It’s been a steady few weeks for both Pulaski and Wayne counties in terms of COVID-19 numbers, with the data showing a “plateau” for new cases – barely deviating from what has been seen over the past seven weeks or so.
For the week ending Saturday, May 1, Pulaski had 46 new cases reported, compared to 40 from the week before and 56 from the week before that.
Wayne County saw six new cases diagnosed last week, compared to four the week before and five the week before that.
This trend is reflected in the 10-county Lake Cumberland District, as the total number of new cases for last week was 133; 144 for the week before and 152 for the week before that.
As of the most recent information, no county within the district is considered to be in the Red (Critical) Zone for COVID-19 spread. Pulaski currently is in the Orange (Accelerated) category, meaning it has a seven-day incident count between 10 and 25 cases per 100,000 of population. Even then, Pulaski is hovering on the line between Orange and Yellow (Community Spread), as it’s rate is listed at 10.11.
Wayne County is in the Yellow category, with a rate of 4.22.
With the good news comes the bad, however, as Wayne has seen several COVID-related deaths over the past few weeks. On April 26, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department reported three Wayne County deaths: a 76-year-old who had been released from monitoring as being non-contagious but later succumbed to lasting complications; a 75-year old long-term care resident; and a 69-year-old who had been hospitalized.
Then, back on April 22, LCDHD reported a list of “historical deaths” – ones that were identified through a state review process that happened months earlier but were not previously announced by LCDHD. Of the 21 deaths added to the district, five were from Pulaski: an 88-year-old, an 83-year-old, a 70-year-old; a 94-year-old; and a 72-year old.
Those brought Pulaski’s official number of COVID-related deaths to 101. Wayne has had a total of 49 deaths.
Most recent numbers show that Pulaski currently has 47 active cases, with five of those hospitalized. Wayne currently has four active cases, with no hospitalizations.
Despite the lower numbers, health officials are not breathing a sigh of relief just yet. With each daily update, the health department reminds the public that other areas of the world are experiencing an increased number of cases due to new mutations of the coronavirus that makes up COVID-19.
“Please do not assume the pandemic is completely behind us, and take the vaccine as soon as you can,” LCDHD stated.
As of Friday, LCDHD officials said they are taking appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in all 10 counties of the district.
Administration of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused last month due to reports that some patients developed a rare type of blood clot. Across the United States, there were six reports of women between the ages of 18 and 48 developing the clots.
After a review, both CDC and the Federal Food and Drug Administration both agreed to begin using the shots once again.
In a previous video put out by LCDHD, Medical Director Dr. Christine Weyman said the potential for the blood clots was extremely rare – “It’s like being hit by lightning, possibly,” she said.
Dr. Weyman explained that the symptoms for having a major reaction to the Johnson & Johnson shot included severe headaches, blurred vision, chest pain or abdominal pain.
The blood clot symptoms usually began between six to 13 days after receiving the shot, and if symptoms began the patient should see their doctor immediately, as there are treatments but they needed to be started as soon as possible.
To schedule an appointment with the Pulaski County Health Department, call 606-679-4416. Or, to schedule with the Wayne County site, call 606-348-9349.