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COVID cases down locally

SALYERSVILLE – For the first time in weeks, COVID-19 numbers are down locally, though officials report more people are requiring hospitalization.

SALYERSVILLE – For the first time in weeks, COVID-19 numbers are down locally, though officials report more people are requiring hospitalization.

To date, 673 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Magoffin County (70 up from last press day, compared to 113 the previous week), with 102 of the cases still active (in isolation), 565 recovered, 13 hospitalized and six deaths.

While Magoffin County remains in the red classification, along with all but four Kentucky counties, Magoffin County Public Health Director and Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd urged the community to abide by the state health officials’ recommendations, asking people to avoid large gatherings, even though we are now in the holiday season.

Shepherd attributed the lower number of new cases to the fact there have been no large gatherings in the community.

On Wednesday, Shepherd told the Independent, “We had seven today, 12 yesterday, 15 on Monday and six on Saturday and Sunday. That’s way down from what it was, when we were seeing 18 to 21 new cases every day before.”

Though the Magoffin County Health Department’s records indicate more new cases at the nursing home, data on the Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has been updated at the state level only once in the past three weeks, showing (according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ long-term care and other congregate facilities update from December 8) the nursing home has had 56 residents test positive and 30 staff to date. Of those, 12 residents and 6 staff have reportedly recovered, 39 residents and 24 staff are currently active, and 5 residents have died in relation to the COVID-19 virus.

In contrast, however, Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has reported to the Magoffin County Health Department that they have had 99 residents (eight reported since last week’s press day) and 43 employees test positive for the virus. The last number the Independent has on file of total residents at the nursing home is 101 residents.

Shepherd said they expect the first shipment of vaccines to be delivered between December 11 and 14, and they will be given to the nursing home residents and staff first. Walgreens will be administering the vaccines, which will require two separate doses (second one in three to four weeks).

He explained the first doses will be distributed to nursing homes, then frontline workers at hospitals, and then first responders. Vaccines will be distributed by priority to the general public in the following months after the first shipments.

Following state guidance, Magoffin County Schools have announced that they will remain closed to in-person classes until January 4. As this date approaches, the district will announce any plans for return to in-person classes. A return to in person classes is only possible if the county is not a red zone county, they noted in the announcement. Those with questions are asked to contact the schools their children attend.

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