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Back in the red: COVID-19 cases rise in Lincoln County

The number of COVID-19 cases in Lincoln County has steadily been rising, according to the Lincoln County Health Department. Just over the past weekend the county’s number of active COVID-19 cases increased by 24.

As of Monday this week, LCHD Director Diane Miller said there were 123 active cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Lincoln County.

A total of 112 contacts were being monitored at the beginning of this week and eight individuals were hospitalized due to the virus. The ages of the eight hospitalized individuals range from 31 to 90 years old, Miller said.

There were no new deaths reported this week.

“Most of the cases are experiencing symptoms,” Miller said.
Lincoln County is again considered a ‘red’ county in the Kentucky Department of Health COVID-19 incident-rate map. The map, which is published daily, classifies counties into four groups including ‘green,’ ‘yellow,’ ‘orange’ and ‘red.’

The map calculates the daily average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. To be placed in the red zone, a county must have more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents.

According to the Nov. 21 incidence rate map, Lincoln County is once again in the ‘red zone’ with a daily average of 43.6 cases. The only surrounding county that was not in the red zone as of Monday this week was Rockcastle County, which reported a daily average of 24 cases per 100,000 residents. That’s one number below the ‘red zone’ threshold of 25 cases.

Every county in the state, except for three – Rockcastle Allen and Menifee Counties – were in the red zone on the state’s Nov. 21 incidence rate map.

Health guidelines for Thanksgiving holiday

“With our rise in numbers, we really need to practice our social distancing guidelines and do what we need to do to get through this,” Miller said.

According to the CDC, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate at home with the people in your immediate household.

“Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu,” the CDC website states. “Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.”

If individuals choose to attend a holiday gathering, the CDC has released several guidelines to make the celebration safer:
• Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils
• Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking
• Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handed, such as in the kitchen
• Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates and utensils.
“If they’re going to gather they need to make sure that they wear their masks, disinfect household items often and wash hands,” Miller said. “If weather permits, try to hold some of it outside. It reduces the risk.”
The CDC has also released recommendations for hosting a Thanksgiving gathering:
“If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer. These steps include:
• Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
• Limit the number of guests.
• Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
• If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
• Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
• Have guests bring their own food and drink.
• If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.”