For publication in the August 18, 2021 print edition of the Times-Voice
‘Active case’ number skyrockets again this week
All but six (6) KY counties in the “red”
Waiting word on possible shut-downs
This newspaper has plenty to report regarding Breathitt County's COVID-19 numbers. Unfortunately absolutely none of it is very good. We asked our partner who has diligently assisted our reporting on this story, down at the Health Department, whether we should expect either shut-downs and/or the resumption of virtual schooling.
In response, William Sizemore told us, “I am not sure, but we are waiting on the Governor to give us direction. I am sure the schools are awaiting direction from the Kentucky Department of Eduction (KDE).”
We asked Mr. Sizemore whether Breathitt County was in the “red” once more. He told the Times-Voice, “All but six (6) counties in Kentucky are in the 'red.'”
For those who have forgotten, a county being in the “red” means its number of infections has reached a critical point regarding viral containment. The Governor’s office has recommended “red” counties do the following: increase vaccination efforts; encourage masking to reduce spread; encourage physical distancing and maximize usage of outdoor space for gatherings; encourage the medically vulnerable to avoid social activities where there are a large contingent of unvaccinated people; consider postponing large public events; and engage community partners and stakeholders to implement a strong communication plan.
Mr. Sizemore also reported to the Times-Voice that he had heard from an out-of-town news agency which called him, at the Health Department, praising our newspaper's coverage of the COVID-19 crisis. We were pleased to hear this and appreciated the kind commentary.
Complement aside, this is a problem reaching critical mass. Very few of us realize the seriousness of this situation until either a loved one or we find ourselves at death’s door.
We have experienced locally 1,246 total infections, 79 of which are termed “active,” meaning presently contagious. There have been 11 confirmed, COVID-19 related fatalities with another two (2) believed to be related to the pandemic but, as of yet, unconfirmed.
If the confirmation process goes as believed by county health officials, it would mean 13 Breathitt County residents have now died from COVID-19 related complications. That is 13 too many.
It is not a freedom issue. It is not a political issue. It is a life and death issue.
Get vaccinated! Please, get vaccinated!