The widespread cases of coronavirus across the country have jumped past Laurel County thus far.

Mark Hensley, director of the Laurel County Health Department, said that as of 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laurel County.

"When we do have a confirmed case, I will be one of the first to know," he said on Saturday evening. "Any confirmed cases have to be reported to local health departments and to the (state) division of public health. As of Saturday at 6 p.m., there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Laurel County."

Hensley added that he is one of many other residents who have heard rumors of confirmed cases but wants to dispel those rumors with facts.

Hensley is one of few people still working during the coronavirus pandemic and stays on top of the state and national news releases regarding the situation.

"What we've done so far (in Kentucky) is working - the social distancing and closing public offices to the public," he said. "The Governor and new commissioner of public health are doing a great job with updates and sending out notices - sometimes several times a day. Kentucky and Kentuckians are responding well to this."

Although the Laurel County Health Department is not currently open to the public, some services are still available by contacting their office. Hensley said the department is offering essential services at their facility.

"Some non-essential services can be done by phone, such as WIC, our H.A.N.D.S. program and some other programs," he added. "This has certainly been an eye opener for me and for other people about how quickly life can change. But we are strong, and we will get through this."

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