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There is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the state of COVID-19 in Pulaski County. The number of cases has decreased to the point that the county has finally dipped into the Orange category and out of the Red, where it has been since November.

The “Orange” category denotes an area in which the seven-day incident rate falls between 10 and 25 cases of COVID in a population of 100,000. As of Monday, Pulaski’s rate was at 18.47.

This means Pulaski is finally out of the Red category – where the rate of community spread is at 25 or higher per 100,000 of population.

Joining Pulaski on the counties that are now in the Orange are McCreary, Wayne, Clinton and Casey.

The number of diagnosed cases has dropped significantly over the past weeks. For the week ending Saturday, Feb. 20, Pulaski saw a total of 84 new cases, down from the 175 seen the week before.

Pulaski has had 84 deaths from COVID-19, three of whom were reported in the last week.

The most recent ones reported were for a 74-year old who had been hospitalized; a 67-year-old who had been hospitalized who had been released from the health department’s monitoring but later succumbed to complications; and a 79-year-old who had been hospitalized.

As of Saturday’s daily report from the health department, Pulaski had 102 current cases of COVID, with 14 of those hospitalized and the rest in home isolation. There have been 5,476 cases released for a total of 5,662 cases.

The numbers for the 10-county district saw a similar significant decrease as last week there were 369 new cases reported, down from the 715 cases the week before.

While last week’s winter weather prevented COVID vaccination clinics from being held, postponing those appointments until this week, the health department acknowledged that the ice and snow storms could have had a positive influence on the decline in numbers, since people couldn’t get out of the house.

On top of the doses of vaccine that the health department and Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital are expected to receive in the next few weeks, the health department announced this week that a limited number of vaccine doses were expected to become available at area pharmacies “soon.”

For Pulaski, those pharmacies include Jay’s Pharmacy, the Kroger Marketplace in Stonegate, Walgreen’s Pharmacy and the Walmart Pharmacy.

The health department did not provide details on when appointments might be available, but said that appointments from Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart could be made online through their websites.

Currently, both the health department and the hospital are offering vaccinations for those within the Phase 1A and 1B groups only. That included shots for those 70 years old or older.

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