Christian County’s COVID-19 average reaches the lowest level in nearly 2 months
new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the last 7 days.
total cases have been reported since the pandemic began.
On Thursday, local health officials reported 9 new COVID-19 cases.
The Christian County Health Department confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, following a report Wednesday of five cases.
The county’s seven-day average of virus cases dropped to 6.6 — a decrease of approximately 31% from two weeks ago.
At 9.3, the county’s incidence rate went into the yellow “community spread” zone of transmission, which is a designation for counties with 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents. The metric, which reached a record high of 101.8 on Jan. 9, had firmly planted Christian County in the “accelerated” orange zone for nearly two months.
As of Thursday, 6,998 Christian County residents have tested positive for the virus — or nearly one in every 10.
The health department has closed its COVID-19 test site at Tie Breaker Park.
Following a decrease in the number of people utilizing the Christian County Health Department’s COVID-19 test site at Tie Breaker Park, the department announced on March 2 it had permanently closed the drive-thru clinic.
Testing will now be offered by appointment from 9 to 11 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday at the department’s office on Canton Street. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 270-887-4160, ext. 133.
159 confirmed coronavirus cases in Christian County are considered active.
Thursday’s report from the health department included 159 active COVID-19 cases — up from 150 on Wednesday.
According to the department’s breakdown by age, there were 55 active cases among residents 21 and younger and one active case among residents age 85 and older.
The highest the county’s active caseload has ever reached was 924 on Jan. 13. On March. 1, there were 140 active cases. The health department considers a COVID-19 case active if the infected individual is still under quarantine and is, therefore, deemed contagious.
COVID-19 hospitalizations at Jennie Stuart are down 12% in the last two weeks.
On Thursday, four COVID-19 patients were hospitalized at Jennie Stuart Medical Center, according to spokeswoman Jayme Tubbs. In the last week, the hospital has averaged six patients per day, down 12% from two weeks ago.
At the pandemic’s peak in early January, the hospital was treating an average of 41 COVID-19 patients per day.
Patient counts provided by the hospital don’t include COVID-positive individuals who receive treatment in the hospital’s emergency department, physicians’ offices or urgent care.
The county has reported 101 coronavirus-related deaths.
The Christian County Health Department on April 23 reported four additional COVID-19 deaths.
The deceased were two men, ages 65 and 68, both with underlying health conditions, and two women, ages 52 and 80, neither of which had known underlying health conditions, department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney Brunt said in a news release.
The update provided by the health department pushed the county’s coronavirus death toll from 97 to 101.
As of Thursday, the state was reporting 104 COVID-19 deaths for Christian County. However, the county’s confirmation process sometimes lags behind the state numbers.
Local health officials confirmed 11 COVID-19 deaths in April. Of those, nine were identified during audits of the state reporting system by local health officials. No deaths have been reported in May.
In March, 11 COVID-19 deaths were confirmed, up from February’s total of five.
January saw more coronavirus deaths than any other month since the pandemic began, with 17 residents dying with the virus. Previously, the most COVID-19 deaths confirmed in a single month was 14, in November. Twelve virus-related deaths were confirmed in December.
Most residents whose deaths have been attributed to the virus have had underlying health conditions. However, some people may not even be aware they have any medical issues until they contract the virus, health officials warn. Locally, common underlying conditions have included high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and lung disease.
Remembering the lives lost to coronavirus
While the death total provides a glimpse at the toll the virus has taken on our community, it is more difficult to measure the loss with just a number.
In an effort to provide a more meaningful representation of that loss, Hoptown Chronicle will share the stories of those who have died of coronavirus complications. If you have a loved one you’d like us to feature, let us know.
Tara Felice Mahone
A court designated worker in Christian County known for her passion for mentoring youth within the community, Tara Felice Mahone died of COVID-19 on Jan. 15 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. She was 48 years old, the youngest of Hopkinsville City Councilwoman Patricia Waddell-Bell’s five children.
Mahone, who had earned her master’s degree in social work, was months away from earning a second master’s in criminal justice. She’ll now be recognized with a posthumous induction into the Kentucky Department of Family and Juvenile Services’ Hall of Fame.
Retired Hopkinsville educator Clyde Wallace died Dec. 2 at Jennie Stuart Medical Center, where he was being treated for coronavirus. He was 71.
Wallace began his teaching career in the early 1970s at Morningside Elementary School. He was later principal of Belmont Elementary and finished his career as an assistant superintendent in the central office. During his career as an educator, he influenced the lives of many students and colleagues and was known for his “quick wit and fearless leadership.”
Wallace was the first seriously ill coronavirus patient in Hopkinsville whose story was widely shared during his treatment. Shortly after his father was hospitalized, Taylor Wallace said he hoped the story would make others aware of the seriousness of the disease.
Douglas E. Williams
Entrepreneur Douglas E. Williams, of Hopkinsville, died Nov. 19 after a short battle with COVID-19, according to his obituary. He was 89.
Co-owner of Williams Chevrolet and founder of Williams Advertising, Williams worked up until shortly before his death “doing what he loved — talking with his customers, writing up their pen and calendar orders, and refusing to be convinced … that computers were the most efficient way to conduct business.”
Edward Cardin Keller
Edward Cardin Keller, of Hopkinsville, died Saturday, December 26, at Jennie Stuart Medical Center from complications of COVID-19, his obituary states. He was 78.
A native of Pembroke, Keller served as a locomotive engineer for CSX Railroad and was a member of New Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was remembered as a caring husband and father.
The health department is vaccinating all residents 18 and older.
The Christian County Health Department in late March extended the COVID-19 vaccine availability to everyone in Phase 3, which includes anyone age 18 and older, even if they do not have a high-risk health condition.
Although Phase 3 is technically for anyone age 16 and older, the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for age 18 and older. Other area vaccinators — like Walgreens and Kroger — may have a supply of the Pfizer shot for those under 18. A pharmacy employee at the Hopkinsville Walgreens confirmed that it administers the Pfizer vaccine.
Vaccinations are administered at the Bruce Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and appointments can be scheduled online or by calling the health department at 270-887-4160, ext. 640. The department is experiencing a high call volume, and wait times may be longer than expected, according to health department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney Brunt. The quickest way to sign up is online.
To see all vaccination sites and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit vaccine.ky.gov. For a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. Individuals with questions should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).
The health department has temporarily halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Christian County Health Department will temporarily halt administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following a recommendation from federal agencies to pause its use while health officials study a potentially dangerous reaction to the shot.
In a joint announcement issued April 13 by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said a rare but severe blood clot condition was reported in six cases in the United States. The vaccine has been administered to more than 6.8 million people so far in the U.S.
The local health department, in a Facebook post, said it will give only the Moderna vaccine at its regional vaccination site at the James E. Bruce Convention Center and at four mobile sites planned this month.
Kentucky will increase capacity limits for some businesses by end of May.
Kentucky businesses that serve fewer than 1,000 people will be allowed to increase their capacity from 60% to 75% by the end of the month.
Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday announced the new capacity limit for indoor and outdoor businesses, which will go into effect on May 28.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now projecting a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases by July,” Beshear said. “I’m hoping we’ll be fully done with all capacity restrictions by July. That is my expectation. We don’t have to be patient for that much longer, but we do have to finish our work and protect the people around us.”
As of Thursday, approximately 1.843 million residents had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Kentucky.
The state reported 655 new COVID-19 cases and five virus-related deaths. There was one additional death, previously unreported, from the state’s ongoing audit. Since the pandemic began, 6,548 people have died from COVID-19 in Kentucky.
There were 408 people hospitalized across the state with COVID-19, including 113 people in intensive care units and 49 people on ventilators.
With just 16.85% of its population vaccinated as of Wednesday, Christian County continues to rank as the Kentucky county with the worst COVID-19 vaccination rate. The state’s overall rate is 41%, according to the state’s vaccine dashboard. At 55%, Woodford County had the highest percentage of vaccinated residents.
Long-term care facilities
|Facility||Active||Total (*since Dec. 30, 2020)||Active Resident Cases||Active Staff Cases||Total Resident Cases||Total Staff Cases||New Resident Cases||New Staff Cases||Recovered Resident Cases||Recovered Staff Cases||Staff Deaths||Resident Deaths|
|Christian County Manor||2||39||1||1||32||7||0||0||30||6||0||1|
|Christian Health Center||0||16||0||0||10||6||0||0||8||6||0||2|
|Covington's Convalescent Center||0||2||0||0||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Morningside of Hopkinsville||0||15||0||0||9||6||0||0||7||6||0||2|
|Western State Nursing Facility||0||111||0||0||49||62||--||--||43||61||--||0|
|Western State Hospital (BHDID)||2||208||0||2||71||137||--||--||65||133||--||0|
|New Staff Cases||Recovered Resident Cases||Recovered Staff Cases||Staff Deaths||Resident Deaths|
4 virus cases are considered active at local long-term care and congregate facilities.
According to a report released Thursday by the state, one resident and three staff members of local long-term care facilities have active COVID-19 infections. Virus growth in these facilities has noticeably slowed in recent months, following vaccinations of the majority of residents and employees.
Local facilities with active cases as of Thursday included Christian County Manor (2) and Western State Hospital (2).
Since the pandemic began, 402 residents and 434 staff of long-term care have tested positive for COVID-19.
This table includes any COVID-19 cases reported to the state by Christian County schools. Cases reported “since last week” include the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in the previous week, plus the cases reported during the current week. Data is released on a one-day delay. So, information reported by schools on Monday is released by the state on Tuesday.
|School||This week||Last week||Students (this week)||Staff (this week)||Student qs (this week)||Staff qs (this week)||Students (last week)||Staff (last week)||Student q (last week)||Staff qs (last week)||Students (total)||Since last week||Staff (total)||Student qs (total)||Staff qs (total)||--||Total cases||Total cases last week|
|Bluegrass Learning Academy||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0||0||0||4,00||0,00|
|Christian County High||1||1||1||0||12||0||1||0||14||0||80||2||13||319||0||12||93,00||1,00|
|Christian County Middle||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||45||0||39||2||6||240||0||0||45,00||2,00|
|Martin Luther King Jr.||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||30||1||20||72||11||1||50,00||0,00|
|Saints Peter and Paul||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||--||2||0||1||26||3||0||3,00||0,00|
As of Wednesday, local schools had reported 12 quarantines.
On Wednesday, Christian County schools confirmed two new COVID-19 cases and six school-related quarantines, according to the state’s self-reporting K-12 COVID-19 Dashboard. It pushes this week’s total as of Wednesday to four virus cases and 18 quarantines.
Of the individuals identified as coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, 12 were students at Christian County High School, which has also reported this week that a student tested positive for the virus.
Since the reporting requirement for schools began in September, Christian County has reported that 1,496 students — approximately 16% — and 55 staff members have been placed in quarantine due to school-related exposure to the virus. Additionally, 402 students and 172 staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
CCHS has reported the most school-related quarantines, with 319. CCMS and HHS follow with 240 and 229, respectively.
Heritage Christian Academy has not submitted coronavirus numbers to the state in more than two months. University Heights Academy did not update its totals last week.
The state requires all public and private schools to report positive coronavirus cases, as well as quarantines that are a result of school-related activities, including extracurriculars and athletics.
Last week, 125 Christian County students were exposed to someone with COVID-19 in a school setting.
Last week, local schools confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases and 125 school-related quarantines, according to the state’s data. The last time local schools confirmed as many quarantines in a one-week span was the week of Feb. 1 — at a time when the incidence rate was more than four times the current rate.
Christian County Middle School and Hopkinsville High School saw the largest number of school-related quarantines last week, confirming 45 and 47, respectively. Eleven of the 13 virus cases were among students. No staff members were identified as close contacts.
Movement trends within Christian County compared to a median value, for the corresponding day of the week, during the 5-week period Jan 3–Feb 6, 2020. Click any line to isolate a category.
Mobility data shows local social distancing trends.
Visits to Christian County transit stations peaked on Oct. 18, a marker that typically precedes a spike in cases. People spent 50% more time than normal at locations like highway rest stops and car rental agencies, according to recent Google location data.
The second-highest level the metric has ever reached was 49% above baseline on Oct. 4, which marked the beginning of fall break for local schools.
Using the same kind of aggregated and anonymized information used to show popular times for places in Google Maps, the tech company in April began releasing COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports to help public health officials manage their response to the ongoing public health crisis. The reports show movement trends to various places as compared to a median value established during the five-week period from Jan. 3 to Feb. 6, 2020.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Correction: Dec. 30, 2020
Because of a miscalculation by Hoptown Chronicle, the incidence rate and seven-day average listed for Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 in an earlier version of this article were incorrect. The number of confirmed cases so far this month also was misstated.