Officials in the Owensboro-Daviess County area are urging everyone to receive a COVID-19 vaccine amid a 'dramatic surge in cases' in the area.
A joint statement released on Monday by the Daviess County Fiscal Court, the City of Owensboro, the Green River District Health Department, and Owensboro Health shared one sentiment: "Get vaccinated to slow community spread of COVID-19."
The organizations say the statement was released due to a shared concern over "the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections, as well as the increasing presence of the more easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus."
“We are seeing a dramatic surge in cases,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “It is important that we work together to drive down transmission, especially before schools reopen in August.”
“Please, consider the vaccine, as it offers the best protection against the virus,” added Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson. “Vaccines are plentiful and available at no cost to you.”
Officials say Daviess County's positive rate has risen above 15%, with the county now among several other western Kentucky counties currently in the state's "Red Zone."
Additionally, COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen from an average of three per day at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital to a daily census of 15 on July 23. To help slow the spread, OHRH is bringing back some previous safety measures.
With around 44% of Daviess County's residents currently vaccinated, health leaders are urging the unvaccinated portion of the community to get the vaccine.
“A large majority of our new cases involves unvaccinated individuals,” said Chief Medical Officer Francis DuFrayne, MD. “Even when vaccinated people contract COVID-19, their cases tend to be much less severe compared to those who are unvaccinated.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to anyone who's at least 12-years-old.