Rapid rise of COVID-19 causes concern for Daviess County health leaders

Coronavirus Watch Kentucky

WKRN

DAVIESS CO, Ky (WEHT)– Daviess County Fiscal Court, The City of Owensboro, Green River District Health Department, and Owensboro Health leaders say they are all concerned about the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, as well as the increasing presence of the more easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus. They are encouraging community members to get vaccinated to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Health officials say so far 44% of Daviess County residents are fully vaccinated.

“We are seeing a dramatic surge in cases,” said Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.  “It is important that we work together to drive down transmission, especially before schools reopen in August.” 

“Please, consider the vaccine, as it offers the best protection against the virus,” added Mayor Tom Watson.  “Vaccines are plentiful and available at no cost to you.”     

With a positivity rate above 15 percent, Daviess County has seen a rise in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. 

July 5-July 11                      28 Cases

July 12-July 18                    81 Cases

July 19-July 25                    209 Cases

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations at Owensboro Health Regional have risen from an average of three per day to 15 as of July 23. To help slow the spread, OHRH is bringing back some previous safety measures, such as virtual-only team meetings and pre-procedure testing for patients.

“A large majority of our new cases involves unvaccinated individuals,” said OHRH Chief Medical Officer Francis DuFrayne, MD. “Even when vaccinated people contract COVID-19, their cases tend to be much less severe compared to those who are unvaccinated.”

About 44% of Daviess County residents are fully vaccinated.  Daviess County health leaders say to slow the community spread of the virus, more people will need to get the vaccine.  The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson immunizations offer protection against the most severe COVID-19 illness.  

“We are urging all eligible adults and children, 12 and older, to get vaccinated,” said Clay Horton, Director of the Green River District Health Department. “If you are not yet fully vaccinated, at higher risk, or work in a high traffic public job like retail or dining, continue to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces.”

Vaccines are free and widely available in our community at big box stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and health departments.  You can find a location convenient to you here

Audubon Area Community Services, Inc. will provide a free ride to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.  To book a ride, call 270-686-1600 at least 24 hours in advance. 

The CDC recommends that anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection.  Symptoms may include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, and congestion. It’s advised to stay home if you are feeling sick, and stay away from others as you wait to receive your COVID-19 test results. 

The Green River District Health Department is offering free COVID-19 testing.  To schedule an appointment, call 270-686-7744.    

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly, Mayor Tom Watson, Public Health Director Clay Horton, and Dr. Francis DuFrayne, Chief Medical Officer at Owensboro Health, will provide an update on Tuesday, July 27th at 12:30 p.m. 

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