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Last week Lee County had the first, and so far, only, reported positive test for the Covid19 virus in a local youth. The youth is home and asymptomatic and no one in the family or elsewhere has been tested as positive for an active case.  As the weather grows warmer and we continue reopening businesses, it is important we all remember the virus is in the area, it remains highly contagious, and it is deadly to a segment of our community, those who are elderly and have underlying medical conditions. 

Local businesses since day one, have be proactive in letting people know what the issues are and have taken steps to help us practice social distancing and create barriers to help stop the spread of the disease. 

Local government offices have done the same and established procedures to continue to provide service either by phone, on-line or by appointment. 

During the initial phase of the pandemic, as Judge Executive I issued several Executive Orders to protect the community. As more information became available and we were able to codify the proper responses to dealing with Covid19, I rescinded all those orders.  As part of opening up, the local agency to get clearance and guidance from is the local health dept.  Their number is 606-464-2492.  We will continue to post updates on our government face book page, and answer questions, but the best place to get answers on opening your business is the Health Dept.

The final measure on how to slow the spread of this disease, or any disease for that matter, rests with us individually.  The latest guidance is to wear some kind of mouth and nose covering to help keep the virus from floating freely when we breath out.  It might also stop some from entering, if it sticks to the mask you are wearing.  One virus will probably not make you ill, I have read, the “virus load” studies suggest about a 1000 virus units have to be taken in for your body to be overwhelmed.  Of course, breathing in the virus is only one way of getting it.  We can pick it up from viruses on drinking cups that are shared or from surfaces we might have coughed or sneezed on.  This is why lots of hand washing is the key. 

There is also the personal choice many of us can make to stay home.  For those who can’t, we have been given many options to help stop the spread. 

Last week there was drive through testing in Owsley County for those who wanted to be tested for the active virus and you can call local doctors offices to see if they are offering Covid19 active and anti-body testing.  I know Juniper Health is offering them.

The last few weeks have been very hectic as we have had very different views about the best way forward for the ambulance service, but out of the turmoil some great things happened. All five members of the Fiscal Court have been refocused on working for the betterment of Lee County and remined that we all have known each other and the members of the community our whole lives.  Scores of community members wrote letters, emails and showed up to express their support for every department in county government and did so with a goal of building the community not tearing it down.  Members of the Fiscal Court all spent time learning more about other ambulance services and because of the effort, have found ways to improve our service. 

I know it was a difficult thing to watch and be a part of, but out of the “storm” we found a way back to coming together as a community.  And that was incredible to watch. 

Don’t forget, there are people who are reaching out to you to complete the Census for 2020.  Pretty soon people will be knocking on your door to ask questions.  We still have less than 50% completion rate for the Census.  If you don’t want folks knocking on your door, you can complete the Census on line or on the phone.  We have two students calling to offer help, but if you desire help, you can call the courthouse or city hall and we will help.  Please help us get the maximum benefit from state and federal programs by being counted in this Census.  The information is not intrusive at all.  It really it just so you can be counted, and for most the questions will take less than 10 minutes to answer.  Be Counted. Courthouse number, 464-4100, City Hall number, 464-5007.

For those who didn’t watch the Special Fiscal Court meeting of June 01, 2020, the Fiscal Court voted unanimously to add the Citizens of Lee County Ambulance Service to the 2020-2021 budget.  We will continue to manage the service for another year. 

If anyone would like to see the budget, please call or email or Facebook the courthouse.  It will be sent to you.  The more informed the community is, the better we can work together to create a brighter future. Email address for the courthouse is leekyjudge@gmail.com, The Facebook page is lee_county_kentucky_government, and the phone number is 606-464-4100.

We have got this Lee County

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