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Johnston fears more COVID-19 deaths likely

In Local, News by Lee Bratcher

By Lee Bratcher/OC Monitor

HARTFORD, Ky. — Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston was in a somber mood as he provided the county with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Johnston, he expects the county to add its death toll of six “in the next couple of days.”

Johnston began his update with good news, as the bridge replacements on U.S. 62 E will be completed soon and the road will be opened to traffic. The state closed the road April 14 in order to replace two bridges. Johnston estimated the road would be opened around Aug. 12, 2020.

Johnston also reported the repairs to the Rochester Dam are almost complete.

Though Ohio County did not add to its total confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, Johnston didn’t have good news to report about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Ohio County.

“We’re not doing very well, Ohio County. We can do much better,” Johnston said. “We’ve had six deaths reported by the Green River District Health Department for Ohio County and we do expect that to go up, actually, in the next couple of days, and that’s not a good thing.”

Johnston “challenged” Ohio Countians to follow the guidelines outlined by health officials.

“Wear your mask. Wear a good one. Get one that’s got multiple layers to it, so it will block out anything that can be thrown at you, and block everything that you might put out if you had (COVID-19)” Johnston said.

Johnston also recommended those who travel anywhere to get tested when you return home before you begin your regular daily routine.

“We’re not wanting to close things back down. We want you to go to the stores, we want you to go to the restaurants and go to work. Do everything you need to do,” Johnston said. “However, we want you to do the three W’s. Wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance. Don’t get close to people.”

When it comes to social distance, Johnston knew that six feet was the guideline, but “if you can stay 12 (feet away), stay 12 (feet away).” Johnston also warned people not to gather in large groups.

“Let’s hang in there and let’s get over this. That’s what we want to do,” Johnston said. “We definitely don’t want Ohio County to be a hotspot.”

Johnston pointed out that not all of the new cases were residents and staff of Signature Healthcare of Hartford, but cases are all over Ohio County.

“It’s all the way across the county and all the way across the spectrum as far as where (infections) came from in the county,” Johnston said. “(Infections) came from workplaces, some from social settings, but, please, wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.”

Johnston ended the update saying he’ll have another COVID-19 update early next week.

To view Johnston’s update from the Ohio County Fiscal Court Facebook page, click here.

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