SALYERSVILLE – As Governor Andy Beshear warns the state that we are in a “grim and worrisome escalation,” Magoffin County and the region saw the highest jumps in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March.
To date, 159 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Magoffin County, with 33 of the cases still active (in isolation), 126 recovered and no hospitalizations. So far 2,303 tests have been conducted in the county.
On Saturday, October 17, the Magoffin County Health Department reported 11 new cases in the county, which has been the highest one-day total.
After being notified of the COVID-19 incidence rate, Magoffin County Schools announced that the county had exceeded the “critical” threshold, as determined by the Kentucky Department for Public Health. With that information, they decided to temporarily suspend in-class attendance for students until the incidence rate lowers. At press time, the rate is still in the red classification.
Similarly, the Magoffin County-Clay football game that had been set for Friday night has been canceled, as has the Herald Whitaker Middle School’s Knott County game that was scheduled for Thursday.
The Magoffin County School District is reporting cases involving students, broken down by schools, on their website on a daily basis, which can be found by visiting www.magoffin.kyschools.us and clicking on “COVID-19 CASES IN MAGOFFIN COUNTY SCHOOLS” under “District News.”
School officials will be going by the state map tracking the current incidence rate of each county. If a county climbs into the red category, they must cease all in-class instruction and cannot return to the classrooms until the county is back in the yellow category. The map is updated on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and school districts will decide how to proceed after that data is released for the following week, with any changes reported on the district’s Facebook page and through a One-Call.
Magoffin County Public Health Director and Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd said they are seeing most of the new cases related to church revivals, some with the schools, and some random cases without an identifying place they contracted the virus. He also noted that roughly 80% of the current cases are symptomatic.
As far as Trick-or-Treat night, he said they will have to make a decision closer to the date, but as it stands, currently, it is still scheduled for Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. More information on the local Halloween plans will be included in next week’s paper.
“Just don’t let your guard down,” Shepherd said. “Wear your mask, social distance, and make sure you get a flu shot.”
Shepherd also reminded the public that if they come in contact with someone who tests positive of COVID-19 to wait five days (or until they have symptoms, if before) to get tested, explaining that being tested prior to that may result in a false negative.
Next week the Independent will have local guidelines for Trick-or-Treat Night, slated for Halloween, Saturday, October 31.