The number of COVID-19 cases in southeastern Kentucky has grown significantly in recent days.
Over the course of less than 36 hours from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon, Whitley County’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped from one confirmed case to six confirmed cases.
Also, Laurel County has a total of 11 COVID-19 cases, including two patients that died, as of Tuesday.
In addition, Baptist Health Corbin is treating its first COVID-19 patients.
“We ask that people stay home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19. When you must be away from home, stay at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with,” said Marcy Rein, Whitley County Health Department Public Director.
Whitley County cases
Whitley County’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed on April 6. This patient has already recovered, Rein said.
Friday morning, the Whitley County Health Department announced that an additional adult had tested positive for the virus.
On Friday afternoon, the health department announced that two additional adults had tested positive.
The Whitley County Health Department announced about 4 p.m. Saturday that it had received notice of two additional residents, who had tested positive with COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Whitley County to six adults.
The Whitley County Health Department is collaborating with partners to identify people who have had close contact with these people and are at risk for infection. Those people will be contacted and provided instructions.
Rein did confirm late Monday afternoon that two of the patients share a household, and two share an employer, but declined to release further details because of medical privacy laws that prohibit the disclosure a patient’s identity.
The health department has released some statistical information about the six patients.
According to a graph from the Whitley County Health Department, half of the patients are male and half are female.
So far only the first patient, who was diagnosed, has recovered, and the other five patients still have active cases.
Out of the six patients, two isolated at home, and four isolated in the hospital.
The age range on the patients varied, but most were over the age of 50.
There was one patient age 18-30, and one patient aged 31-40.
There was one patient age 51-60, two patients age 61-70, and one patient age 71-80.
The Whitley County Health Department noted in a Facebook post that one thing that causes a lot of confusion is which county counts a case?
“Counties count cases where the person lives. Many people get tested in Whitley County or work in Whitley County. We do not count those unless the person lives here. We do work closely with the county where they live if the person works in Whitley County or has identified close contacts in Whitley County. If a person is waiting for a test result, we do not count them,” health department officials said in the Facebook post.
Laurel County cases
Laurel County officials reported late Monday morning that a Laurel County resident, who tested positive for COVID-19, had died, and that the person had underlying health conditions that may have been a factor in their death.
Laurel County officials announced Tuesday morning that a second patient had died due to the disease.
“We are saddened to report this and ask that you keep the family of this individual in your thoughts and prayers,” Laurel County Health Department Executive Director Mark Hensley wrote in a release.
Gov. Andy Beshear noted during his daily address Monday that the first victim was a 70-year-old male.
Hensley said that the second victim was a 61-year-old male.
The Laurel County Health Department reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 24, and now has 11 confirmed cases. Seven of the cases involve men, and four of the cases involve women, according to the Laurel County Health Department’s website.
A total of three of the patients have recovered, and six of the cases are active.
Baptist Health Corbin patients.
About 2 p.m. Saturday, Baptist Health Corbin announced that it was treating two patients, who were confirmed to have COVID-19.
“Baptist Health Corbin currently has two COVID-19 positive inpatients in our hospital. Recommended precautions are being taken to protect patients and staff,” hospital spokesperson Debbie Hardin said in a release.
The release included a link to a Laurel County Health Department news release, which was issued Friday, indicating that there were two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laurel County.
Baptist Health Corbin President Anthony Powers said during a radio interview Tuesday morning on WEZJ that the hospital now has three COVID-19 positive patients.
Knox County cases
On Saturday, the Knox County Health Department announced that it had a second Knox County resident test positive for COVID-19.
On April 6, Knox County’s first confirmed case was announced and it involved an employee of the Barbourville Police Department. Five Barbourville Police officers and Mayor David Thompson were all quarantined because of exposure to the virus, according to the Barbourville Police Department.
According to the Lake Cumberland Health Department’s website, there have been nine confirmed COVID-19 cases in McCreary County. Six of the patients are currently in self-isolation, and three have been released from isolation.
According the state of Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website, there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in Bell County.
As of Tuesday, there were 2,210 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Kentucky, and 115 deaths from the virus.
At least 27,697 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Kentucky, according to the state’s official COVID-19 website, which was last updated at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.