COVID-19 cases up in the area
SALYERSVILLE – Magoffin County has no newly reported cases of COVID-19 this week, as numbers continue to climb in this region.
As of Wednesday, June 24, 833 people have been tested in Magoffin County, with 820 negative, eight pending, five positive and three recovered.
The two active cases are both asymptomatic.
The Independent continues to follow the numbers of 10 counties in this region, seeing 34 new cases since the last edition printed. Of the 10 counties, Magoffin was the only county with no new cases. The most this region had jumped in a week since the pandemic started was 26, which was reported last week, indicating the area may be seeing a more rapid increase in cases.
“We didn’t have any cases for the first two or three months and now we’re starting to see cases here, in Pikeville, Floyd, Johnson and Morgan – they’re all starting to see cases,” Salyersville Mayor and Magoffin County Public Health Director James “Pete” Shepherd said. “It seems like Eastern Kentucky is always a bit delayed just because of where we’re at, but it’s getting here. I was in the store today with people with no mask on and employees with no mask on and they’re supposed to be wearing masks. It’s really hard to police.”
Shepherd said he’s noticed in several places where employees put their masks on because they see him, but they take them off as soon as he leaves.
“People better be aware because it’s here,” Shepherd said. “We’re lucky we haven’t had any deaths and most of our cases have been asymptomatic, so I’m just hoping for the best, but we are prepared for the worst.”
He said he thinks the cases will spike in the summer.
Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman said, “The only way to stop this is by our own actions. If we don’t do what we need to do and wear the masks when we’re out in public, all we’re doing is pushing this virus on top of everybody. We don’t have the hospital bed capacity for a major outbreak. If we have that major outbreak, who is going to come to Magoffin County and Eastern Kentucky’s rescue?”
Wireman noted how cases are climbing by the day in counties throughout the region, and how as bars and clubs open, large numbers are testing positive for the virus at one time.
“This is no joke, folks, and we have to do our part,” Wireman said. “One of the things I learned back 25 years ago when I got out of the Army and worked as a deputy sheriff a while and had all the police trainings is that complacency kills, and when we start being complacent here we are going to start causing folks to lose their lives to the virus when we could simply take our own actions and limit the exposure to it.”
Cases in the Area
As of 4 p.m. on June 24, 2020
**Total cases for this area increased by 34 since last week's paper printed.