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Most of KY in ‘red’ category, Harlan incidence rate at 48.9

With most of Kentucky in the critical category on the state incidence map for COVID-19, Judge-Executive Dan Mosley asked locals to remember there are still things they can be thankful for going into Thanksgiving later in the week.

“In this Thanksgiving week, let’s all remember to be thankful for God’s many blessings in our lives, reflect on those, and not let the troubles that we go through overshadow how blessed we truly are,” he said.

“The last four weeks, our COVID-19 numbers have climbed each week. Last week, we concluded the week with 80 total cases, which once again was the second-highest week we’ve recorded since the pandemic began in back to back weeks,” Mosley said. “November is our new high month for COVID-19 cases in the county surpassing July’s total, with a full week to go before the end of the month. Already, 216 cases have been recorded this month. The state and different parts of the nation are continuing to see very high COVID-19 cases daily, and this past week, our numbers trended up again comparably.”

On Monday, the county received confirmation of 12 new cases, bringin Harlan County’s overall count to 845.

There are currently 80 active cases in Harlan County, six individuals who are hospitalized and 16 deaths associated with the virus. Approximately 700 Harlan Countians have recovered from COVID-19.

“Contact tracing becomes very difficult when there is a spike in cases like we are seeing. The health department is conducting contact tracing though, but with the volume of cases so high, the process isn’t as fast as it needs to be,” Mosley said. “If you test positive, please also reach out to those who you’ve been around for 15 minutes or more to advise them to quarantine and monitor for symptoms. The CDC still recommends anyone who has been around a positive case should be tested, especially if you have symptoms.”

As of Sunday, 117 of Kentucky’s 120 counties were recorded in the red area on the state map, with Harlan’s incidence rate at 48.9.

“Our positivity rate in Harlan County increased to 8.2 percent overall. Since last Monday, we saw an increase with 16.2 percent of the tests that have been done in Harlan County over the last week being positive,” he said.

As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday:

• 10,277 tests have been conducted

• 9,432 tests have been negative

This does not include tests that were negative on residents of Harlan County, who were tested out of county and out of state.

The Harlan County Courthouse also re-opened to in-person traffic on Tuesday.

The courthouse was closed to allow for extensive and thorough cleaning after an employee in the Harlan County Clerk’s Office tested positive for the virus. The Clerk’s Office will remain closed throughout the week to comply with Department of Public Health guidelines.

Mosley said if you need to renew your tags before the Clerk’s Office resumes operation, you can do so online at secure.kentucky.gov/kytc/renewal.

“The Harlan County Health Department advises that if you visited the County Clerk’s Office on Thursday, Nov.19, or Friday, Nov. 20, you should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms,” he said.

Gov. Andy Beshear also announced 2,135 new cases on Monday in Kentucky, the highest number of cases ever reported on a Monday, bringing the state’s total cases to 160,232.

“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. The state’s death total from COVID-19 is now at 1,792. The state’s positivity rate currently sits at 8.97 percent, a very slight decrease from last Monday. The United States death toll from COVID-19 is now over 257,500 up more than 10,500 deaths since Monday evening of last week,” a press release from the Governor’s Office read.

Mosley said he will continue to provide a weekly update on Mondays around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. Should community spread become a concern, Mosley will provide daily updates with the latest information.