By Lee Bratcher/OC Monitor
HARTFORD, Ky. — Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston returned this morning for his COVID-19 update for the county. Since his last update, May 8, there have been 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the total cases up to 128. The second-highest amount of cases in the Green River District, trailing only Daviess County.
Johnston did have some good news to report as 62 of the county’s COVID-19 patients have recovered from the illness and there have been no deaths due to the disease in Ohio County.
“With the mass testing going on, I do expect our numbers will go up for the next little bit,” Johnston said. “There are testing sites going up everywhere and everyone in the county will be tested, if they want to be, within the next few days.”
Ohio County Clerk Bess Ralph gave information on changes her office will undergo in the coming days, including how Ohio County will be voting for the June 23 Primary Election.
According to Ralph, her office, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio County PVA’s Office will be open June 1, 2020. Those offices have been conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic, though it’s been over the phone or outside the Ohio County Courthouse.
All guidelines set forth by the state government will be followed when those offices open and there will be someone stationed out front to help direct people. Visitors to those offices should look for the bright yellow canopy to find the person to direct them.
During this time, Ralph’s office will only be taking walk-in absentee voting for the June 23 Primary Election. During this year’s Primary Election, all registered voters in the state can vote by mail.
“We want to give your the opportunity to vote in person, if you prefer not to do it by mail,” Ralph said. “You’ll have 22 days, to come on up and we’ll get you right in and we encourage you to do that.”
Ralph asked those seeking any renewals from her office, to continue doing that through the mail. If you have transfers, mortgages, deeds, record requests or any questions, call Ralph’s office and an appointment will be made. The Clerk’s Office can be reached at 270-298-4422.
“We appreciate all your kindness, all your patience. It’s been very difficult on the county, but you know, we have survived and pulled together and I feel like we’ve done a great job,” Ralph said. “If you see my deputies out, give them a shout out because they have gone above and beyond. They continue to serve and get you what you need and I can’t thank them enough.”
Johnston pointed out the PVA’s office would be operating with a reduced staff. If you need something from the PVA, before going to the office, call 270-298-4433 to make an appointment.
Ohio County EMA Director Charlie Shields gave information about a COVID-19 testing site available at the Ohio County Park.
Next Tuesday, May 19, through Thursday, May 21, Kroger Health will provide drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Anyone who wants to be tested can be tested. You must pre-register, however, at https://www.krogerhealth.com/services.
Also from 9-11:30 a.m. next Tuesday, May 19, the Green River District Health Department will provide testing from a mobile unit at Fordsville Elementary School. For more information or to schedule an appointment, go to https://healthdepartment.org.
In addition to those sites next week, Ohio County Healthcare is offering drive-thru testing at all three of its COVID-19 screening center in Hartford, Fordsville and Morgantown. You can visit ochcares.com for hours and locations. Patients don’t need to pre-register, just drive up to the screening center.
You can also find information about test sites all over the state by visiting https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.
“If you register (for a time to be tested), please show up,” Shields said. “If you register and you don’t show up, that’s just taking a spot from somebody else. If you register and you can’t (make the appointment) get back on there and take your name off.”
Shields also reminded everyone to fill out the 2020 Census. You can fill out the Census online by clicking here. According to Shields, Kentucky is ranked 13th in the United States and Ohio County is ranked 53rd in the state in filling out the 2020 Census.
“When you’re at home, please fill out your census,” Shields said. “When you’re sitting at home and you’re bored and you need something to do, please fill out your census. That helps us as a county, it helps our Sheriff’s Office, it helps all our departments, in the cities and elsewhere. Complete your census.”
Beau Wright, the Director of the Ohio County Parks and Recreation, spoke about what was going on at the Ohio County Park.
The walking trail at the OC Park will be open during the COVID-19 testing next week. The campgrounds and the dog park at the OC Park are set to open June 11. Wright is meeting with the state about opening more areas of Ohio County Parks and Recreation and will have more information at a future date.
“We took advantage of the closing (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) to reconstruct basketball goals and blacktop,” Wright said. “We just look forward to seeing you all once again.”
Johnston closed the update by encouraging people to continue to follow the guidelines recommended by medical professionals.
“I see people social distancing, wearing masks and gloves, doing everything you’re supposed to do and then I see some of you that are not. Please, wear that mask. Use your hand sanitizer. Don’t bring your whole family to the store,” Johnston said. “Let’s be diligent. We will get through this together and only we can bring this to an end.”
To view Johnston’s COVID-19 update from this morning, click here.