GREENUP COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — Greenup County, Kentucky currently has an influx of COVID-19 cases.
Since July 31st, the Greenup County Health Department reports they’ve confirmed more than 100 cases, leading health officials to worry another surge is coming.
Greenup County resident Michael Kempton has had his own brush with COVID-19 back in November 2020.
“You basically wake up, and you can’t smell anything. And then you go to have your morning coffee and you can’t taste it… From watching all the news, on COVID and the symptoms you could have, that’s what triggered me thinking I probably had it,” Kempton remembers.
His suspicions were confirmed after he received a positive COVID-19 test from his doctor.
Kempton says he had a mild case and feels lucky for that, but still he was skeptical about vaccination.
“It’s gonna sound a little silly but, I was like, how did you come up with this vaccine for this brand new virus that fast? I was like, that sounds too good to be true,” Kempton says.
Doctors can attest: Kempton’s fears are not uncommon.
“I think some people are concerned cause it’s new. And to some degree that’s true, I mean the virus is new so obviously the vaccine is new, but the technology they use to develop the vaccine is actually not new. It’s been in process for a number of years,” says Dr. Nikki Christian, M.D., with King’s Daughters Primary Care Greenup.
However, the vaccination rate is still low—hovering near 40 percent—and cases are creeping back up.
“I was looking back around December. We had well over 500 active cases at that time. And now, we’re currently at 170—I think—active cases. So you know, we’re not at that number yet, but with the way that our current trend is going, we’re gonna be there really quick,” says Chris Crum, public health director at the Greenup County Health Department.
It’s actually along this line of reasoning that Kempton made the decision to get the COVID-19 shot Monday.
“The more research I did, the more I talked to my primary care physician, and with the new Delta variant coming in and more people getting sick and numbers are just going through the roof, and my age and my health issues that I have, I figured it was a good time to get it because I did not want to get sick again,” Kempton says.
When asked how he feels now that he’s vaccinated:
“I feel good!” Kempton says.
Crum says if current trends continue, the positive cases could mirror positivity rates they saw last December, and urges people to take extra precautions and get vaccinated—especially before school goes back in session.