Two Hopkins Co. officials facing different experiences after contracting COVID-19

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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HOPKINS CO., Ky (WFIE) - Two Hopkins County officials recently testing positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Matt Sanderson and County Clerk Keenan Cloern say their experiences with the virus have been vastly different.

The difference between the two is their vaccination status.

Both are in their 40s, and in similar physical condition.

Sanderson is back to work, while Cloern is in the hospital.

Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield says Sanderson is vaccinated and now has no symptoms, while Cloern is struggling to breathe.

“She’s so short of breath she really can’t carry on a conversation,” Whitfield said. “We have been in communication quite a bit, and with her family. She’s not on a ventilator but she’s on high levels of oxygen.”

Whitfield says Cloern isn’t against the vaccine, but had medical reasons for not getting it. Now, Whitfield says Cloern urges others to learn from her experience.

“She has asked me to please, please tell everybody to take the vaccine because of the struggles she’s going through and now realizes, the chances with that vaccine and her health conditions, she would have been much better off,” Whitfield said.

He says based on seeing what his coworkers have gone through, you can’t assume you’re safe being unvaccinated, just because you’re young and healthy.

“I was hesitant to take the vaccine initially as well, but after seeing this, and seeing the effects on two individuals that are at least similar in age and health conditions, be affected so differently by this virus, it really is a wake-up call,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield says he and his entire office have been rooting for Cloern’s recovery, as she’s been in the hospital for five days now.

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