• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Single-day record for COVID-19 cases in Woodford County

Woodford County set its single-day record with 20 COVID cases Oct. 15, Public Heath Director Cassie Prather told the Sun Monday. Prather acknowledged the record number of cases was partially attributed to a testing event at the Woodford County Health Department Tuesday, Oct. 13. Of the 46 people tested here, nine were positive and their results were available to the health department two days later, she said. “So I think our local testing event plus the normal numbers that come in led to an up-tick in cases,” said Prather. She said Woodford County’s case counts last Friday and over this past weekend did not show another spike. Two reasons for offering more testing here, according to Prather, are to increase surveillance and give Woodford Countians an opportunity to test for free. Testing events at the health department (by appointment only) continue every Tuesday, from 9 to 11 a.m., she said “If you don’t test, you don’t know that you’re positive, and we’re still seeing a lot of folks that are asymptomatic who are positive,” Prather said. She described testing surveillance and contact tracing as key to slowing the spread of the virus. Contact tracing is “quite time-consuming and labor-intensive to investigate” when there’s a positive test in a school, but “so far we have not seen any type cluster event in a private or public school setting,” said Prather. She said masks and many other safety measures are working to decrease the transmission of the virus in schools here. Also, at the request of Woodford County Public Schools, a flu vaccine and free COVID test event for school employees and their children is offered every Wednesday, from 3 to 5 p.m., according to Prather. She said other parents who want to have their children tested can bring them to the Woodford County Health Department on Tuesday mornings (where up to 50 people can be tested each week). The Woodford County Health Department hopes to have the rapid test (results within 15 minutes) available to residents in the next few months, Prather said. She’s hopeful that will allow the health department to offer testing on a more consistent basis. Because of the up-tick in COVID cases across the country and in Kentucky, Prather said Woodford County’s record-setting day on Oct. 15 was not surprising. And if the pace of cases in October continues (62 cases as of Oct. 16), the county will likely surpass its monthly record of 87 cases in August, she said. “I am so proud of this health department,” said Prather. “I feel like we are ‘The Little Engine that Could.’ We’re a small county and we’re a relatively small health department, but our workforce has doubled since this pandemic in order to serve the community, contact trace and be able to offer testing …” The number of COVID cases – 25 at last count – from a recent cluster event at a local gymnastics center shows how the virus can spread, Prather said. “It’s like a spider web and it just keeps getting bigger,” she explained. “So when one person’s exposed and they don’t know they have it, they can then infect several people and those people infect and it just keeps going …”


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