King’s Way Church center of recent COVID outbreak, Prather: 70 percent were unvaccinated
Forty-one people who recently tested positive for the coronavirus
attended services at King’s Way Church and 29 of them were unvaccinated,
according to Woodford Public Health Director Cassie Prather.
“We first learned about the increase in positive cases over the July
Fourth weekend, and we believe at this point that the infection or
exposure occurred that previous Sunday (June 27),” Prather said.
She said when test results began rolling in July 6, her staff reviewed
symptoms and connected the dots, tracing them to the June 27 service.
“I want to thank the (health care) providers in the area for doing a
great job of giving that … information, because that was really
instrumental in us being able to quickly identify the source of the
exposure,” Prather said.
Prather said she also wanted to thank church officials for immediately
notifying the congregation that they may have been exposed to the
The church, which is on Lexington Road across from The Kentucky Castle,
is attended by people from multiple counties, and Prather said the case
cluster includes people from Fayette and possibly Anderson counties. On
Monday, Prather said four people from the church were hospitalized, none
of whom were vaccinated.
“We are continuing to investigate, because … when the exposure occurs,
you can have people who are infected and then family members and friends
of those that are infected are already exposed before they know the
person they were around was sick …” Prather said. The secondary
exposures – known as epi-linked cases – are not included in the tally of
41, she said.
King’s Way Pastor Jeff Johnson told WKYT-TV, “What’s so disheartening
for all of us involved is that we’ve done everything that everyone
encouraged us to do and some” and that in-person services were cancelled
until at least July 18. He did not return a call from the Sun.
Prather said she and her staff believe the King’s Way strain is likely
the Delta variant or another of the more easily transmissible types, but
they won’t know for sure until genomic test results are back from the
state Department of Public Health.
“With Delta, the viral load in the respiratory tract is much higher than
with the variants that were circulating in the beginning of the
pandemic, and so that just means if you breathe or cough, the droplets
that come out of your mouth are going to contain more of a viral load …”
Variants aside, her message remains the same.
“My plea at this point is that if you have not gotten the vaccine,
please get it now. We’ve got over half of the United States population
vaccinated, so you’re not going to be the guinea pig. These vaccines
work – all three of the vaccines that have been granted emergency use
authorization in the United States are 84 to 94 percent effective, even
against the variants,” Prather said.
While a small percentage of those who’ve been vaccinated do catch the
coronavirus, their symptoms are not nearly as bad and the recovery
process not nearly as long, she said.
The Woodford County Health Department continues to offer COVID-19
vaccination clinics at Versailles Presbyterian Church every Wednesday
from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5:30 p.m. Many doctors’ offices and
pharmacies are offering the vaccine, too.