The Pike County Health Department is reporting a significant decline in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations from the last seven days, and the county’s vaccination efforts are ongoing.
As of presstime Feb. 8, Pike County’s total number of COVID-19 cases was 4,918 cases, with 881 of those being active cases. 3,986 people were considered recovered, and 51 Pike County residents have died from the virus so far, which is an increase of five new deaths since presstime Feb. 4.
Pike County Public Health Director Tammy Riley said that the county saw a significant decrease in the community benchmarks that she tracks every Monday, which include hospitalizations, weekly positivity rate and case growth, among others.
Pike County saw a significant decrease in its number of newly-reported cases over the past week. The total number of new cases reported in the last seven days was 145, with a raw average of 20.7 new cases reported each day and a daily incident rate for Pike County of 35.8 cases per 100,000 population.
“That’s incredible compared to what the seven-day weekly average has looked like in the previous weeks,” Riley said, regarding the seven-day total number.
Additionally, as of Feb. 4, there were 54 patients currently being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Pike County’s hospitals, with 26 of them being Pike County residents. Of those 54 total patients, 12 were in the ICU and five required ventilators. The ICU occupancy rate was at 68 percent, and the ventilator occupancy rate was at 29 percent.
“Across the board, we’re seeing a decline in numbers. The ICU occupancy is at 68 percent. A few weeks back, we hit that 100 percent mark, and we’re at 68 percent currently,” Riley said. “And our past two weeks’ case growth is down to 12 percent so we only saw a 12 percent increase. Our weekly positivity rate for the past seven days was at 8.2 percent. That’s also down. We were way above 17.5, close to 18 percent, positivity rate a couple weeks ago, so that’s also down.”
As case numbers decrease in the county, health officials are continuing the county’s vaccination efforts. Riley said that PCHD is currently receiving a small allocation of vaccination doses in order to administer to Pike County residents who are 70 years old or older.
Any 70-plus Pike residents who would like to schedule an appointment with PCHD can call, (606)509-5500, or email the PCHD at, email@example.com. For emails, Riley requested that the patient provide their name, the best phone number to reach them and their date of birth in the email. Additionally, any Pike residents between 60 years old and 69 years old can email the PCHD to request a spot on the waiting list.
“We are accepting emails from that demographic for a wait list in the event that we have any allocation available that is designated for the 70 years of age or older,” Riley said. “If we have no-shows or availability at the end of the day, we would call that wait list group.”
Any populations who meet the criteria for Phase 1a, Phase 1b or anyone who is 60 years old or older can register for a COVID-19 vaccine with Pikeville Medical Center at, pmcvaccine.com, or with Appalachian Regional Healthcare at, arhcovid19.com. The other populations that fall in Phase 1c — anyone older than 16 years-old with highest-risk conditions for COVID-19 (as classified by the CDC) and all frontline essential workers — cannot register for a vaccination yet.
Riley said that there have been patients who have reached out to the health department because they have had difficulty with registering for a vaccination appointment online. Therefore, she said, the PCHD is currently working with the local Department of Emergency Management in order to create an emergency call center to help individuals register for vaccination appointments who may be struggling with the ability to register online.
In the meantime, though, anyone who is 70 years old or older and has difficulty registering for a vaccination can call the Pike County Health Department at, (606) 509-5500. Riley also encouraged the public to visit, www.pikecountyhealth.com, visit the Pike County Health Department’s Facebook page or email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on vaccinations.
Local COVID-19 data is reported to the Pike County Health Department by local healthcare providers. They follow a stringent reporting process to the state, and each case is thoroughly reviewed. Therefore, the data will not match the state’s COVID-19 informational website, kycovid19.ky.gov.