For all those people in rural Kentucky that thought they were immune to COVID-19 or didn’t take it seriously, some of the other hotspots for the coronavirus are in western Kentucky. And yes, it only took one revival meeting to make one rural county — Hopkins — the number one hotspot for COVID-19 based upon population size.
In 120-county Kentucky, five of the seven counties with the highest rates of infection are clustered in the west. At the top is Hopkins County, home of the church revival, with 181 coronavirus cases for every 100,000 residents.
Citing an additional COVID-19 outbreak this week at a state psychiatric hospital and prison in the same region, Beshear spoke out about his identified the Western Kentucky counties with its high rates of coronavirus cases “a great concern.”
“Everywhere that we have a cluster — and that's what we would call this — is of significant concern,” Beshear said.
As you can see in that map in the title image, looks like plenty of the western counties are one set of coronavirus clusters. The other sets are clustered around the larger Kentucky cities of Louisville and Lexington and the suburbs surrounding Cincinnati, OH.
As for Hopkins County:
Hopkins County tries to beat back the surge
On March 27, the Kentucky Department of Public Health's official records only showed two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hopkins County.
By Friday, two weeks later, the official tally for Hopkins County had spiked to 83 confirmed cases, according to the Hopkins County Health Department.
Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton and Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. have begun a live daily briefing to update the surge in cases, offer tips for social distancing and give shout-outs to those working to “flatten the curve.”
In their Monday morning video, Whitaker highlighted a New York Times map that showed Hopkins County as “the fastest-growing COVID-19 county in the state. … We don't want that recognition.”
The week before, local officials detailed how the revival services held days after Beshear asked churches not hold in-person services have been linked to 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases and six deaths there.
Cases linked to the revival have extended to neighboring Muhlenberg County and other counties farther east, with a nursing home, business and an ambulance service all linked to the outbreak.
Emboldened is my doing.
By the way, that Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield is the one who dismissed the seriousness of COVID-19 and Governor Andy Beshear’s shelter in place order. He gave the OK to the local churches holding that revival meeting. He’s a Republican, by the way.
And it isn’t just Hopkins County folks who didn’t take COVID-19 seriously. The article goes on to point out the difficulties of the young folks in neighboring Muhlenberg County didn’t seem to think that the coronavirus was going to affect them.
'We want to be good neighbors'
As Muhlenberg County's numbers crept up, McGehee enacted a countywide 9 p.m. curfew to “prevent congregating” that had been happening in parking lots at night.
While most follow social-distancing orders, McGehee said, “we do have some people that still are not taking it seriously.”
“Right now our community is very fragile and volatile, and we're trying to do everything we can to take steps in the right direction to get this slowed down,” he said.
Muhlenberg County Health Department Director Cathy Bethel said that while nearly half of its COVID-19 cases stem from its state prison, many residents travel to surrounding counties for work, including nurses who work in hospitals.
The Green River facility has implemented extra measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, including extensive inmate monitoring, staff testing and cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Muhlenberg is a poor rural county without jack shit to do, so I’m pretty sure those were young people gathering in the parking lots at night.
I would recommend that you all read the Louisville Courier-Journal article. It goes on to show that Indiana and Tennessee are also suffering from “What me worry about the coronavirus?” attitude in its rural counties. In fact, according to that same article, some of the Indiana counties have twice the infections rate of Hopkins County.
By the way, the satanic turtle Moscow Mitch has decided to go all in on letting churches have drive in services this Easter.
Sen. Mitch McConnell urges Louisville Mayor Fischer not to infringe on religious rights
Seems that Moscow Mitch wants to kiss fundamentalist ass for his reelection. Too bad he will be killing some of his voters.