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Laurel Co. health leaders seeing signs of improvement in number of COVID cases

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:30 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - An encouraging sign from at least one southern Kentucky county— Laurel County health leaders said COVID-19 cases are trending down. Fewer people are testing positive and being admitted to the hospital.

Doris Reed got her booster shot at the Laurel County Health Department. She wants to be as protected as she can be after seeing the impact the virus has had on people who were not vaccinated.

“Well, one ended up in the hospital. She has a heart problem now,” Reed said.

Laurel County has had low vaccination rates.

“The vaccination rates in Laurel County has increased. It’s not where we want to be, but they have increased since June or July. Right now, they are at 41 percent,” said Mark Hensley with the Laurel County Health Department.

In recent weeks, people testing positive for COVID has dropped from more than 100 per day to a few dozen. But more people like Tracey Pennington are their getting their first vaccine shots.

“I just feel like, since I’m only like 25, to live out my life and passing away, and not being able to live my dreams,” Pennington said.

Saint Joseph London currently has 36 COVID-19 patients, 14 are in the ICU, and nine are on ventilators. Those number are roughly half of what they saw during the peak of COVID-19.

September was Laurel County’s toughest month with hospitalizations. But October has most in a better place.

“Definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. We continue to vaccinate here Monday through Friday, Pfizer, Moderna, the booster, the third shots,” Hensley said.

Reed is among those, not wanting to be like those she’s seen suffer through it.

“I just think, ‘why didn’t you get it?’ And one lady, got it again. She had the antibodies, she didn’t get as sick the second time,” Reed said.

Laurel County health leaders said they were averaging about 50 vaccinations a day, and now they’re averaging about 30.

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