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’We need to be smart’: Laurel County COVID-19 cases quadruple in June

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -In the month of June, Laurel County saw a spike of COVID-19 cases. Their numbers jumped from just 21 cases in from March until May, to more than 100 cases in June alone.

“June the fourth is when we started to see a spike in cases,” said Mark Hensley, Laurel County Health Department executive director.

As of Thursday evening, the county has 145 cases. 92 of those cases are active.

Hensley says part of this spike is because of more testing in the county. They are testing 750 to 850 people each week.

“We have doubled our testing capacity in the month of June,” said Hensley.

He told WYMT, unlike other counties, they have not seen cases connected to churches or other large gatherings.

“In Laurel County, we feel that most of our cases are and especially for the month of June has been community spread and we feel like it is community-wide here the virus,” said Hensley.

As cases spike in many places across the country, Hensley is urging people to be smart about their holiday plans.

“You want to research those areas that you might be traveling to and see if those communities have seen a spike,” Hensley said.

He wants people to realize traveling does increase the risk of contracting the virus and bringing it back to the community.

“Maybe to change course and do something as a family together. Maybe going camping, maybe going hiking or just spending time with each other,” said Hensley.

He hopes people stay smart and patient during this time.

“This is a pandemic. This is something that’s not going away on its own,” said Hensley.

Hensley did say they are seeing younger people contract the virus, with the average being 38 in the month of June.

“We feel like our younger folks may not be as cautious. They are more resilient. They’re more active and they may be more social,” said Hensley.

He is also urging people to stay diligent and continue to social distance and wear a mask.

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