In what is planned to be the last of the weekly virtual community COVID-19 updates that have kept Daviess County residents informed throughout the pandemic, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly was joined this week by Owensboro Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis DuFrayne to discuss the current state of the virus in Daviess County.
“From June 4-7, we had 15 new cases in Daviess County,” Mattingly said.
Due to the ongoing trend showing increased vaccinations and a decrease in new confirmed cases of the virus, the Green River District Health Department is now issuing updates twice weekly rather than daily, also.
Daviess County recorded a weekly average of 4.5 confirmed cases of the virus per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, keeping it firmly in the state’s Yellow Zone. To date, there have been 188 deaths directly related to COVID-19 throughout the county.
To date, there have been 10,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Daviess County since the beginning of the pandemic, or roughly 10% of its total population.
DuFrayne said that while the end is in sight, it is important for community members to remember that it is not quite time to celebrate.
“Last week, I was so encouraged,” he said. “We got down to one person in the hospital and I thought, oh man we are so close...”
Mattingly said Daviess County has recorded a weekly average as low as 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents, but that number has since increased slightly to 4.5 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.
DuFrayne said that while rare, there are still breakthrough cases in the community, which is why he still chooses to wear a face mask when he is out in public or in a group of strangers despite being fully vaccinated.
“When I am out in public around people that I really don’t know, I feel more comfortable wearing a mask than not,” he said.
Mattingly said it is also a habit he still practices, as well.
“I still see when I am out in the community, people who wear their mask,” Mattingly said. “When I am out and about and I am in close proximity to people, I put my mask on and I think that you are going to see that for some time going forward.”
DuFrayne said the most common instance of breakthrough cases that he has seen involve individuals who have been exposed to an infected individual for an extended period of time, such as a family member in the same household.
“When someone is living in your house with it, that is where the breakthroughs are coming from,” he said.
Mattingly said during an update he participated in with Gov. Andy Brasher last week, data showed that between March and April, 97% of the reported cases of COVID-19 occurred in unvaccinated people. The vast majority of the remaining 3%, were individuals that have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine as well a few breakthrough cases.
DuFrayne said that the data on breakthrough cases really shows just how rare an instance it is.
“The latest numbers I saw, 10,000 to 15,000 documented breakthrough cases, 200 to 300 hospitalized and about five deaths out of 140 million people who have received the vaccine,” he said.
With the state set to fully reopen Friday, June 11, Mattingly said rather than continue with weekly community COVID-19 updates, he will transition to a monthly community update where residents are welcome to discuss any issue going in in Daviess County. Mattingly will also feature a variety of guests from the community during the Facebook live update.
Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, email@example.com, 270-228-2837