SALYERSVILLE – After going months without any reported deaths, Magoffin County now has six confirmed deaths related to COVID-19.
To date, 386 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Magoffin County (82 up from last week), with 99 of the cases still active (in isolation), 287 recovered, seven hospitalized and six deaths. One more death is listed as probable in relation to COVID-19, but it has not been confirmed by the local health department.
On Wednesday, the Magoffin County Health Department posted that anyone who attended State Road United Baptist Church on Sunday, November 15, there may have been a possible exposure to COVID-19, asking those in attendance to monitor for symptoms and consider testing. The church had kept a list of everyone there that day and all of the known potential contacts have already been contacted.
As a reminder, last week they posted, “If you are a direct contact of a positive person and currently quarantined, please stay home for the duration of your quarantine. We are seeing many contacts testing positive. Staying home during your quarantine reduces the risk of transmission to others.”
While Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has not released any information on current cases, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ long-term care and other congregate facilities update from November 17, the nursing home has had 45 residents test positive and 27 staff to date. Of those, 19 residents and 11 staff have reportedly recovered, 21 residents and 16 staff are currently active, and 5 residents have died in relation to the COVID-10 virus.
Magoffin County Public Health Director and Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd told the Independent the health department took the nursing home 150 disposable gowns last week and it is his understanding they are now using them as recommended, disposing of the gowns at the end of each shift.
He also noted that since nursing home employees are essential workers, they can continue to work even if they have tested positive as long as they are not symptomatic, wear the proper PPE and work only in the COVID unit.
As stated last week, Shepherd said the state has told him to be ready to disburse vaccines to first responders and residents and staff of the nursing home by the second week in December.
“We’re not sure when we’ll get them and I’m sure there will be limited quantities, but we will have our plan and staffing ready by December 1 and information will be released once we know more,” Shepherd said.
As of press time, high school playoff football game between Magoffin County and Belfry is still scheduled for tomorrow night, though the KHSAA was meeting Wednesday to discuss the end of the football season and the possibility of pushing back the basketball season. *Governor Beshear announced after press time that all fall school sports are canceled.*
The employees for Magoffin County Schools are now working virtually, as well, with the exception of the feeding program staff. On Monday and Tuesday this week meals were not able to be delivered, with two positive cases concerning a cook at North Magoffin Elementary and a cook at the Magoffin County High School.
Magoffin County Schools sent out a One Call on Wednesday, asking those in quarantine or isolation that receive meals to leave a box for the bus drivers to use to drop them off safely, as well as asked those not in quarantine to wear masks to meet the buses.
Currently Magoffin, along with 107 other Kentucky counties, remain in the red classification for incidence rates. The governor is slated to announce new steps the state is going to take Wednesday afternoon, telling judge-executives it would be business related and involve the next 4-6 weeks. More about the local impact of those changes will be reported whenever that information is made available.
Shepherd reminded the public that the state health officials are recommending people to keep their family Thanksgiving gatherings to a minimum, staying within their current circle of contacts.
He noted that local hospitals are reporting to health departments they are at 70-to-80% capacity currently, a number that is concerning given the ongoing spike in cases throughout the region.
Pikeville Medical Center announced earlier this week in the governor’s address that they are nearing capacity, stating the next step would be to ship out patients if they reach their capacity limit. Currently, PMC is the predominate location local citizens needing hospitalization due to COVID-19 are sent.