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County records two more COVID deaths; county total nearing 200 cases

The deaths of a Lincoln County resident due to COVID-19 last week, followed by another reported on Monday of this week have raised the county’s total to 20 people who have lost their life to the virus. The latest death, that of a 98-year-old Lincoln County woman, was reported by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Monday afternoon.

Diane Miller, director of the Lincoln County Health Department, said last week’s death was of a member of the community, and not a resident of a long-term care facility. That information was not available on the resident whose death was reported Monday.

“Right now, we have 22 active cases in the community,” Miller said. “We are monitoring 46 contacts to those cases, and four of the contacts that we’re monitoring are due to exposure to someone from another county.”

Since the pandemic began, the county has now recorded 196 total cases, according to Miller.

An outbreak was reported last month at the Stanford Care and Rehabilitation Center where 17 COVID-related deaths were reported. At the time, 88 residents had tested positive, in addition to a number of employees of the facility.

Miller said currently the numbers are showing great improvement.

“At the long-term care center, I can report that they’ve been doing weekly testing, and I’m happy to report that this week there haven’t been any staff to test positive, and only one resident, which is great,” she said.

Testing numbers for the county, which Miller said were last updated in the state’s system as of July 15, show that “a little over 700 individuals have been tested for our county.”

There are local facilities offering COVID-19 testing, and they include Bates, Miller & Sims Family Medicine, as well as Bluegrass Clinic and Stanford Urgent Care.

Being safe and wearing a mask is seen as one of the key ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Miller said she sees a mixture throughout the community.

“I see a lot wearing masks, but there are some that are resisting it,” she said. “I can only encourage them to do the right thing and wear the mask.”

Beshear also encourages people to wear a mask. Last week, he extended the mandate requiring face coverings in some situations for another 30 days, citing its success and continued importance in flattening the curve of COVID cases in the commonwealth.

“By now, we all know someone that we care about, that we’re close to who is fighting this virus or has fought this virus. And as things progress, we will all probably know somebody who we have lost to this virus. This is going to be a month where I hope we turn things around, but based on July, we’re still going to see a lot of pain,” said Gov. Beshear. “So let’s make sure that we protect our mental and emotional health, stay as committed as we’ve always been to defeating this virus and step it up.”

Monday afternoon, Beshear reported that Kentucky had 275 new COVID cases for a total of 35,254. There were also two deaths reported, raising the state’s total to 775. There have been more than 700,000 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky as of Monday, according to Beshear, and at least 8,738 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus. As of Monday there were 641 Kentuckians who have been hospitalized, with 155 of those in intensive care units.