Coronavirus Updates

Boyd County sees increasing positivity from COVID-19 testing


BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci named Kentucky and Ohio as two of several states showing early warning signs of a resurgence of COVID-19.

In Boyd County, Kentucky, positive test rates have risen in the past few weeks.

“This is real, and people need to take it seriously.” 

Tim England, emergency management director, Boyd County, Ashland, and Catlettsburg

So much so, Gov. Andy Beshear ordered the closing of bars for two weeks on Monday. Experts say if the numbers don’t come down, it’s likely to continue.

“I think if positivity continues to climb, that we’ll see more rollback like that.” 

Dr. Tyler Elam, DO, family physician, Primary Plus

There are two main factors officials are attributing the increase to.

“We attribute the rise in positive cases to travel-related and community spread.” 

Matt Anderson, emergency preparedness coordinator, Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

Boyd County alone has reported 163 cases since this pandemic began, and a total of three deaths. There were 86 cases in July alone, including two new positive cases today. 27 of those cases are currently active. Of note, the cases are arising from every age group.

“We’ve also seen an increase in positivity and again, I don’t think really think that it necessarily correlates with the increase in testing. I think cases are on the rise the largest increase in positivity has been in individuals under age 20, but we’ve also seen quite a leap in individuals who are in their 20s” 

Dr. Tyler Elam, DO, family physician, Primary Plus

Dr. Elam says Kentucky is at a tipping point right now.

“We are at a crucial point in curbing this upward trend in cases. Over the past week to two weeks, our positivity in cases has risen dramatically since we’ve been doing this in March.”

Dr. Tyler Elam, DO, family physician, Primary Plus

Governor Beshear ordered a mask mandate on July 9, 2020, to curb the spread, but it expires early August. Officials in Boyd County say they would not be surprised if this order got renewed.

“I believe it is something that could be and likely will be extended. Especially if its proven to maintain case levels.” 

Matt Anderson, emergency preparedness coordinator, Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

On top of all the measures mentioned, restaurants in Kentucky are only allowed to operate at 25% capacity and schools are recommended to push back start dates until the third week in August.

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