Frankfort and Franklin County officials continue to encourage residents to wear face masks in public as the number of positive COVID-19 cases rises.
“When you go out in public think of others and wear your mask because that is a sign that you care about others in our community,” stressed Mayor Bill May during a local update that was recorded Monday but, due to technical difficulties, was not made available to the public until Tuesday.
“I wear one every time I go out and just ask that you do too, please.”
Franklin County Health Department Director Judy Mattingly said due to numerous reopenings last month the total number of local COVID-19 cases nearly tripled — rising from 34 in May to 94 in June.
“So as a community we really have to go back to being diligent like we were at the beginning and really try to get those numbers lowered down,” she said.
To date, there have been 149 confirmed coronavirus cases in Franklin County — 105 have recovered and 39 remain active. One patient is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and five Franklin Countians have died.
Health department officials have noticed an increase in the number of contacts each victim has due to people going out more.
“We currently have 69 active contacts that we’re calling. So, when you add that to our 39 active cases, that’s over 108 contacts that we’re making every single day and you can double that because every person gets called by us twice a day,” Mattingly added.
The health department monitors those who have been in contact with a COVID-19 victim by recording their temperature every morning and evening.
“Because it is self-reported we have no doubt that there are more contacts,” said FCHD Deputy Director Brittany Parker.
Health officials also note that the age demographic in recent cases is younger.
“Most of our new cases are in the 40 and younger age range,” Mattingly said. “And pediatric — less than 18 years of age — continues to grow also.”
An age breakdown of the confirmed cases shows that the 41-50 age group leads with 25 cases, followed by the 81-plus category with 23; and the 20-30 age bracket with 22.
Mattingly added that nearly half of the confirmed cases in Franklin County have been asymptomatic — meaning they did not exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, a loss sense of taste or smell, vomiting and diarrhea.
“Wear masks, wash your hands now more than ever. Maintain 6 feet social distance and if you feel sick, stay home,” she said. “(There is an) increase in case numbers that we are still expecting.”