Across both the commonwealth and the Green River District Health Department (GRDHD) area, cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) rose over the weekend, but so are the numbers of confirmed cases that have been declared “recovered” by health officials.

On Monday, GRDHD reported an additional four cases in its seven county region, including three in Henderson County and one in Webster County. On Tuesday, GRDH reported 19 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases — 8 in Daviess County, 4 in Henderson County, 4 in Ohio County and 3 in Webster County.

“Availability of COVID-19 testing remains to be a national, state, and local challenge,” said Clay Horton, GRDHD Public Health Director. “The health department frequently receives the question about how many COVID-19 tests have been performed locally. We know it is not as many as we need. However it is extremely difficult to get accurate data about this. Most of the local tests are being sent to a number of private or commercial laboratories that are performing these tests. While positive results are required to be reported to the health department by the health care provider and the laboratories, the local health department does not typically receive the negative result reports.”

Sunday was the worst reporting day for Kentucky since testing began in earnest, with 273 new confirmed cases of the virus across the state. That brings the state’s total to 2,960 confirmed cases.

“We’ve had our highest number of new cases today,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “That doesn’t mean we are not on the right track; we are. This is just how this virus works.”

The new total includes the results from over 900 tests administered in Kenton County as part of the state’s new partnership with Kroger Health. That partnership expanded this week with new testing centers coming online in Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset and Pikeville.

Testing is free to those who qualify, with the hope of expanding Kentucky test results by 20,000 over the next five weeks. Those tested are expected to get results back within 48 hour.

The Madisonville drive-through testing location, located at Madisonville-North Hopkins High School, is open to Webster County residents, but everyone wanting to be tested needs an appointment.

Those needing to be tested should consult their healthcare provider or long onto the Kroger Health website to take an assessment test. The assessment is available at: https://www.thelittleclinic.com/drivethru-testing.

The Madisonville testing site is expecting to do a little over 300 tests per day. According to the governor’s office, the overall goal of the partnership is to conduct 20,000 additional tests across Kentucky over the next five weeks.

As testing increases across the commonwealth, it is likely that the number of positive test will as well, meaning that anyone who tracks the number of new positive tests will see a large spike over the next few weeks.

Statewide, of the confirmed 2,960 cases of COVID-19, 1,122 (38%) have been officially listed as fully recovered. In the GRDHD region, 100 of the confirmed 200 cases are considered recovered (50%). For Webster County 6 of 11 cases (54%) are now being considered fully recovered.

“The criteria for ‘recovered’ or resolved we are using is the patient must be symptom free for 72 hours and at least 7 days past initial symptom onset (whichever is longer),” said Horton. “We track this by having a nurse or case manager call every case everyday and interviewing them about their symptoms and status. We update those numbers in our reports once a day. It has normally been taking patients 2-3 weeks to recover. We have seen some take shorter and some longer.”

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069