Judge-Executive Dan Mosley announced six new COVID-19 cases on Thursday during an update for Harlan County. He is asking locals to continue wearing masks and social distancing in hopes to stop the spread of the virus.
Of the total 208 cases, there are 58 active cases, with 10 hospitalized.
There have also been 146 people who have recovered from the virus and four deaths.
The six new cases include a 62-year-old female (symptomatic), 29-year-old male (symptomatic), 60-year-old make (symptomatic), 73-year-old male (symptomatic), 49-year-old male and 42-year-old female (symptomatic).
Mosley said there are now only three active cases within the Wallins, Dayhoit, Tremont and Coldiron communities, an area that he and health officials were concerned about regarding community spread.
“This is phenomenal news for these communities. At one point week before last, more than 70 cases were active in this area, so things have greatly improved there,” he said.
Mosley said health officials remained concerned about spread in the Evarts area, which has 29 active cases tied to the community.
“If you live in this area, you need to make sure you are following all CDC and state guidelines as it is apparent community spread is occurring,” he said. “Let’s get community spread under control before it gets as bad as it was in the other part of the county.”
He noted four active cases are also linked to out-of-state travel — 36 of the county’s 58 active cases countywide.
Mosley confirmed that two employees at the Harlan County Road Department have tested positive for the virus, with an additional employee in quarantine who was a contact of the two individuals. He said one of the positives is a household contact of another case.
The road department was thoroughly cleaned again today, even though neither employee had spent much time there over the last week,” he said. “Employees are reporting to work from home and are wearing masks any time they’re around another person and will continue to do so.”
He is encouraging locals to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and loss of taste and/or smell.
“If we have those symptoms, we need to call our health care provider about getting tested or what level of care we need. If you are sick, please stay home,” he said.
A mask mandate is also in effect by Beshear. Mosley said if anyone needs a mask, call his office at 606-573-2600 and “we will gladly mail you one.”
Mosley said it is also important that businesses are conducting health screenings of employees when they arrive for work, including temperature checks.
“A business should never allow an employee who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to work their shift and potentially infect others,” he said. “Healthy at Work guidelines can be viewed at healthyatwork.ky.gov. Protect your employees by following these guidelines and in turn you are protecting your customers and your community.”
He said the Health Department determines if a business needs to close for cleaning if an employee who works for the facility tests positive.
“Some businesses have voluntarily closed on their own out of an abundance of caution to clean. If you have questions or concerns about this, I would encourage you to speak directly with the health department,” he said.
To report non-compliance of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, Mosley said to call the Harlan County Health Department at 606-573-4820.
If you were a close contact of any of the positive cases, the Health Department will reach out to you directly as part of its contact tracing and will instruct you on what measures are necessary to protect you and your family.