Oldham County health officials worry COVID-19 surge caused by people not wearing masks

WAVE News 7-7:30pm M-F Recurring - clipped version
Teresa Gamsky, director of the Oldham County Department of Public Health.
Teresa Gamsky, director of the Oldham County Department of Public Health. (Source: Tori Gessner, WAVE 3 News)
The director of the Oldham County Department of Public Health said many people and businesses have refused to comply with the statewide mask mandate.
The director of the Oldham County Department of Public Health said many people and businesses have refused to comply with the statewide mask mandate. (Source: Tori Gessner, WAVE 3 News)

LA GRANGE, Ky. (WAVE) - Health officials in Oldham County are worried about a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Sunday saw 96 new cases bringing the total number of cases to “well over 400,” Teresa Gamsky, director of Oldham County Department of Public Health said.

Gamsky said there are a few main reasons for the spike: an recent outbreak at the Kentucky State Reformatory where around 150 inmates were infected, people traveling and members of the public refusing to wear a mask.

“I think we have this attitude anymore that it’s not a big deal, and that I have my individual rights, but this is a public health issue where our collective behaviors matter in ending this virus,” Gamsky said.

Gamsky said many people and businesses have refused to comply with the statewide mask mandate. Despite that, Oldham County health officials have not issued any citations yet. Gamsky said they want to first focus on educating people about how a mask can help slow the spread.

“Public health has become so political, when our mission is to mitigate contagious disease, and we’ve always done that the way we’re doing it today,” Gamsky said.

According to the CDC, new studies show wearing a mask can help block respiratory droplets from spraying onto another person in close proximity. Gamsky said masks could be the key to returning to a new sense of normalcy.

A lot of people are becoming less cooperative, and that impacts our ability to ensure that the remainder of their family and their contacts remain healthy, and of course it always impacts our ability to function as a society,” Gamsky said.

To see a full break down of positive COVID-19 cases across the state, click here.

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