Green River District Public Health Director Clay Horton provided board members with an update on COVID-19 in the community, as well as future plans as the health district begins to considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Things are going much better than when we met in January,” Horton said at Monday’s quarterly board meeting.
While COVID-19 numbers are down significantly in the Green River District, Horton said that doesn’t mean the virus is gone for good.
“We don’t think COVID-19 is over forever,” he said. “We think we’ll have more work to do in terms of responding, but we’ve got a really good break right now.”
Horton said health district officials will use this break to plan and prepare for what it needs in terms of replenishment and everyone’s freshness and capacity.
“I think a lot of our employees are feeling a bit battered by COVID-19 at this point; I’m sure everyone in the company feels the same,” Horton said.
Horton said GRDHD’s weekly news release on Tuesday will show the district had 54 reported cases over a seven-day reporting period.
“We haven’t had rates this low since June 2021, just before our delta wave,” he said.
Horton then showed the council members a map of Kentucky with its 120 counties outlined, a map colored entirely green. Horton said the map represented data that is a “pretty new” metric used by the CDC.
“It looks at three different metrics, to assess whether there is a low, medium, or high COVID-19 community level,” Horton said. “It is reviewing all previous COVID 19 cases by rate of 100,000 for the previous seven days; it looks at the percentage of hospital capacity occupied by COVID-19 positive patients, and it also looks at hospitalization rates over the previous seven days in hospital systems that span that county.
Horton said currently rates for the Green River District are about four COVID-19 cases per day, per 100,000 people.
“The threshold that they would even consider reaching an average level would be 200 cases in the previous seven days,” Horton said. “We are well below that threshold.”
Despite the numbers being encouraging, Horton said it was important that local residents continue to listen to updates about the virus as the situation continues to change and evolve, especially as it approaches. cooler fall climate.
“Primarily what we’re trying to tell people is to stay tuned to these levels of COVID-19 and be prepared to make adjustments as advice changes because we know advice will continually change as we learn more and the virus evolves,” Horton said.
In addition to COVID-19, Horton also discussed some of the ways GRDHD will move forward, such as a new strategic plan, which was last updated in 2017-18.
“We did this as part of a four-year plan, of course; we reprioritized everything when COVID-19 hit, so we are starting to make plans to revamp our strategic plan,” he said.
The Department of Health is also considering updating its Community Health Assessment.
“Every three years we do a comprehensive community health assessment. Now that we can start interacting with our community coalitions in all of our counties again; we’re looking at how to restart that process,” Horton said.
Horton said the district will be working on its budget for the next fiscal year in the coming months.