of Kentucky continues to move into the orange and yellow categories on the state incidence map for COVID-19, Harlan County was reported as the highest rate in the state at 43.9 on Monday.

Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said cases have doubled over the last couple of weeks compared to what officials had been reporting. Though the totals had dropped slightly from the previous week, the number of cases remain higher than what was recorded in February and most of March.

“Last week we recorded 65 new cases compared to 74 the week before,” Mosley said. “Monday, we recorded three new cases, the lowest daily case total in three weeks. Our total case count stands at 2,673. There are at least 95 active cases currently in Harlan County. There are currently seven Harlan Countians hospitalized with COVID-19. Approximately 2,150 Harlan Countians have recovered from the virus.”

The death total for Harlan County is 84 at this time, with a mortality rate of 3.14 percent.

The state’s mortality rate is 1.44 percent, and the nation’s is 1.80 percent.

Mosley said Harlan County moved back into the red category on the state incidence rate map on March 28.

“Our incidence rate is currently 43.9 and is the highest incidence rate in Kentucky. As of Monday, there are only six out of 120 total counties in Kentucky that are in the red category, and unfortunately, Harlan is one of them. Many counties are orange and now more than half the state is in the yellow category,” he said.

Gov. Andy Beshear also announced 270 new cases in Kentucky on Monday, bringing the state’s total cases to 433,352. Kentucky’s death total from COVID-19 is now at 6,257. The state’s positivity rate currently sits at 3.16 percent, continuing to remain low.

The United States death toll from COVID-19 is now over 562,600, up more than 7,300 deaths since Monday evening of last week.

Vaccines are now available for anyone 16 and older at all locations statewide.

“The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine that can be administered for those 16 or 17 years old. Presently, that vaccine isn’t available in Harlan County,” Mosley said. “I don’t have information at this time as to when that will be available here. When I find out, I will share that information. The Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue being administered in Harlan County.”

Below is a list of vaccine locations in Harlan County:

  • Harlan ARH: To setup an appointment, call 606-573-4520 or 606-573-8100. Appointments are available this week, there is no longer a waiting list.
  • MCHC (Harlan/Cumberland): You can sign up by calling 606-633-6081 or by visiting mchc.ky.com/covid.
  • Walgreens (Cumberland): You can sign up online at walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19 or call 606-589-2234.
  • Harlan County Health Department: Call 606-573-4820.

“The rural mobile vaccine clinic was a success,” Mosley said. “414 one dose vaccines were administered in the rural areas of the county during the five-day clinic. I’m very appreciative of the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Kentucky National Guard for working with Harlan County on this pilot project. I hope this can be replicated in other areas.”

If you need transportation to a vaccine clinic, call 606-573-5335 to speak with Harlan County CAA.

More than 1.5 million people in Kentucky have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

So far, 1,558,463 people have received at least a first dose of the vaccine in Kentucky, an increase of nearly 120,000 doses from last Monday. This includes those allocated for and administered in long-term care facilities.

Beshear announced Monday additional restrictions will be lifted once 2.5 million Kentuckians are vaccinated.

In Harlan County, as of Monday, more than 10,700 doses of the vaccine have been administered by Harlan ARH, the Harlan County Health Department, MCHC, Walgreens, the rural mobile vaccine clinic or the contracted pharmacies assigned to service the long-term care facilities and assisted-living facility. Of those, 6,788 doses have been first dose, or “prime” doses, and approximately 3,946 doses have been second dose vaccines.

“Let’s all continue to wear our masks to show support for our brave healthcare workers. They are overworked and are trying to save lives each day. They need our support to finish this battle,” Mosley said. “The CDC announced that wearing a mask not only keeps you from spreading the virus if you are carrying it, but it also makes you 70 percent less likely to catch the virus.”