COVID-19 numbers surge locally

SETH DUKES

Newsroom Coordinator


Meade County has seen more new cases of COVID-19 in August than it saw in the last four months combined, according to numbers from the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.

From March 1 through July 30, Meade County saw a total of 109 new cases of COVID-19. So far in August alone, Meade County has seen 156 new cases of COVID-19.

The county’s number of active cases was on a decline for the last four months. Active cases dropped from 69 in March to 8 at the end of June. At that point, the LTDHD dismantled their COVID-19 Emergency Operation Center and stopped sending out regular updates.

“Although this fight is not over, we have gained such a foothold in this fight we feel we can return to our offices,” an email from the LTDHD read.

However, on July 20, the LTDHD resumed supplying COVID-19 numbers after noticing a 92 percent increase in cases from June 22 through July 9.

To date, 27 Meade Countians have died as a result of COVID-19. There are currently 163 active cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Baptist Health Hardin is also feeling the surge as beds and resources are allocated to COVID-19 patients. Representatives from the hospital joined in on Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 update video last Thursday, saying that COVID-19 patients are occupying over 1/3 of their hospital beds. They’re also experiencing staffing shortages, something that Gov. Beshear said that at least 21 hospitals across the state were experiencing.

One source from Baptist Health Hardin told Messenger staff that they were sending elderly patients home to make more room for children.

Brett Guthrie, U.S. Congressman for the 2nd District, has urged Kentuckians to get the vaccine multiple times.

“With the Delta variant relentlessly spreading through communities across the country, I encourage everyone to get vaccinated for COVID-19,” he said in a press release earlier this month.

Meade County’s State Representative, Nancy Tate, was emailed on Aug. 11 asking if she opposed the Governor’s school mask mandate, if she thought it was a good idea for Kentuckians to get vaccinated, if she herself followed recommendations from the CDC, and if she thought another shutdown was imminent. She did not respond.

According to data from the CDC, among all six of the counties within the Lincoln Trail District, Meade County has the lowest vaccination rate with only 33 percent of the total population vaccinated. Among those over the age of 12, 38 percent are vaccinated. Vaccination rates for those over the age of 18 and over the age of 65 are 41 percent and 68 percent, respectively. Washington, Hardin, Larue, Marion, and Nelson Counties all have vaccination rates higher in all categories. Larue County has the second-lowest vaccination rates overall.

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