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Lincoln County back in ‘orange zone’; Health department urges public to wear masks

STANFORD – For a few months, Lincoln County has been in the “yellow zone” for COVID-19 cases but this week it has moved back into the “orange zone.”

That means there is an accelerated spread of the virus in the community, according to Health Department Director Diane Miller.

The Kentucky Department of Health COVID-19 incident-rate map, which is published daily, classifies counties into four groups including ‘green,’ ‘yellow,’ ‘orange’ and ‘red.’

Miller said Monday this week that it’s important for the public to continue wearing masks and social distancing in public places and at large gatherings.

“That puts us in a cautionary period,” she said. “I think that things are opening up and individuals are getting lax in the control measures. I see a lot of people, more than usual, not wearing masks and the mask mandate is still in place. We are still to wear our masks.”

Even once an individual has been vaccinated, the health department is still asking them to wear masks in public.

“We’re just not there yet, to remove our masks,” she said. “We need to be practicing those control measures no matter what event we’re at, whether it’s a county event, a private event, church, what have you, we still need those control measures in place.”

Miller said continuing to wear masks and social distance will help prevent the community from going back to the “red zone.”

“If we don’t get control of this then we’re going to find ourselves back in the ‘red zone’ very quickly,” she said. “We need to continue to do what we’ve been doing and I know it’s frustrating to all, but until we’ve got a handle on this and get more people vaccinated we still need to do what we need to do.”

As of Monday there were 80 active cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Lincoln County and 30 household contacts to those cases were being monitored.

Miller said two new deaths are being sent to the state for review. A total of 45 COVID-19 related deaths have been confirmed in Lincoln County since the start of the outbreak last year, she said.

A total of 2,255 cases of the coronavirus has been reported in Lincoln County since last March.

The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as has the rest of the nation.

The move came after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed blood clots after receiving the vaccine. One person died and another is in critical condition.

Miller said LCHD is still administering the Moderna vaccine and anyone interested in receiving that vaccination can call the health department at 606-365-3106.

“The Johnson & Johnson will stay on pause until we get the OK from the Department of Public Health,” she said.