OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) The new mask guidelines announced by the CDC happen as western Kentucky counties start seeing what health officials say is an alarming rise in new COVID-19 cases.
Among those is Daviess County, which has reported several hundred the past several days.
Clay Horton of the Green River District Health officials says 141 new cases were confirmed this past weekend, with 108 cases reported the past day-and-a-half. The rising cases has some officials and event organizers looking at their own precautions.
“I think it’s time for everyone to take notice. We were hopeful a month ago that we were past the worst of this, but we’ve got more work to do,” says Horton.
Daviess County is one of nearly two dozen counties across the commonwealth in the red zone with a rate of 35 cases per 100,000 people. Dr. Francis DuFrayne of Owensboro Health says a vast majority of new cases they’re seeing are of unvaccinated people, and they’re also seeing more younger patients.
“Before, our admissions were routinely 60 and above, now it’s not uncommon to have 20 to 30-year-olds admitted, unvaccinated with serious illnesses,” says Dr. DuFrayne.
Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson says the rising cases has city officials planning on limiting in-person attendance at future city commission meetings to limited number of staff.
“I think we just err on the side of caution,” he said during the county’s Facebook Live on Tuesday afternoon.
The rising cases also happens as several major events, including the Owensboro Air Show and HydroFair are scheduled for next month, and ROMP Festival set for mid-September. Chris Joslin of the Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame and Museum says they’ll take precautions including having hand sanitizer and encourage other precautions, and its outdoor setting can help with physical distancing.
“There are things about an outdoor festival that size that just helps with physical distancing that I think can be to our advantage. Yellow Creek Park is a large space,” he says.
Joslin adds they are talking with local health officials, but currently have no plans on canceling this year’s concert.
(This story was originally published on July 27, 2021)