Hopkins County combats COVID concerns ahead of fair

Hopkins County leaders are closely monitoring coronavirus cases as they prepare for next week’s county fair amid an uptick in coronavirus cases.
by Dustin Wilcox |

Hopkins County leaders are closely monitoring coronavirus cases as they prepare for next week’s county fair amid an uptick in coronavirus cases.

New coronavirus cases have nearly tripled in Kentucky since late June. Officials say at least half of the cases are due to the more-transmissible Delta variant of the virus.

Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. said the uptick in cases was likely due to the Fourth of July holiday.

“The good news is we don’t have a lot of big gatherings coming up other than our fair, which is going to be outside,” Whitfield said. “The safest way to have gatherings right now is outside. Hopefully, without the holidays being close, the numbers will go back down fairly quickly.”

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the incidence rate in Hopkins County was “critical” as of Tuesday, meaning there are at least 25 cases reported per 100,000 people.

map showing hopkins county in covid red zone
Kentucky incidence rate map for Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (Source: Department of Public Health)

Whitfield said the county’s fair board is preparing for potential health risks and residents are ready to venture out of their homes.

“We recently had the reopening of our senior citizen center and, in talking to a lot of our senior citizens, they really struggled with the isolation, so I think it’s important to try to find some kind of balance right now between caution and being able to get together and socialize,” Whitfield said. “The good thing is we have a decent vaccination rate right now.”

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the fairgrounds and rides will be disinfected every night, according to reporting by the Madisonville Messenger.

According to the Act Now Coalition, 42.9% of Hopkins County residents have received at least one dose and 37.9% are fully vaccinated. Kentucky’s statewide vaccination rate is about 51%.

The Hopkins County-Madisonville Fair will run from July 27-31 at the Hopkins County Fairgrounds.

Hopkins County combats COVID concerns ahead of fair

WKMS

This story first ran on WKMS, the public radio station at Murray State University.