By Lee Bratcher/OC Monitor
HARTFORD, Ky. — Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston provided a livestreamed update to the county about the latest COVID-19 information. During his update, he announced a county magistrate and his wife had contracted the disease.
Johnston began his update on the current state of the county when it comes to COVID-19 and its efforts to slow the spread of the disease.
“It’s not good, folks, and it’s getting worse and worse,” Johnston said.
As Johnston read the recent COVID-19 stats from the Green River District Health Department, he said of the 14 Ohio Countians who died due to COVID-19 complications, he knew “very well.”
“We need to drop this myth, that you’ve already got to be sick for (COVID-19) to kill you. You do not,” Johnston said. “Many people have died and even if they did have (a pre-existing condition), they would have lived for many years, had COVID-19 not hit them. We need to get rid of that idea. It could get any of us.”
Johnston then revealed a county magistrate and his wife had COVID-19.
“Of the 161 that we have sick now, it includes (Fifth District) Magistrate Larry Morphew, who gave me permission to use his name, he and his wife are ill,” Johnston said. “He wasn’t able to make the last fiscal court meeting because he was quarantined with COVID-19.”
Johnston stated it was believed the Morphews would recover soon.
Next Johnston talked about the new restrictions handed down by Governor Andy Beshear.
“One of the strongest recommendations, and the hardest one to do, is we strongly encourage folks not to visit for Thanksgiving this year,” Johnston said. “Celebrate with the immediate family that lives in your household. And if you do have others over, make sure it’s only one household and the total of your family and their’s doesn’t exceed eight people.”
Johnston went on to say the county wasn’t going to be checking houses and counting people.
“It’s up to you to be responsible yourself and just don’t do it,” Johnston said. “It’d be better to have the hopes of a good Thanksgiving celebration next year, than not having one by having one this year. It could ruin your holidays for many years.”
Johnston was optimistic about the reports of the vaccine trials and the better treatments available for those who have COVID-19. He also expressed hope to see “some improvement” in early 2021.
Johnston ended his update by reminding Ohio Countians there are things that can be done to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask, maintaining good social distance and washing your hands often are great ways to slow the spread.
“Please be responsible. Let’s try to bring an end to this. We don’t know everything you can do to prevent it, but wearing a mask is one point that we know you can do. And it shows you care. If you wear your mask, it’s showing what you can do to prevent the spread, Johnston said. “Personally, if I see someone who’s not wearing a mask, I think they don’t really care about other folks’ health.”