While the number of COVID-19 cases is continuing to rise in other counties, there have been only two reported cases in Letcher County in the past week.
A 19-year-old woman here was diagnosed with the virus last Wednesday, and a pediatric case under 18 yesterday (Tuesday) brought the number of cases to 65.
There are three active cases known in the county.
“ The numbers have plateaued up there. We’re grateful for that. It seems the hotspot has moved to the other end of the district,” said Kentucky River District Health Director Scott Lockard.
Lockard said there have been outbreaks in the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard, where at least eight residents and staff members have tested positive, and in Leslie, Wolfe and Owsley counties, where outbreaks have been tied to separate three churches.
The state website and the website for Johns Hopkins
University are showing slightly higher numbers for Letcher County, but Lockard said those are because of duplicates that have not yet been taken out of those systems. He said for example, a person’s name might be listed with a middle initial in one place and without in another. He said the district has already searched for and deleted those numbers because it doesn’t have as many to sort through as the state or Johns Hopkins.
“If we were missing a block of 50 cases, I would be really concerned, but when it’s off just a couple, I’m not that worried,” he said.
Lockard said he is still worried about the Isom Days Festival continuing, and said some vendors are as well.
“I have been asked by food vendors if we have approved the event, and I told them that we have not approved it, and in fact we have recommended they not do it,” he said.
He said most of those vendors set up at multiple festivals, and all the others have been canceled.
Food vendors will have to decide for themselves if they want to risk setting up at Isom, Lockard said. The department will follow the state food service regulations in approving or disapproving of individual food permits.
The COVID-19 cases in Letcher and surrounding counties on Tuesday were as follows: Knott – 86 (14 probable) (16 active, 69 recovered, 1 dead), Lee – 11 (1 probable) (4 active, 7 recovered), Leslie – 37 (2 probable) (3 active, 34 recovered), Letcher – 65 (13 probable) (3 active, 60 recovered, 2 dead), Owsley – 27 (8 probable) (12 active, 15 recovered), Perry – 279 (8 probable) (31 active, 240 recovered, 8 dead), Wolfe – 25 (1 probable) (9 active, 16 recovered), Pike – 311 (24 active, 284 recovered, 3 dead), Harlan – 311 (As of 8/22/2020, 6 dead), Wise County, Va. – 310 (3 dead),