A Facebook post announcing a “COVID Cove” party this weekend at a popular Lake Cumberland spot in Wayne County has health officials urging everyone to follow social distancing guidelines rather than attending.

A post made Thursday on the Facebook page for Lake Cumberland showed signs and t-shirts printed for a planned “party” at the Harmon Creek area of Lake Cumberland.

Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) Director Shawn Crabtree said that the issue had been turned over to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, which has jurisdiction on the lake.

A Thursday statement from Fish and Wildlife said that officers are on the lake during the summer boating season. “Officers will be monitoring the lake and educating any large groups about current public health guidelines and social distancing requirements,” it said.

Crabtree said Friday that he and other health officials understand that people want to see life get back to normal as quickly as possible. “Unfortunately, Mother Nature has not been cooperating this year,” he said.

LCDHD Environmental Director Stuart Spillman spoke with WKYT Thursday, encouraging people not to go to such an event.

WKYT quoted Spillman as saying “We know that we have people sick from this [virus], we have people in the hospital from this, and we have people die from this. So, we don’t want people out there being part of activities like that.”

Crabtree pointed to the health department’s most recent update, which shows that the Lake Cumberland district has surpassed 1,000 total confirmed cases – 1,030 as of Thursday.

He said that even though that’s only 0.5% of the population, they don’t want to rush into having more of the population contract the coronavirus.

Despite the seemingly few number of cases of COVID-19 in this area, Crabtree pointed out that the mortality rate for the Lake Cumberland district is 3.79%, whereas it’s 2.49% for the state and 3.39% for the nation.

He urged everyone to follow the recommendations for preventing the spread of the disease, including keeping at least a six-foot distance between people, wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer when washing is not available, not touching one’s face, sneezing or coughing into an elbow, and staying home if one feel’s ill or has a fever.

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