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Kentucky county sees major spike in COVID-19 cases, including 10 children

An increase in testing is partly to blame for some cases in Warren County, but a medical center is seeing another alarming sign.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A day after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that 71 of 115 new COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth were from Warren County, a park was closed to make way for a drive-thru testing site. The plan was in place before Monday’s announcement and is part of a larger strategy to get more testing done in the Southern Kentucky community.

But this location, advocates say, was purposeful as Preston Miller park is near a racially diverse part of this community. They are looking to get more testing to populations they fear are at risk and under-served.

“I think the whole response with a pandemic like this when there are language barriers and other institutional barriers to accessing resources to information and services has become really, really critical," Leyda Becker said.

Becker is the International Communities Liaison for Bowling Green. She and a team of interpreters were at this testing site, and said many in the immigrant communities here work at jobs deemed essential or have no promise of pay if they become ill so fear motivates them to take risks others may not.

Pharmacist Travis Hudnall said they have stepped up testing efforts. According to the Barren River District Health Department, Warren County is now at 596 positive tests. 71 were reported Monday.

“It's hard to say that all of them came from the test sites," Hudnall said, “but I'd say it's helped get out some real numbers for sure.”

Med Center Health put out a news release saying they don't think just an increase in testing accounts for the increase in positives. They announced that they have seen an increase in admissions. One of their doctors believes that she contracted coronavirus from someone connected to an elderly family member.

Beshear said the county and surrounding areas are places that need focus, announcing at least 10 children in Warren County have contracted the virus. The governor said the kids range from one- to 12-years-old.

"Our hearts are with the residents of Warren County," Beshear said. "It's a lot of kids, it's families, it's all age groups."

An hour from the site is the Perdue chicken processing plant were 1,000 workers were tested last week. Some of those workers are immigrants who drive an hour from Bowling Green to work in Ohio County. 

As of this morning, state officials reported only 2 new cases tied to that plant. 

RELATED: Daycare owners concerned about reopening as second Kentucky child fights rare COVID-related illness

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