FAST RISING NUMBER OF CASES COMES AS HEALTH DEPARTMENT STARTS ROLLING OUT VACCINATIONS, LEADING TO LOCAL DIRECTOR ASKING PUBLIC FOR THEIR PATIENCE AS THEY CLAMOR ABOUT WHEN TO GET THEIR SHOTS
JANUARY 6, 2021 – written by WADE QUEEN
On the 11th day after Christmas, one’s true love said to their beloved in thee; husband/wifey you best get a test screen, because in Lawrence County, left and right, the folks are catching COVID-19!
The last few days of 2020 were bad, but the first few days of 2021 have been even worse.
Since the day after Christmas (December 26) to thru January 5, there have been 209 new COVID-19 positive cases in Lawrence County in those past 11 days.
The steep rise in new coronavirus cases, which is rising as fast as any other county in the Tri-State region or Eastern Kentucky region, comes as the Lawrence County Health Department begins vaccination designated county residents as according to the phase guidelines set by the CDC, though that has not stopped local citizens calling almost non-stop to find out if and when they can the vaccine shots.
In the latest daily report by the Lawrence County Health Department, for January 5, there were fifteen (15) new COVID-19 cases in Lawrence County for Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The age, gender, and the quarantine status of those new cases on January were as the following:
18-year-old female, home isolation
35-year-old female, home isolation
72-year-old male, home isolation
29-year-old female, home isolation
65-year-old female, home isolation
24-year-old male, home isolation
58-year-old female, home isolation
76-year-old male, home isolation
24-year-old male, home isolation
59-year-old male, home isolation
46-year-old male, home isolation
25-year-old female, home isolation
55-year-old female, home isolation
51-year-old female, home isolation
55-year-old male, home isolation
This latest total raises the total of confirmed positive cases in Lawrence County to: 885 since the start of the pandemic. Out of the total, the number of active is 206; with the number of recovered 674; with number deaths at five(5)..
The number of positive COVID-19 cases per day in Lawrence County since after Christmas have been.
December 26: 11.
December 27: 2.
December 28: 44.
December 29: 22.
December 30: 21.
December 31: 20.
January 1: 21.
January 2: 8.
January 3: 14.
January 4: 31.
January 5: 15.
The recent alarming rise of local COVID-19 cases comes as the Lawrence County Health Department has entered the vaccination phase of its COVID-19 response.
The health department said as of Monday it is in Phase 1a of the vaccination campaign. First responders and healthcare workers are first in line to get the vaccine shots.
According to the Lawrence County Department, 100 doses of the vaccine were received and administered but, approximately 150 people still need to be vaccinated in this phase.
Phase 1b includes people age 70 and above along with K-12 school personnel, officials said.
People age 70 and above will be able to make appointments with the health department once another shipment of the vaccine arrives.
Officials are asking the public to not call the Lawrence County Health Department regarding vaccine appointments and distribution. They say it is essential that phone lines and staff are available to reach positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts in order to slow the spread.
“I am asking for your patience as we enter the vaccination phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lawrence County Health Department director Debbie Miller stated on the department’s Facebook page.
“We desperately want everyone to be vaccinated, but we must adhere to the guidelines given to us by the Kentucky Department for Public Health,” said director Miller.
“We are currently in Phase 1a of vaccination and are vaccinating first responders and healthcare workers. We have received and administered 100 doses of the vaccine and still need to vaccinate approximately 150 people in this phase. When this phase is complete, we will move to Phase 1b which includes people age 70 and above and K-12 school personnel.”
“We plan to take appointments for vaccine administration for those aged 70 and above, but cannot do so at this time as we do not know when we will receive more vaccines. We are not keeping a waiting list,” director Miller firmly continued.
“Please refrain from calling the health department regarding vaccine appointments and distribution at this time. It is essential that our phone lines and staff are available to reach positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts in order to slow the spread. We will communicate any new information, including when we will begin taking vaccine appointments, through our Facebook page and other media outlets.”
Director Miller concluded her statements by saying: “Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing”.
While many local residents have thanked the Lawrence County Health Department officials and their due diligence and for their professionalism, that was not enough for several individuals, who have voiced their disdain and displeasure, after the first person in Lawrence County to get the first (round) vaccine shot by the health department was Lawrence County Judge-Executive Phil Carter, with many lamenting that it was preferential treatment, as he was neither a first responder or healthcare worker; even though nearly all mayor, county judge, and state officials have gotten the first vaccines round, including the Governor Andy Beshear and the Lieutenant-Governor Jacqueline Coleman, before even those designated qualified for Phase 1a.