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County records fourth COVID-19 death

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the county, Judge-Executive Dan Mosley has been diligent in updating locals through the use of social media and occasional press conferences with local media. 

“I am sad to share with you that we lost another Harlan Countian to COVID-19 on Friday. My thoughts and prayers are with her wonderful family. May God give them peace and comfort during this time of grief,” Mosley said. “This virus is causing heartbreak to many families across this world. Let’s all remember to lift them up in prayer and do our part to keep this virus from impacting even more families.”

“We have received confirmation of five new COVID-19 cases in Harlan County,” Mosley said on Monday. “Three of the five live in the same household. The other two are contacts of other positive cases.”

Of the total 190 cases, there are 52 active cases, with five hospitalized. 

There have also been 134 people who have recovered from the virus and four deaths. 

The five new cases include a 51-year-old male (symptomatic), 38-year-old male (symptomatic), 17-year-old male (symptomatic), 43-year-old female (symptomatic) and 41-year-old make (symptomatic), all of which are in quarantine. 

As of 5:30 p.m. on July 27:

— 3,863 tests have been conducted in Harlan County up 1,007 from last Monday

— 3,421 tests have been negative

— 252 tests are currently pending.

Mosley said 13.8 percent of the county’s population has been tested, with 4.9 percent testing positive for the virus.  

Mosley said the Health Department has connected many of the county’s active cases to the Dayhoit, Tremont, Wallins and Coldiron communities, noting 11 active cases are connected to this area. 

“This is much lower than it has been because many of these cases linked to this area have recovered and there hasn’t been as many new cases connected to this area last week,” he said. “At one point week before last, more than 70 cases were active in this area, so things are improving there.“

Although community spread seems to be under control in the above communities, Mosley said he and other officials remain concerned about spread tied to areas throughout Evarts. 

“With Monday’s numbers, 26 of our active cases are connected to the Evarts area,” he said. “Let’s get community spread under control before it gets as bad as it was in the other part of the county.”

Mosley said four active cases are linked to out-of-state travel. He added 41 of the 52 active cases are tied to the community spread mentioned above. 

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.