Lewis in the red zone; trick-or-treat on for now

Wednesday’s map shows Lewis County in the red zone.

Lewis County Judge Executive Todd Ruckel is urging residents to step up in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 as Lewis County moves into “red zone” designation for the number of confirmed cases.

As of Wednesday, Lewis County has a reported incidence of COVID-19 of 30.1 per 100,000 population*. A county is classified in the red zone when the incidence reaches 25.

“We must take the necessary steps to bring the spread of COVID-19 under control,” Ruckel said.

He said he has conferred with Gov. Andy Beshear in the past few days and agrees with the recommendations.

“Wearing a mask is one of the recommendations we should all be following,” Ruckel said.

“As a personal choice, and out of concern for the safety of my family, friends, myself, and everyone I come in contact with, I choose to wear a mask to help protect us all,” he added.

This week Gov. Beshear announced the recommendations that counties should follow if they are in the red zone to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Number one, we have a duty as a community when things are out of hand to get them back under control,” he said. “But the second reason we’re making these is to protect individuals who rightfully recognize how dangerous this virus is.”

Recommendations include:
• Employers allow employees to work from home when possible
• Non-critical government offices to operate virtually
• Reduce in-person shopping; order online or curbside pickup
• Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
• Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce mask mandate and other guidelines
• Reschedule, postpone, or cancel public and private events
• Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
• Avoid non-essential activities outside of your home
• Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including 10 steps to defeat COVID-19

To see if your county is in a red zone, click here. The governor advises people to check the map every Thursday afternoon. If their county is in the red, they should adhere to these recommendations for the following week.

Gov. Beshear stressed these are not mandates and are solely recommendations on how people can make their community safer.

“Mandates only work if people follow them,” said Gov. Beshear. “We know that encouragement will do more than enforcement to get people on board, but this also puts ownership in each community.”

“It takes an entire community to protect the most vulnerable, to keep our schools open and to keep our economy running,” said Gov. Beshear. “What we need to see is that when a county hits red, everybody comes together in a coordinated effort.”

Ruckel said he has delayed a decision on amending local trick-or-treat plans for now.

“Our plan for trick-or-treat in Vanceburg and Lewis County calls for safety measures that are included in the recommendations,” Ruckel said.

Vanceburg Mayor Dane Blankenship says he urges everyone to adhere to the recommendations and practice all safety measures.

Ruckel says the situation could change by Saturday and the plans are subject to revision or cancellation.

Trick-or-treat is planned locally for Saturday from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Click here for the guidelines.

COVID-19 Hotline: 800-722-5725
The COVID-19 hotline is a service operated by the healthcare professionals at the KY Poison Control Center who can provide advice and answer questions.

For General Inquiries, send an email to KYcovid19@ky.gov.

* The 7-Day incidence is calculated by taking the total number of unique cases in each county over the past 7 days, divided by 7 to get a daily average, divided by the US census bureau county population, and multiplied by 100,000 to get the incidence per 100,000 people. The cases counted each day are based on the date an investigation was opened in NEDSS (i.e., National Electronic Disease Surveillance System). Duplicate cases are removed before the calculation, so each positive case is only included once.
NOTE: State and local health department data will vary for a variety of reasons including data entry timing, communication processes, and 7-day averaging.

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