The Hopkins County Health Department says that 62 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified within its community over the past week, and officials in the county are laying the blame on 4th of July celebrations and the Delta variant.
The health department said that the large spike in new COVID-19 cases was likely due to activities and gatherings from the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield theorized that the large number of new positive cases could also be a product of the Delta variant, which experts consider to be more contagious.
"We have not had any positive tests for the Delta variant yet, but the number of tests being performed to determine the variant is fairly small," said Judge-Executive Whitfield. "I'd say I'm fairly certain that the Delta variant is here in Hopkins County, and that's probably one of the reasons why we're seeing the increased spread because it is more contagious."
Both Whitfield and the health department are continuing to urge the unvaccinated population to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, stressing that herd immunity has not yet been reached within the community.
"Once herd immunity is reached disease gradually disappears from a community," the health department said. "This is not the case, as the cases have been increasing, not decreasing."
Hopkins County is currently in the "Orange" on Kentucky's COVID-19 Incidence Rate map, indicating an accelerated spread of COVID-19 in the community. With cases on the rise, the health department says the county is "working its way back towards the Red."