WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Woodford County church that was the site of a major COVID-19 outbreak early July is set to reopen its doors for in-person service this Sunday.
Kind's Way Church pastor Jeff Johnson says at least 63 members of their congregation have tested positive for the virus. Four of them have been hospitalized. Some have been released since.
They started hosting online to be safe. Johnson says as of now the majority are healed and past their time of quarantine. He told Lex 18 the greatest battle has been the incubation period- the time people were infected and had no idea.
This comes as some of the samples sent to a lab came back positive for the delta variant. The Woodford County Public Health Director Cassie Prather says the outbreak is under control, but the variant's presence should be a stark warning for others.
"This isn't over. Wait, we still have a way to go," said Prather.
Early on Prather suspected the variant played a role in the intense spread.
"It's worrisome because it is. It's highly infectious," explained Prather.
It appears the outbreak was one of the first instances of the delta variant making its way across central Kentucky.
Prather says since they've seen an increase in cases overall.
"We had 16 cases reported, just over the weekend and we hadn't had a caseload like that in months," said Prather.
However, since notifying the public, they've seen a 50% increase in people looking to be vaccinated.
"We've had two days where we've seen increased numbers of those folks that want to get the vaccine. We have our vaccine clinics every Wednesday here in Versailles, and the past two Wednesdays we've seen a lot of people come in because they heard about the cluster the outbreak and their concern and they were on the fence I guess they're considered to be part of that movable middle, and they were very excited to get the vaccine now," said Prather.
She says this is not just this one church's story. It could be anybody. Most importantly once you reach a hospital it's too late to ask for a vaccine.
"If they haven't had the vaccine. There usually is some type of regret, with that, because by that time, It is, it's too late, you know, they've already been infected you can't go back. It takes a while to build those antibodies," she explained.
Johnson is asking the community for their though and prayers for those impacted.