During the past two months of uncertainty, one thing has become abundantly clear: It takes a united community doing what is being asked of it to weather a global health pandemic. Fortunately, Franklin County is doing much better than neighboring counties, the state and the nation when it comes to containing the spread of COVID-19.
The proof is in the numbers.
According to the latest data from the Kentucky Department of Public Health, .03% of the county’s 51,531 residents has been diagnosed with the virus. Of the six neighboring counties — Anderson (.039%), Henry (.054%), Scott (.055%), Woodford (.063%) and Shelby (.101%) — only Owen (.008%) fared better.
Franklin County’s rate is more than four times lower than the state's infection rate and about 10 times lower than the national rate. Of the state’s 4.468 million residents, there have been 6,440 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — roughly .144% of the population. Nationally, more than 1.2 million Americans (.3%) have contracted the virus.
Scott and Shelby, the two surrounding counties with populations similar to Franklin, also have significantly more positive cases of COVID-19. Shelby has 49 cases among its population of 48,584. Of Scott County’s 57,532 residents, 32 have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The current Franklin County Health Department confirmed case count is 16.
Health experts generally agree that the actual number of COVID-19 cases is likely much higher than the recorded amount due to the fact that the majority of people who contract the virus have little to no symptoms and, in turn, no reason to think they need to get tested.
While Franklin County residents deserve a pat on the back for adhering to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to help curb the spread of the virus, we believe the real test will be how well we do as the city, county and state start to reopen.
It’s important that we don’t let off the gas and continue to heed the advice of local health officials and leaders; practice social distancing; and wear face masks in public as we navigate the new normal. After all, everything we’ve done up to this point has been a warmup; it’s how we perform now that it's crunch time that determines our ultimate outcome.