Vaccine information, case numbers update

Posted January 13, 2021 at 9:19 am

The recent news that two COVID-19 vaccinations had received emergency approval by the FDA has given people a little glimpse of the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

When news that the vadcine had reached Kentucky, and then some doses had actually reached and were administered here in Clinton County, it set off a firestorm of questions with few answers and a host of requests from citizens requesting how and when they might be able to get in line for that long anticipated shot in the arm.

During the past week, local health agencies, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, government officials and even staff here at the Clinton County News, have fielded questions and concerns about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Answers to many of those questions are still a little vague and incomplete, to say the least, but the Clinton County News has attempted to put together what information we have been given over the past few days, from several separate state, regional and local sources.

Currently, Kentucky is administering the vaccine to healthcare personnel who fall under the Kentucky Department of Public Health’s guidelines in the Phase 1a stage of the program.

On the local front, having already administered several doses of the vaccine to its front line health care workers, The Medical Center at Albany’s parent company, Med Center Health, issued a statement last week giving information as to how additional health care workers can receive the vaccine.

“The Medical Center at Bowling Green is partnering with the Kentucky Department of Public Health to be a COVID vaccine administration site for healthcare personnel who desire to be vaccinated and meet the state’s definition of covered healthcare personnel in phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccine deployment. In Kentucky, all healthcare personnel working in clinical settings (i.e., places where patient care occurs), regardless of occupational role, are eligible for phase 1a immunization,” Glynda Chu, Marketing Specialist for Med Center Health said in a press release issued to the Clinton County News.

“Healthcare personnel who want to receive the vaccine and meet the state’s phase 1a criteria can be scheduled for vaccination by emailing their full name, cell phone number and the name of their healthcare employer to,” she said.

In addition, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department also issued two public service announcements last week explaining where that agency was in the process of administering vaccinations.

In the first announcement, LCDHD Health Educator and Public Information Officer Shannon Beaty explained the current stage of that agency’s involvement in the vaccination process and asked for the public’s patience.

“LCDHD is currently operating in Phase 1a of our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. This includes vaccines for healthcare workers and first responders,” Beaty said.

“We are not pre-registering for future vaccination phases at this time, as vaccines are not readily available. Please stay tuned to your local radio stations and newspapers, as well as the LCDHD website and social media sites such as Facebook for details about future vaccine availability once additional vaccine is received,” she concluded.

In its second public information statement, the LCDHD further explained the COVID-19 vaccination process for this area.

Vaccination for COVID 19 began December 23rd across the Lake Cumberland District. Each of the ten health departments received limited doses of the vaccine. These doses were given to individuals identified by the Kentucky Department for Public Health Tier 1a. The Tier 1a individuals consist of long-term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff, assisted living facilities (ALT) residents and staff, healthcare personnel in clinical settings (inpatient, outpatient, dental and homebased). The health departments’ focus has been on healthcare personnel.

The long-term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff are being vaccinated by a contact through the Department for Public Health with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. We anticipate these facilities in our district should be vaccinated by March.

Hospitals across the Lake Cumberland District have received limited supplies of vaccine. They are asked to follow the Kentucky Department for Public Health Tier Vaccination guidelines. The hospitals have vaccinated their employees, as well as in some counties assisted with additional health care personnel.

We have requested additional vaccine to continue vaccinating Tier 1a. After all identified Tier 1a individuals have been vaccinated, we will begin vaccination for Tier 1b.

Tier 1b is identified as first responders, K-12 school employees and persons over 70 years of age. Tier 1b is an extremely large group of individuals.

We want to remind everyone that this is no easy task. We realize many individuals want to be vaccinated. However, there are very limited amounts of vaccine available at this time.

We do want to assure the public that we are working diligently to vaccinate the community as guided by the Department for Public Health.

Everyone be aware, it may be summer before unlimited vaccine will be available for the community at large.

Last week, , Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on vaccination and contact tracing progress in the commonwealth.

“2021 is going to be the year that we defeat the coronavirus. It’s going to take months. We are still going to sustain heartbreaking losses along the way, but vaccines are here. The first two that received emergency approval are highly effective, and I’m working day in and day out, along with the Department for Public Health and many others in state government, to get them out even faster,” said Gov. Beshear. “That is my primary mission right now.”

The governor announced the state is expected to receive an additional 53,800 initial vaccine doses the week of January 11: 27,300 from Pfizer and 26,500 from Moderna.

Kentucky was also expected to receive 57,000 initial doses last week. These numbers do not include booster doses sent to Kentucky for people who have already received an initial dose.

Case numbers continue to

rise here

Clinton County’s COVID-19 situation over the past week realized a couple of milestones, neither of which were high spots in the battle against the pandemic disease.

With a population figure of 10,128 being used as a base figure to determine the daily critical care spread rate per 100,000 people, Clinton County’s total cases since the pandemic began reached and surpassed the 1,013 mark last week.

That total number of cases Clinton County has experienced since the pandemic began was realized on Wednesday, January 6.

Reaching that number of total cases means that at least 10 percent of Clinton County citizens have at one time tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, or have had the disease, didn’t show symptoms and later tested positive for the antibodies.

The second figure that needs to be noted is also a negative milestone that occurred on the same Wednesday, when the Lake Cumberland District Health Department reported that Clinton County had 131 active cases in its case rolls, the highest number of active cases here for any single day.

The only few bright spots in the LCDHD report numbers over the past week were that since that all time high mark of 131 active cases, the case numbers have gradually dropped, although ever so slightly.

As of Tuesday morning, Clinton County had seen more active cases being released from its totals than new cases that had been added for five consecutive days, making the active case total 85.

During the past week there had been 144 new cases reported by LCDHD, while during that same time, the agency reported the release of 160 cases.

There were eight patients being treated in local, regional, or state hospitals as of Tuesday morning.

Another positive point in the past week’s case counts was that, according to LCDHD, there had been no additional deaths of Clinton County patients as of a direct result of the COVID-19 infection.

Clinton County, however, like the entire 10 county LCDHD district, remained deep into the critical spread level, or red zone, with a rate of infection of 202.72 per 100,000 population, the highest in the district.

That rate was yet another increase from the previous rate for Clinton County of 163.58.

The most recent LCDHD public information brief report marked the 102nd consecutive day that Clinton County had been in the red zone for transmission rate.

Following Clinton County within the LCDHD was Wayne 131.38; Cumberland 123.12; Pulaski 103.99; McCreary 96.17; Taylor 91.47; Russell 79.71; Casey 64.54; Green 57.45; Adair 51.33.

In addition to Clinton County’s current 85 active cases as of Tuesday morning, other counties in the LCDHD region’s case counts: Adair 60; Casey 45; Cumberland 40; Green 34; McCreary 90; Pulaski 317; Russell 74; Taylor 121; Wayne 128.

Clinton County has had 1,110 cases of COVID-19 reported by LCDHD since the pandemic first arrived in Kentucky in March 2020, with 20 related deaths.

Of those 1,110 cases, 1,005 have been released.

Across the 10 county LCDHD district, there have been 15,594 cases of COVID-19, with 283 related deaths.