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Magoffin cases doubled in past week


SALYERSVILLE – While the governor believes the state may be nearing another plateau of COVID-19 cases, Magoffin County has seen its biggest spike, yet, with 18 new cases reported in the last seven days.

Two new cases were reported on Thursday, July 30, both officers at a federal prison (but cases not related) and two more cases on Friday (related to the previous two and all four showing symptoms). With those four cases, 45 people had been contacted by the Magoffin County Health Department to isolate. 

“We average around 10 to 12 contacts per case,” Magoffin County Public Health Director and Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd told Mortimer Media Group.

Shepherd also noted that the two officers both had symptoms, but had continued going out in public prior to their positive test results, with one going to a party and the other not wearing a mask.

“I don’t want to be harsh, but 14 days ago we had seven cases and today we have 22,” Shepherd said on Friday. “People not wearing masks – that’s how it spreads.”

With the escalating numbers, Shepherd told Mortimer Media Group he feels the pandemic’s effect on the community is going to get worse. The health department has received tickets from the state so they can evaluate local businesses and write citations against a business or an individual not complying to the mask mandate. 

Per the governor’s mandate, any person who is found violating the mandate is to receive a warning for the first offense, a fine of $50 for the second offense, $75 for the third offense, and $100 for each subsequent offense. Businesses are to deny access or services to people not complying to the regulations. Owners, operators, or employers of a business or other public-facing entity is subject to the same fines listed above, but may also be subject to an order requiring immediate closure.

Four new cases were reported on Saturday in Magoffin and three on Sunday, all related to the previous cases. Two more were reported on Monday, with one also related to the prison and another to a church in Johnson County. 

A case has also been tied to the Keith Memorial Tabernacle Church in Magoffin, with health officials telling the public that people who were at the church on July 26 had possible exposure to COVID-19. The Magoffin County Health Department has issued an advisory, asking anyone who attended the church that day to quarantine until August 9 and to monitor for symptoms. The church will be closed for the next two weeks and everyone at the service has agreed to quarantine.

“This came fast and furious on us this past week,” Shepherd said. 
Prior to press time, three more cases came in on Wednesday, two connected to a church in Johnson County, and one connected to one of the jail guards who tested positive last week. The Johnson County church, Calvary Church of God, has had two positive cases in Johnson County and three in Magoffin County to date.

Currently, there have been 35 cases reported in Magoffin County, with the majority of the active cases symptomatic. In Magoffin 1,353 tests have been conducted, with 1,266 negative, 52 pending, 35 positive, 21 isolated and 14 recovered. 

The health department will be evaluating every business in the community, making sure they are complying with the current orders and giving each place more information about preventing the spread of the coronavirus. 

Locally, COVID-19 tests are being conducted at Frontier Medical Center, Hope Family Medical Center and at the Highlands ARH building in Salyersville. Call ahead to schedule a test and/or for more information on the testing protocols for each place. 



Heather Oney

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