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Clark County COVID cases increasing

After leveling off in late spring, coronavirus infections in Clark County have been steadily rising over the summer.

Tuesday afternoon, the Clark County Health Department reported 13 new COVID-19 infections in the community.

This came less than 24 hours after the department had reported six new cases late Monday evening.

As of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Health Department confirmed five more new cases.

County Public Health Director Becky Kissick said an email Wednesday her staff was working 47 active cases out of a cumulative total of 251 reported since March. 

“Each of the active cases represent spread through the community,” she said.

She mentioned that the disease caused by the coronavirus has been a contributing factor in seven deaths in the county.

Monday night, Kissick updated the Clark County Board of Education before it voted 3-2 to keep school buildings closed for the first nine weeks of classes.

The county reported its first coronavirus case on March 16, and compared to many counties, the numbers have remained relatively low. For a couple of weeks, they declined, but in May they started to rise again, and are now trending upward.

In May there were 27 new cases, in June there were 85, and in July there were 88. In the first five days of August there were 31, according to Health Department reports.

“We are definitely on an upward swing,” Kissick said.

One reason the Health Department gives separate numbers for cases involving long-term care and the community at large is so people won’t think the spread is mostly because of an outbreak at a nursing home, she said. While Fountain Circle’s positive case numbers have been going down, those in the community have trended sharply upward, according to a line graph Kissick showed in a visual presentation.

“What we’re seeing now is the the predominance of our cases are … in the community spread,” she said.

It is no longer mostly affecting the elderly.

If the nursing home numbers are excluded, the average age of people with coronavirus in the community is 37 years, and 25 of the 183 cases she had shown in her presentation Monday night (which didn’t include the six reported late that day) involved children under age 18.

During his daily televised briefing Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear reported 700 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths for the state as a whole.

Beshear said he believes the numbers have been “leveling off,” although the number of cases reported Thursday was more than a week ago.

The positivity rate for tests in the state as of Tuesday was 5.24 percent.

That is lower than it has been, but Kissick said Monday that anything above 5 is a “red flag.”

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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