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Nearly 70 Clay County Detention Center inmates test positive for COVID-19

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:04 PM EDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Clay County is one Eastern Kentucky county that is a hotspot on the state’s COVID-19 incidence map.

”According to the records I see, the county is supposed to be one of the highest counties in the state of Kentucky at this time for COVID-19,” said Clay County Judge-Executive Johnny Johnson.

According to Tuesday’s COVID-19 report, the county has an incidence rate of nearly 74%.

”I do not want to lock the county back down unless I have to, and it would be mandatory by the state, if we have to be locked down again,” said Johnson.

The Clay County Detention Center has 67 inmates and 9 employees who are positive for COVID-19. Jailer Linda Smallwood told WYMT 113 inmates are vaccinated and 26 of those inmates are positive.

”As a vaccinated person, if I’m exposed to one out of 100 that’s not a huge number,” said Dr. Shelley Stanko with Saint Joseph London and Berea. “But now, if you’re inching that up that’s the potential, that I’m going to contract that.”

In a statement, Jailer Smallwoods said the virus has spread like wildfire. She added she does not know how the virus got into the jail.

”It’s something that quickly happened, we didn’t have no idea that this was going to happen to our county,” said Johnson.

The jail has been following CDC guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic. Smallwoods said they quarantine people as they coming to the jail.

”I would ask them to get vaccinated because, you know, that’s the only way you can get your county under control,” added Johnson. “If people get vaccinated, where we won’t have to wear a mask and get locked back down.”

See Smallwood’s statement below:

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