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Pulaski County continues to see surge in COVID-19 cases

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 11:13 AM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Case of COVID-19 continue to rise in parts of southern Kentucky.

In Pulaski County, state and local health leaders reported one of the county’s highest case numbers on Wednesday. The state is also reporting a 95 percent ICU bed occupancy rate for the region that includes Somerset.

Kentucky health officials reported more than 100 cases for Pulaski County Wednesday and said Pulaski had the 5th-highest total for Kentucky counties. Local health leaders say their numbers are closer to 80 cases but there’s always a delay in some of the data.

Regardless, Lake Cumberland District health leaders say they are concerned that there will be an increase in hospitalizations and deaths over the coming days, especially, with Christmas and now New Year’s leading to gatherings.

“I’m shocked at the numbers,” said Richard New with Southern Oaks Funeral Home.

The funeral home has had 19 services for coronavirus-related deaths in the month of December.

“And it’s all ages. It’s not just the elderly. Just in the last little bit, a lot in the range of 50,” New said.

What’s scary, too, is that New says many of the families don’t know how their loved ones contracted the virus.

“Most of them are very cautious. They say their loved ones had not been out or they had been on guard not to be exposed to this,” New said.

Somerset’s mayor, Alen Keck, says numbers are consistently going up and down in the community.

“I would think there’s some inevitability family gatherings over the holidays contributed to it,” Keck said. “We saw that jump over Thanksgiving. I think it’s some because of Christmas, But again there’s no real rhyme or reason at times. We didn’t see a jump at all when restaurants reopened, which is an encouraging thing for me.”

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital officials say they have 33 covid patients, and 17 of them are in the ICU. They say they are working with neighboring health systems to make sure all the needs of the community are met.

The health department in Pulaski County received 200 vaccines and says all of them were quickly used up. They are currently waiting on their next shipment.

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