Mary Beth Sallee
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
The Barren River District Health Department (BRDHD) has confirmed 3,961 COVID-19 cases in the Barren River District as of August 7. The district includes the counties of Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Simpson, and Warren.
Of those confirmed positive cases, 3,214 have recovered. BRDHD has also confirmed 83 deaths from COVID-19.
As for statewide, Governor Andy Beshear announced on August 8 that there were at least 34,578 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. Of those cases, 801 were reported last Saturday. Furthermore, 29 of the newly reported cases were from children age 5 and younger.
“Today is a tough day in our fight against COVID-19,” Beshear said. “I know we are slowing the growth of this virus in Kentucky, but it’s still aggressive. We simply need to do better.”
As of August 8, there have been at least 690,942 COVID-19 tests performed across the state. The positivity rate currently stands at 6.02%. To date, it is estimated that 8,647 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
“Our positivity rate is the highest we’ve had since we tested the entire Green River Correctional Facility back in May,” Beshear stated.
Eight new deaths were also reported last Saturday, raising the total to 772 Kentuckians who have succumbed due to the virus.
“Folks, we need your help,” Beshear said. “This is the time where we need to buckle down and do what it takes to get this virus under control. Please, stay safe and take this seriously.”
According to the Barren River District Health Department, contact tracing plays an imperative role in the fight against COVID-19. The department’s report explained that contact tracing is performed as part of the department’s routine communicable disease investigation process.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been conducting contact tracing to slow the spread of the disease in our communities,” the BRDHD report stated. “Contact tracing is key to safely get back to work while also kick-starting the economy. Public health workers reach out to individuals who have COVID-19 to assess their situation, provide helpful resources, and ask about any recent in-person contacts who may have been exposed to the disease.”
“Recent in-person contacts are notified that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are offered instructions and connected to local resources,” the report further stated. “Individuals receive follow-up calls to see how they are doing and gather any new information. By following the instructions provided by public health workers, contacts help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of Kentuckians…In order to protect patients’ confidentiality; contacts will not be told the identity of the person who may have exposed them. They will be told what they need to do to care for themselves, reduce the risk to others, and protect their communities from any further exposure.”
It is important for citizens to know that all calls should be answered in the case someone is contacting him or her about possible exposure to COVID-19. However, take note that contact tracers will never ask for personal financial information, money, or passwords. Contact tracing is a confidential statewide system that will allow public health officials to follow where COVID-19 may travel, including across county lines or beyond, so that people can be warned and further viral spread can be stopped.
The BRDHD report further explained that everyone should continue following recommendations provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Governor Beshear.
“Practicing social distancing is the most important method for staying healthy,” the report stated. “We urge Barren River residents to stay at home and leave only for essential items such as groceries and medications. When possible, choose online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup services to obtain these items.”
For more information regarding COVID-19 in the Barren River District, visit www.barrenriverhealth.org/covid-19-information. For information statewide and updates from the Governor’s office, visit www.kycovid.ky.gov or https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.