Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly and Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon met via Zoom on Wednesday to discuss everything from Gov. Andy Beshear’s recent restrictions and closures to what is needed to stem the tide of COVID-19, as both Warren and Daviess counties continue to see a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Green River District Health Department reported 92 new COVID-19 cases in Daviess County on Wednesday.
One thing that the two discussed in great detail was “COVID-fatigue” and the need for people to be more conscientious. For Buchanon, the massive spike in Warren County’s numbers seem to have made people believers again, he said.
“We have been diligent but in recent weeks we have seen our number of those that have not recovered almost double,” he said. “My concern is that we are seeing our hospitals fill up and while we have the room to meet the capacity, the real issue is that our health care workers are going to be spread thin. If we don’t have the workers then we will be in real trouble.
“We want people to understand that it is up to the citizens and individuals to keep social distance, wash hands and sanitize. That is what we need to be conscious of on an everyday basis. Just because we may have a vaccine it doesn’t mean we can take this lightly.”
The pair also discussed issues surrounding Kentuckians near larger cities in bordering states without such stringent restrictions, who leave the state for services and bring the virus back home with them. That was an issue in the last surge, Buchanon said.
“In the past surge we saw that everyone would go to Nashville to eat in restaurants and access services outside of the state,” he said. “We are seeing the same sort of thing now. As we plateaued, people jumped the gun on thinking we were getting back to normal and got sloppy and complacent. Complacency and people deciding to go about their lives as they normally would prematurely are two of the biggest issues we are facing right now.”
One issue that both Mattingly and Buchanon drove home is that no matter what restrictions or rules are handed down by any level of government, the key to getting this latest surge under control is in the hands of the people.
“Government can’t be everything to everybody,” Mattingly said. “I don’t want it to be and it shouldn’t be. I want to provide the services I am constitutionally responsible for and I want you (the people) to lead as free a life from government regulations as possible. If we want to see this virus controlled especially prior to a vaccine. It is up to us as individuals to use common sense and use the tools that we know work like masks, social distancing and sanitizing to bring these numbers back down.”
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, firstname.lastname@example.org