Although Pike County’s COVID-19 cases have recently plummeted, local health officials are encouraging the public to continue taking precautions against the virus in order to prevent another surge.

As of presstime Feb. 22, Pike County’s total number of cases was 5,198 cases, with 364 of those being active cases. 4,783 people were considered recovered, and 51 Pike County residents have died from the virus so far.

Pike County Public Health Director Tammy Riley said that although Pike County saw two days of higher case numbers last week, the county’s cases have plummeted overall.

“Over the weekend again, we had single digit cases, with only seven cases on Saturday and eight on Sunday for a total of 15 cases for the weekend,” Riley said. “That’s incredibly low.”

Additionally, as of Feb. 22, there were 32 patients currently being hospitalized for COVID-19 in Pike County’s hospitals, with 15 of them being Pike County residents. Of those 32 total patients, nine were in the ICU and seven required ventilators. The total ICU occupancy rate for the county’s hospitals was at 85 percent, and the ventilator occupancy rate was at 35 percent.

“Those are typical ranges for ICU and ventilator,” Riley said, referring to the occupancy rates. “What is atypical for Pike County is the low number of COVID patients requiring ICU and ventilators so that’s very good news. Our case growth for the past two weeks has been 4.5 percent. Again, that’s a low in comparison to previous months.”

Despite the lower numbers of reported COVID-19 cases, Riley said, the public should continue to wear masks and take other precautions against the virus in order to protect themselves, protect the community and prevent another potential surge, similar to the one that followed the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays.

“We have not vaccinated enough people in our community for the vaccines to make a significant difference in case growth,” Riley said. “The number of new cases, from a population perspective, we just haven’t reached those numbers yet. We’re very fortunate in that our numbers have practically plummeted. However, if we ignore and throw the 5-C Plan and other public health recommendations out the window, then it’s inevitable that we’ll see another surge in cases.”

Any Kentuckians 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 at, pmcvaccine.com, or, arhcovid19.com.

Kentuckians who live in the counties of Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin and Magoffin can call Eastern Kentucky’s new regional call center in order to receive help with registering with a local healthcare provider for a vaccination. The center will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it is meant to help those who do not have available access to a computer or the Internet.

There are four phone numbers that can be used to contact the call center: (606) 437-3862, (606) 437-3863, (606) 437-3865, and, (606) 437-3866.

The 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.

For more information about Pike County’s cases, visit, www.pikecountyhealth.com. The Pike County Health Department is located at 119 River Drive, and it can be reached at, (606) 437-5500.

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