Big Sandy region experiencing increase in COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated patients

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Multiple county public health officials in the Big Sandy region are reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases including Pike, Floyd, and Lawrence counties.

“The numbers from the seven days, the numbers went from the mid-20s, then to the mid-30s, then all the way up to 68,” said Pike County Public Health Director Tammy Riley.

Officials in Pike County have also seen an interesting trend, stating that more than 90% of all cases between January 12th and July 20th are from individuals who have not been vaccinated.

Only 49 of approximately 1,300 cases were “breakthrough” cases where a vaccinated individual contracted the virus and only two of those 49 cases resulted in hospitalization. The Pike County Health Department has also confirmed that 45% of its eligible population has been vaccinated.

“I looked at those 1,300 cases and what I found was very outstanding. Almost all of the cases were unvaccinated individuals,” said Riley.

In Floyd County, 42% of its eligible population has been vaccinated. Although cases have increased significantly with 34 confirmed cases on Wednesday, July 21 alone, and the county is now officially in the red, there are currently no statistics on whether those 34 cases are from vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.

“I would encourage folks to get the vaccine if you can,” said Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams. “If you can’t or you choose not to, that’s your choice.”

In Lawrence County, public health officials confirmed 33% of the eligible population has been vaccinated. In a statement sent to WYMT, the Lawrence County Health Department confirmed an increase in cases in recent weeks. Lawrence County has seen 20 confirmed cases in the month of July and 16 of those cases were confirmed in the past week.

“I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated immediately, as it takes two weeks from your second dose to be fully protected. I would also encourage anyone who is not vaccinated to continue to wear their mask indoors until they are vaccinated and fully protected,” said Lawrence County Public Health Director Debbie Miller. “Additionally, vaccinated individuals who are immunocompromised or exposed to the public regularly should wear a mask when indoors.”

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