Christian County confirms 5 COVID-19 cases in a week, 2 new deaths

Updated: 2 months ago

What You Need to Know:

Local

On Thursday, the health department reported that 5 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the last week.

The Christian County Health Department on Thursday confirmed that five residents had tested positive for COVID-19 during the week prior — down from 11 the week prior. At-home tests are not included in the department’s data.

The agency’s report also included two coronavirus deaths.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released March 17, Christian County was in the yellow zone for community transmission, which means residents at high risk for severe illness should talk to their healthcare provider about whether to wear a mask and take other precautions, should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, and should get tested if they have symptoms.

Kentucky recently shifted to align with the weekly community-level data reporting of the CDC, which looks at a combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percentage of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and incidence rate.

Christian County’s incidence rate on Thursday was 2.2.

Since the pandemic began, 17,149 Christian County residents — or one in four — have tested positive for the virus.

The health department is no longer offering COVID-19 testing and has cut a day from its vaccination schedule.

The Christian County Health Department discontinued COVID-19 testing services for residents on March 14. It also cut one day a week from its COVID-19 vaccination schedule. 

The changes are the result of a “drastic decrease in demand for COVID-19 testing and vaccines,” department spokeswoman Cloie Rager said in a press release. She said the department would consider reopening the test site if the need arises. 

Alternative testing options can be found by using the state’s COVID-19 test finding tool and vaccination sites can be found online at vaccines.gov.

The number of confirmed, active cases has decreased by 53% in the last 2 weeks.

On Thursday, there were seven active, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Christian County, according to the health department. The total is down approximately 53% from two weeks ago when it was 15.

Of the active cases, which are infections still considered by the health department to be contagious, young adults had the largest number of active cases of any age group. 

Hospitalizations

COVID-19 hospitalizations at Jennie Stuart hover above zero.

There was just one patient hospitalized at Jennie Stuart Medical Center with COVID-19 on March 29, according to spokeswoman Jayme Tubbs. The number was the same for the two days prior. 

Despite an increasing number of breakthrough cases in recent months, the vast majority of people who’ve experienced the most serious consequences of COVID-19 have been unvaccinated.

According to the most recent data released by Jennie Stuart, approximately 75% of hospitalized patients between Dec. 1 and Feb. 17 were unvaccinated. Over the same period of time, 80% of patients admitted to the intensive care unit and 92% of patients who’d been treated with a ventilator were unvaccinated.

Deaths

190 Christian County residents have died of COVID-19.

Two COVID-19 deaths were confirmed Thursday by the Christian County Health Department. It pushes the local pandemic death toll to 190. 

In a deviation from the majority of previous deaths, both individuals were vaccinated, according spokeswoman Cloie Rager. The deceased were two women, ages 82 and 85. Both had underlying health conditions. 

Since late September, when the health department began reporting the vaccination status of residents who’ve died of COVID-19, there have been 70 coronavirus deaths. Just six of the deceased were fully vaccinated. 

The vast majority of deaths attributed to the virus have been among individuals who are unvaccinated and those with underlying health conditions

State

Cases continue to decline statewide, but deaths remain high.

State health officials on Monday confirmed 8,639 new COVID-19 cases over the previous week, pushing the seven-day average of new cases to 1,234. It’s a decrease of 28% compared to two weeks prior. 

The coronavirus death rate has stayed relatively the same, however. In the last week, 279 COVID-19 deaths — or approximately 40 per day — were confirmed in Kentucky. The weekly total is up from 275 two weeks ago. 

The positivity rate dropped to 3.08%, which was down from 6.04% two weeks prior. 

As of Monday, 351 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Kentucky, according to state data. Of those, 68 were being treated in intensive care units and 40 were breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

On March 7, the state began reporting COVID-19 data on a weekly basis.

Vaccine

Federal and state health officials have approved additional booster shots for certain groups.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have approved additional COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to certain qualifying individuals. Those who are eligible for a second booster include:

Individuals who are at least 50 years old and received any initial booster shot at least four month prior are eligible to receive a second booster dose of any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals who are at least 12 years old, recived their initial booster at least four months prior and are moderately or severely immunocompromised

Individuals who are at least 18 years old, who received the Pfizer or Modernal COVID-19 vaccine and are at least 50 years old and received their initial booster at least four month prior. (Individuals 12 to 17 years old may only get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster.)

A quarter of Kentuckians have received booster shots.

As of Monday, 56% of all Kentuckians had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as 66% of Kentuckians ages 5 and older and 85% of all Kentucky adults, according to the Department of Public Health. The percentages are unchanged from the week prior. 

Just 25% had received a booster — a critical protection against the highly contagious omicron variant, according to health experts. 

 

Christian County continues to have one of the lowest vaccination rates in Kentucky, with just 39.70% of all residents having completed an initial vaccine series. Of those 18 and older, 50% were vaccinated, and 72.88% of residents 65 and older had received the vaccine.  

The Christian County Health Department continues to offer vaccines and boosters at its offices on Canton Street.

The county health department administers the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at no cost to adults at its Canton Street offices. The shots are administered from 7:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the following days:

  • Wednesdays: Pfizer vaccines for individuals 5 to 11 years old
  • Thursdays: COVID-19 vaccines for individuals 12 and older

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are accepted, according to the department. Additional vaccination sites can be found online at vaccines.gov.

About the Data

Hoptown Chronicle is using data provided by the Christian County Health Department, Christian County Public Schools, Jennie Stuart Medical Center, the Kentucky Department of Public Health and Google’s Community Mobility Reports to track the novel coronavirus in Christian County.

Incidence rate

The incidence rate is the seven-day average of new cases adjusted for a population of 100,000.

Because state case numbers typically lag behind, Hoptown Chronicle is calculating the local incidence rate using the health department’s daily reports and the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate for Christian County — 70,461, the same figure used by the state — to provide readers with the most current information available. Learn more about how we calculate this metric and why it’s important here. This information is also used to determine the level of community spread within the community or if the county is considered to be in a “red zone.”

Active cases

The determination of whether a coronavirus case is considered active is made by the Christian County Health Department. 

The health department makes the determination on a case-by-case basis, but individuals are only considered for a “recovered” designation if they have completed a 10-day mandatory isolation period, have been fever-free (meaning he/she is not taking any medication to suppress fever such as Tylenol, etc.) and has had an improvement in any symptoms.

Schools data

State law requires parents and guardians to notify a student’s school within 24 hours if a student tests positive for COVID-19. In turn, all schools are required to report positive coronavirus cases each weekday their school is in session (whether instruction is in-person, virtual or a combination of both) to inform communities as they make decisions during the pandemic. They must also report the number of students and staff quarantined due to exposure that has occurred through school-related activities, including extracurricular and athletic activities.

Long-term care data

Positive cases of the novel coronavirus in long-term care facilities are reported every day by local health departments and long-term care facilities to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The state DPH makes this information available to the public almost every day on kycovid19.ky.gov.

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