As of Thursday afternoon, 208 Hardin County residents have died in the last 16 months due to COVID-19 complications, according to the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.

Of that total, 33 people had died from Aug. 16 through Sept. 16 — nearly 16% of the county’s overall death total to the virus, health district data shows.

On Aug. 16 there were 175 deaths, according to the health district, in Hardin County due to COVID-19.

Additionally, over the same period there have been 4,015 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county — 26% of the cases since the first local case was announced in late March 2020.

“August was our most infectious month since the pandemic began,” said Terrie Burgan, Health Promotion Manager/Public Information Officer for the district. “This is due in part to the delta variant. It is two times more contagious and carries a viral load 1,000 times higher than previous variants.

“Vaccination can help reduce the sting of the variant by reducing the likelihood of the virus spreading or mutating further,” she added.

The first local death was May 3, 2020 when Loida Cruz Arroyo, 66, of Puerto Rico, died for COVID-19 complications. She had been living in Radcliff nearly four months when she passed away.

As of Thursday, the county has had 15,422 confirmed vases. Of that number, 880 were active cases and 14,334 are viewed as recovered by the health district.

The county’s vaccinated population is at 55.99% for all residents, according to the Kentucky Public Health website and at 69% for residents 18 years of age and older that have received at least one vaccine shot. According to the site, the county’s estimated population is at 110,958.

In early July, 44.01% of the county’s overall population was either fully vaccinated or at least had received the first shot of the two-shot vaccines.

Burgan said the big jump in cases is a major concern.

“At this point in time, we are experiencing more cases, not deaths,” she said.

On Friday, Baptist Health Hardin reported it had 97 COVID-19 patients at the hospital — 84 unvaccinated patients and 13 vaccinated patients.

“Baptist Health Hardin staff has witnessed many deaths related to COVID-19 in recent weeks,” said Sharon Wright, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “All death is difficult, and our team has been dealing with this pandemic for over 18 months.

“This is a relentless, emotionally and physically draining experience, made even more difficult when we know that many of these deaths are preventable with the vaccine,” she added.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1404 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com

Jeff D'Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1404 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com

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