December 9, 2022
LOUISA, KY. — Heard all the fuss over the new ‘triple threat’ of Covid-19, Influenza and RSP spreading throughout the mountains? Well it is real and we decided to find out how bad it really is.
There is statewide concern and the governor’s office has warned against ‘closed in’ gatherings like Christmas parties and church activities this year. So far, we have not heard of any cancellations and the school system is also going on with planned activities.
Here’s what Lawrence County Health Department director Debbie Miller and Schools chief Dr. Rob Fletcher had to say:
Any updates about the effects of the ‘triple threat’ of covid, RSV and Flu that is sweeping through our region?
Hope you guys are having a great holiday season! Keep up the wonderful work…
Answer from Ms. Miller
“…Our COVID community level is medium right now which is up a bit. We have an incidence rate of 5.6 cases per 100,000 people and a 6.78% positivity rate.
The latest influenza report from Kentucky Department for Public Health shows influenza is widespread across the entire state. They only show 4 confirmed cases for Lawrence County through November 26, 2022. That should increase significantly with their next report – probably to over 20. That number is misleading because most of our county healthcare providers do not report influenza cases to the health department.
I do not have any way of tracking RSV cases. I have copied Greg Kiser and Brian Bailey. They may be able to shed more light on things from a hospital perspective.
The message remains – stay home if you are sick, wash your hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes, wear a mask if the situation warrants, and stay updated on your vaccinations. The health department has flu shots available as well as COVID bivalent booster in both Pfizer and Moderna.
Debbie Miller, MBA, MT(ASCP)
Public Health Director
Lawrence County Health Department
Ms. Miller also said LCHD specialist Ron Enders contacted Louisa Immediate Care about the number of cases they have had THIS WEEK. She said they reported back they had 54 reported cases from Monday-Thursday
FLETCHER SAYS ATTENDANCE WAY DOWN THIS YEAR ALL OVER REGION AND STATE
Need to know how the triple threat of flu, covid and RSV has affected school system. Attendance and policy during this time.
Answer from Dr. Fletcher
“…In conversations with superintendents across our region, the attendance rates for the current year have been much lower than in pre-Covid years for most, if not all, school districts. For Lawrence County, our attendance percentage has decreased to 90.5% for the year as compared to 93.11% in 2018-2019. The past several weeks have seen district wide attendance rates in the 85-88% range on a regular basis due to illness.
Our policy allows for 6 parent notes for excused absences, but we accept healthcare providers notes for excused absences over and above the 6 parent notes.
Thank you for reaching out.
Dr. Robbie Fletcher
Lawrence County Schools