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COVID-19 update: Questions and answers from LCDHD

Questions are taken and answered by the staff of the Lake Cumberland District Health Department..

Shawn Crabtree, LCDHD Executive Director
Q. Is Adair County the highest case numbers per capita in the ten-county region?
A. At this time, it is Clinton County with 114.64 cases per 100K. Adair County is at 66.96 cases per 100K. All counties except McCreary are in the Red Zone for Critical spread. Since the onset, Green has had a total of 448.77 cases per 10,000 and Adair, 408.29 per 10,000. All of this information is available on our website.

Dr. Weyman, LCDHD Medical Director
Q. Which domesticated animals can contract COVID-19?
A. Cats, dogs, ferrets and hamsters.

Dr. Weyman, LCDHD Medical Director
Q. Why are there such a wide range of symptoms from respiratory problems to mental issues, nerve problems, lethargy?
A. This requires a very complicated answer but the short of it is – it depends which organs are affected by the virus- for example, just upper airways give you mild symptoms; lower airways cause more severe symptoms. The immune system also plays a part- it can clear the infection quickly or cause a ramping up to the extent that it, itself causes damage.

Dr. Weyman, LCDHD Medical Director
Q. With multiple strains of COVID-19 already, how much confidence can we put in a single vaccine? Every year people have to be given flu boosters for those new strains, would this disease not likewise require different vaccines for the different strains?
A. Currently these strains are similar enough that the vaccine will work for them. If the strains in the future become very different then new vaccines will have to be formulated.

Stuart Spillman, LCDHD Environmental Health Director
Q. Why is the mask mandate not being enforced? What kind of mechanisms are in place to enforce it for individuals and businesses?
A. Health Department staff are at capacity and there is no way that we can be at these businesses to enforce the mask mandate as we are deep into trying to isolate cases and quarantine contacts. We do enforce isolation and quarantines. When we get complaints, we do reach out to the business and encourage them to enforce masking on their premises. However, this is so widespread we must all take responsibility. Do not shop where people don’t follow the guidance. We all have to own this if we are going to lessen the negative effects of Covid until we can get a vaccine.

Shawn Crabtree, LCDHD Executive Director
Q. Why aren't we currently in a lockdown when we were in a lockdown back in the spring when we had fewer cases that were more isolated to nursing homes and assisted care facilities?
A. It makes more sense to be on lockdown now than back in the spring due to the volume of cases. People (governments) were much more afraid of COVID-19 in the Spring. Lock-downs can’t be a long-term solution. Society would crumble. So, masking, social distancing, and avoiding crowds is our best option until there is a vaccine.

Dr. Weyman, LCDHD Medical Director
Q. What can you say to the perception that masks do not work as people are wearing them, but cases continue to rise?
A. Unfortunately, many people are not wearing them or not wearing them to also cover their noses. They do work, especially if both people are wearing them. They may not be 100% effective but nothing in life is a 100% effective.

Shawn Crabtree, LCDHD Executive Director
Q. What is being done to see to the mental health of those elderly people who are terrified of COVID-19 and isolated for fear of contracting the virus?
A. We aren’t specifically doing anything in this area. This is a valid concern, but should be focused toward the Mental Health and Social Services community. Our focus is on trying to control the spread of the disease.

Shawn Crabtree, LCDHD Executive Director
Q. Why is the virus affecting a wider spread of the population now whereas in the beginning so many of the cases, particularly around here, seemed to be confined to the elderly?
A. People have lost their respect for COVID-19 and are going about their “normal” lives more and more. Not everyone is masking, businesses aren’t enforcing masking and social distancing as consistently as they should, and schools don’t consistently follow the “red” zone requirements. Plus, I would suspect there is considerable asymptomatic spread in the schools, that then transmit to the homes, and then to the communities.

Our panel consisted of:
Shawn Crabtree, Executive Director
Dr. Weyman, LCDHD Medical Director
Stuart Spillman, LCDHD Environmental Health Director
Tracy Aaron, LCDHD Health Education Director - moderator

If you have questions for our next media zoom meeting, feel free to contact the health educator at your local health department or reach out to Melonie Williams at the District Office at or 606-678-4761 x 1127. Questions for Nov 18, 2020 media zoom meeting.

LCDHD County Health Centers Call (800) 928-4416
Adair • Casey • Clinton • Cumberland • Green • McCreary • Pulaski • Russell • Taylor • Wayne
Hearing or speech impaired callers:
call the Kentucky Relay Service at (800) 648-6056. Give the communications assistant our phone number to contact us.

This story was posted on 2020-12-14 10:35:49
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