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Salyersville Independent

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Hospitals full and county still in the red

SALYERSVILLE – Magoffin is set to exceed 2,000 total COVID-19 cases this week as cases continue to hold at steady, but high numbers, and hospitals remain at capacity.

The Magoffin County Health Department confirmed on Wednesday that there were 24 new COVID-19 cases from Magoffin County on Thursday, August 26, 39 on Friday, 7 on Saturday, 15 on Monday, 25 on Tuesday, and 20 as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 1. To date, 1,958 COVID-19 cases have been reported from Magoffin County, as well as a total of 26 COVID-related deaths, but that number is known to not include several deaths that have not been verified by death certificates.

Currently, 10 people from Magoffin County are hospitalized and one is on a ventilator. Of the 20 cases reported on Wednesday, two of the patients were under 18 years old. At last count, there are 138 active cases in Magoffin County.

At press time Magoffin County Schools are set to start back on Tuesday, September 7 with both virtual and in-person classes after being out for three weeks due to a high volume of students and staff affected by quarantines. The school district has opened the decision for in-person or virtual for parents following the recent spike in cases, though that deadline had already passed.

School officials told Mortimer Media Group on Wednesday they are continuing to monitor the daily COVID-19 numbers and will work with the local health department if that start back date needs to change, again.

The Magoffin County Health Department has started to offer booster Moderna vaccines for the immunocompromised, giving out 23 boosters just this week. To qualify for a booster vaccine, people must fall into one of the following categories (from MCHD):

*Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

*Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

*Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

*Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

*Advanced or untreated HIV infection

*Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Please call, 349-6212 to make your appointment.

Magoffin County Public Health Director and Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd told the Independent it’s looking like everyone else not in the first category will need to get their booster around eight months after their second shot and they will need to get the same brand as their first one (Moderna or Pfizer).

This week the health department gave out 47 first doses of the vaccine and they are still scheduling vaccine appointments for next Wednesday, September 8, from 8 to 11 a.m.

So far, Shepherd said they are seeing roughly one breakthrough (vaccinated) case for every 10 positive cases, on average.

He said he was on a conference call on Monday and the hospital capacity situation continues to worsen.

“As far as staffed hospital beds, it’s not getting any better and, if anything, it’s a little worse than last week,” Shepherd said. “Everything in Eastern Kentucky is filled up.”

Shepherd urged everyone to get vaccinated and wear their masks.

“We need to go back to the guidelines we had early on in all of this,” Shepherd said. “Don’t be in large groups, wash your hands and wear a mask, even if you’re vaccinated.”

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