Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Grayson County Sheriff Battling Coronavirus, Stresses Importance of Masks

Grayson County Sheriff's Department

The sheriff of Grayson County is urging the public to wear masks to stave off the spread of COVID-19 amid his own battle with the respiratory virus.

Sheriff Norman Chaffins says he, his wife, and son have all tested positive for the coronavirus.  He thinks his family contracted the virus during a trip out west in in June.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Chaffins said his illness started as a low-grade fever on July 4.  Shortly after that, he lost his sense of taste and smell and developed a severe headache.  Other symptoms followed, including a cough, sore throat, nausea, intense stomach ache, and bone and joint pain.  He also described being unable to sleep and developing hallucinations. 

"I consider myself a tough guy," Chaffins wrote. "But I am telling you that It brought me down QUICK and there is nothing I can do about it. I am not in control and at times think i am losing it."

Chaffins wrote he’s had the flu, mumps, chicken pox, measles, a broken neck, and a total knee replacement. He said all of those combined don’t compare to the “hell” he’s experienced over the past week from COVID-19.  While he practiced social distancing, Chaffins said he didn’t always wear a mask and now he’s paying the price. 

"One thing that is worse than battling the virus is battling the heaviness of the burden that we could have infected someone else," Chaffins said in his Facebook post. 

Kentucky has seen an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases and Governor Andy Beshear has mandated the wearing of masks in public places.  The order is being challenged by the state attorney general’s office.

Meanwhile, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department is operating as normal while Sheriff Chaffins recovers from COVID-19. 

Lt. Dennis Poteet told WKU Public Radio that the ten deputies and support staff remain on the job, and there are no plans at this point for them to get tested. He said the sheriff has not been in the office since returning from vacation, and no employees should have been exposed. 

The office continues to take preventive measures such as social distancing and disinfecting.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
Related Content