Posted March 25, 2021 at 10:09 am

Clinton County’s number of new COVID-19 active cases during the past week was at the lowest number seen here in many, many months.

According to the most recent Public Information brief issued by the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, only five new active cases of COVID-19 were reported in Clinton County during the past week.

During that same week long time span, there were three Clinton County cases of COVID-19 that were released by the agency as being no longer contagious.

With those more recent numbers, Clinton County has six active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, with two of those six patients currently being cared for in local and area hospitals.

Also on a positive note, there were no new deaths reported by LCDHD among Clinton County patients due to the COVID-19 disease in the past week.

To date, since the pandemic reached Kentucky just over a year ago, there have been 28 Clinton County residents who have died as a direct result of having contracted the COVID-19 virus.

While new case numbers and total positive testing rates are steadily decreasing ,not only in Clinton County, but across the state and the nation, health officials continue to urge that the population continue to exercise correct precautions in order to prevent future spikes in case numbers.

The practice of those precautions, avoiding crowds, wearing masks and observing social distancing, are being touted as a big reason for the case number declines.

The availability of recently approved COVID-19 vaccines are also being reported as a big reason for the decline of new cases.

In Clinton County, the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be readily available as The Med Center at Albany continues to offer vaccination appointments to the public at their remote location in the Welcome Center, just north of Albany.

The vaccinations being offered here have moved into the 1c Phase, now including Kentucky residents who are 50 and older.

Those persons eligible as part of Phases 1a, 1b and 1c are asked to schedule a vaccine appointment by texting SHOT to 606-387-3646 or by emailing, or by calling 606-387-3646 and leaving a message.

Med Center Health will bill insurance companies for administration costs and individuals will not incur any costs.

The vaccine will be provided regardless of whether or not a person has insurance.

Clinton County continues to be in the second lowest level of case number spread per 100,000 population, the “yellow” level, Community Spread, of between one and 10 cases.

Clinton County’s current seven day average incident rate as of Tuesday morning was 6.99 cases, which is just slightly higher than the local rate of 5.59 cases a week ago.

Clinton County is one of five counties whose rate has dropped into the Community Spread, or
“yellow” level, along with Cumberland, Green, Casey and McCreary Counties.

Taylor, Pulaski, Adair, Russell and Wayne counties continue to be listed in the Accelerated Spread, or orange level of more than 10 to 25 cases per 100,000 population.

In regards to total cases, and the numbers among the LCDHD counties, in addition to Clinton County’s current six positive cases, the current case numbers and the number of hospitalized patients listed in parenthesis are: Adair 14 (1), Casey 6 (2), Cumberland 1 (0), Green 4 (0), McCreary 19 (2), Pulaski 67 (9), Russell 11 (0), Taylor 29 (2) and Wayne 18 (2).

This month, Kentucky and Clinton County reached the one-year observance of the first cases of COVID-19 being reported here.

In relation to that one-year anniversary, Shawn Crabtree, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department Executive Director, issued a statement with the daily information brief, summarizing the experience of that department’s personnel during the past 12 months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following is Crabtree’s report as released during one of last week’s daily LCDHD Information Brief press releases.

“On March 19th of 2020, Lake Cumberland had its first documented COVID-19 case. Over the ensuing year, the disease has left its mark on all of us, in one way or another. Businesses, churches, schools, and every single citizen have suffered and sacrificed, in a wide variety of ways.

“At the peak of its spread, in early January of 2021, we were experiencing over 100 new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 citizens. I

Late last December, we topped out at 301 new cases in a single day. Area hospitals were at their COVID-19 and ICU limits. Things looked dire as our public health and hospital capacity were near their breaking points.

“By the grace of God, and with the efforts of the health department and other health and medical providers, with citizen compliance with prevention guidance, and with vaccination efforts ramping up, though, it would seem we have turned the corner on this disease since the number of new cases per day have been on a steady decline since January. While we are not out of the woods yet (at the world level, cases are beginning again to increase since there are significant surges in several countries), we are thankful for the local decrease in cases, for continued public caution, and for the aggressive vaccination efforts.

“While nothing about this disease has been easy on society, and while there are always areas where things could have been improved, I am proud of how our communities have responded. Again, we have all sacrificed but, hopefully, the end is in sight.

“At this one-year anniversary, I take an account of the efforts of your local health departments in responding to this pandemic. With a small group of dedicated employees who were willing to work long hours and weekends for the last year straight, we have completed nearly 21,000 case investigations and provided contact tracing for approximately 125,000 individuals. While isolation and quarantine procedures have not been easy on anyone, our public has been largely cooperative and, together, we have slowed the spread of the disease, and, in the process, saved numerous lives, and prevented many hospitalizations.

“But case investigations and contact tracing only scratch the surface of the health department’s efforts. Among other things, we worked with every single long-term care facility in our region, every public school district, and many churches and businesses to develop prevention and/or post-exposure plans. We hand-delivered information on multiple occasions to medical providers and many businesses. We developed a vast email network of medical providers, schools, businesses, and other community partners and pushed out frequent guidance and other updates. We worked with many long-term care and medical facilities to assess and secure personal protective equipment.

“When it comes to testing, we became a testing kit distribution site and worked with area health providers to secure several thousand testing kits. We worked with multiple community health partners to coordinate and administer mass-testing sites.

“We have consistently kept the public informed as to case statistics, testing locations, and vaccination information via our daily briefs posted on our social media sites and website. We have conducted weekly and then bi-weekly live media and public updates. And, we have participated in numerous radio, newspaper, and television interviews. We set up a call center and have answered tens of thousands of questions. We responded to more social media requests than can almost be fathomed.

“Not including the nursing and personal care home vaccination efforts via the federal contract with Walgreens and CVS, nearly 30,000 first dose COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far by Lake Cumberland area providers. The health department alone has administered around 16,000 1st and 2nd dose vaccines (nearly half of the vaccine that has been allocated to our district), consistently moving over 90% of our inventory per week, while giving priority to those who are the most likely to experience negative health outcomes.

“While all of this has been disruptive and challenging (not to mention, controversial), I am proud of how the health department, all our community partners, and our citizens have responded and endured. Here’s to the hope that the virus doesn’t kick back up and that everyone will heal from the financial, and emotional pain this disease has caused.”

Shawn Crabtree,

LCDHD Executive Director