The Johnson County Health Department has released updated information on COVID-19 for the community.

According to the Public Health Director for the JCHD, Julie Bush, as of Monday, June 29, there are a total of nine cases for Johnson County, seven of which have recovered and two that are still active.

Bush then warned a travel advisory from the state regarding Kentuckians traveling to Myrtle Beach, South  As “The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) issued an advisory last Thursday, June 25 for Kentucky residents who have traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, over the past two weeks,” she said

She then referenced an excerpt from the advisory, which stated, “A situation arose in Kentucky when a group traveled to Myrtle Beach on June 11 and returned on June 14. At least nine members of the group tested positive for COVID-19. Another cluster may be linked to a trip to Myrtle Beach the first week of June. An additional COVID-19-positive Kentucky resident was exposed during travel in mid-June to Myrtle Beach.

DPH, along with local health departments are advising Kentucky residents who have traveled to Myrtle Beach in the past two weeks to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.”

The statement continued, “Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s Public Health commissioner, said, “If you or someone to whom you are close has been to Myrtle Beach in the past two weeks, please be aware that you have a good probability of having been exposed to the novel coronavirus.”  He added, “Please avoid contact with those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly and anyone with significant medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

According to the statement, anyone who has recently traveled to the popular vacation destination should watch for the following symptoms:

• A fever of 100.4 degrees or higher

• Respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulty

• Loss of smell or taste

If any of these symptoms are present, the person should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The statement continued, “Multiple states have reported a rise in COVID-19 cases, and the guidance should be applied more broadly, including social situations where people gathered in numbers of 10 or greater and in situations where people are not observing recommended precautions, including practicing social distancing and wearing a cloth mask when in public or in groups. Kentuckians should also practice thorough and frequent hand-washing.”

Bush said the Johnson County community wants to be diligent and continue to follow public health guidance.

“We must not let our guard down at this point, as we are now seeing an increase in the number of cases across Eastern Kentucky and the state,” she said. “We must continue to practice good hand hygiene — wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, then use hand sanitizer. We must also continue to practice social distancing — at least 6 feet apart from others who are not in your own household. Keep your distance. In the absence of a vaccine or a cure, these are the only defenses we have, along with wearing a mask, to protect ourselves and others. The health department urges Johnson County citizens to wear a mask when in public and also when social distancing is not possible. It is one of the most important things we can do to protect each other. It will protect not only yourself, but others around you. We must be mindful of those around us, so please consider the vulnerable and the elderly in your decision to wear a mask. Remember, you don’t have to be experiencing symptoms to spread the virus to others. You could be a carrier and not know it.”

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