According to the Johnson County Health Department, confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Johnson County, with 31 new cases confirmed on Nov. 23 alone. This increase in cases has led to new restrictions statewide, which will affect holiday plans for Johnson County citizens and Kentucky residents statewide.

This rise in cases brings Johnson County to a total of approximately 814 cumulative cases since the pandemic began, the statement said, 196 currently active cases, nine people currently hospitalized due to the disease and 12 total deaths from the virus, as of the evening of Nov. 23.

These numbers, when compared to last week’s numbers at the same point during the week, represent an approximately 12.8 percent increase in active cases and a 16.3 percent increase in cumulative cases. Those numbers, last week, were 171 active cases, 682 cumulative cases and 10 concurrent hospitalizations, respectively.

Since last week, nine more Johnson County citizens have died from the virus, bringing that total to 12.

Johnson County Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie urged that Johnson County citizens should follow the state’s guidelines as the holidays approach, limiting gatherings to no more than eight persons from no more than two households gathered at a time.

“We do have escalating cases, we had 31 new cases yesterday and three deaths,” McKenzie said. “We’d urge everybody to follow the guidance from the governor and public health officials.”

On Nov. 18, Gov. Andy Beshear announced some new restrictions for the state.

The restrictions included a limitation on indoor private gatherings to no more than two immediate families, not to exceed a total of eight people; a limitation on attendance at venue spaces, including funerals and weddings, but not houses of worship, to 25 people per room; no indoor dining will be allowed at restaurants and bars, but delivery and to-go, as well as outdoor serving, will be allowed, and mask restrictions will remain in place; restrictions on gyms, bowling alleys, pools and similar facilities to 33 percent occupancy, with masks required, and group classes are prohibited (KHSAA has decided to postpone all fall sports and practices until after Dec. 13, and that will be applied for all indoor recreation facilities, meaning no indoor practices for sports teams. Individual practices will be allowed, but masks are required); and schools will cease in-person instruction beginning Nov. 23 and move to remote instructions (middle and high schools will remain in remote instruction until Jan. 4, and elementary schools, under the restrictions, may reopen on Dec. 7, if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at School guidance).

No restrictions, Beshear said, will be required of retail businesses nor hospitals and non-emergency procedures. The new restrictions took effect at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20, and will run through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of the reported symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Anyone of any age can contract the virus. However, older adults and people who are immunocompromised or who have severe underlying medical conditions — including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, COPD, obesity, asthma, hypertension or high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, chronic kidney disease and liver disease — have a higher risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19.

According to the CDC, the primary ways to protect against contracting or spreading the virus is to do frequent hand washing, maintain social distancing (keeping six feet apart from others) and wearing a face mask or facial covering when around others.

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