GREENUP COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — The trajectory of the virus in Greenup County is not following the path local health officials had hoped for.
“We’re seeing cases rise, all around the state. They’re not leveling out as we would’ve hoped. Over the last couple of weeks, we thought we might start to see it level, but it’s still going up,” says Chris Crum, public health director of the Greenup County Health Department.
The numbers of new infections in the county show this clearly.
“Week before [last], it was 178, and 290 last week, and then we’re up to 320 [new cases] for this week,” Crum says.
Crum says this averages to around 45 new cases per day this week.
“If each person has five to ten contacts, that we have to contact, we’re looking at 4-5,000 calls that we would normally have to make. We can’t handle that with the staffing levels that we have right now,” Crum says.
As a result of the strain, they are now asking infected individuals to make their own contact tracing phone calls to stop the spread.
With a vaccination rate of around 40 percent in the county, and numbers still going up, locals say there’s a sense of frustration in the community about how long the pandemic has dragged on.
“I think people are just exhausted by it. Let’s just get on with life and flus come and we know that COVID’s bad, we’ve had people close to us lose family members—we know it’s bad, but we have to live too. And we have to move on, we have to live,” says Kathy Osborne-Whitehead, who is a business owner in and resident of Greenup County.
Health officials say people still need to be careful though, because:
“As the number of active cases go up, the number of deaths go up…” Crum says.
With many gatherings taking place on Labor Day weekend, Crum says the key is to keep getting people vaccinated to try to curb the rise in cases.