Health Dept. Urges Action in Wake of Rising NKY COVID Cases
With a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in the region, the Northern Kentucky Health Department issued a call to action on Friday.
Kenton and Campbell counties were elevated to "red zone" status in the state's color-coded map system indicating the highest severity of spread, more than 25 cases per 100,000 population. Grant and Boone counties are also approaching that status.
For the week ending October 18, Northern Kentucky experienced the highest numbers of new cases of Covid-19, following the fourth week of rapid escalation of cases, the health department said in a news release.
Northern Kentucky currently has 1,545 active cases, making the total number of cases for the region 6,084 since the pandemic began.
There have also been 98 deaths.
“Up until this point, Northern Kentucky has seen controlled community spread,” NKY Health’s District Director of Health Dr. Lynne M. Saddler. “This rapid escalation into the critical zone is our wake-up call’. We all need to refocus our actions on the protective measures we are taking in our daily lives and to assure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and others from exposure. Health officials are concerned that ongoing increases in cases in the community will start translating into more hospitalizations as it has in other parts of the country.”
Saddler said that the health department has focused its resources on preventing the spread of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, working closely with local governments, the health care system, employers, schools, first responders, and other community partners.
Those efforts include outreach and public education, disease investigation, and contact tracing, the health department said in a news release.
The health department's news release included comment from St. Elizabeth Healthcare President and CEO Garren Colvin.
“Although the number of COVID hospitalizations are on the rise, we created contingency plans to address this type of increase, and we have plenty of capacity in our hospitals to safely care for our community as we continue to face this virus together," Colvin said. "We urge all residents to take necessary safety precautions and adhere to public health guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID.”
To slow down the spread of COVID-19, Northern Kentucky residents are strongly urged to continue practicing protective measures of consistently and correctly wearing a face covering when around others, maintaining six feet distance from others, washing or sanitizing hands often and avoiding gatherings and events, the health department said.
Additional steps should also be taken to reduce overall contacts with people outside of their immediate household and avoid all non-essential activities that increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19.