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Four in Boyle diagnosed with COVID-19; Officials to hold semi-weekly updates for public

 

Four Boyle County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. One person is an Ephraim McDowell Health Associate and was hospitalized on Saturday. The other victims are recovering at home. The third and fourth victims were identified on Monday according to a news release from EMH . In response, local city and county officials will be having a live streaming event every Monday and Thursday afternoon to address the public’s concerns about the pandemic in this area.

Monday afternoon Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt, Danville Mayor Mike Perros and Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder addressed the county via a YouTube live streaming event. Wilder said they will continue meeting with the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic every Monday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. To sign in to the upcoming Thursday afternoon meeting, people should go to Boyleky.com and click on the Boyle County Media button on the right side of the screen.

He also encouraged residents to call (859) 936-6865 if they have questions, concerns or remarks for officials. Residents may call this number at any time, Wilder said. They may also call the number during the next live streaming meeting, he added. Other officials will be invited to speak to the public and answer questions if need be, he added.

Hunt said calling the number is a great way for residents to “touch base” with their local officials.

All three officials also stressed the importance of the public to practice social distancing. “This is really, really serious folks, Perros said.

Hunt said, “I want to appeal to each of you … we need your help even more so.” He said they’ve seen images posted on social media from large areas in this community, “that we all have come to see as a necessity for life,” like Walmart, Lowe’s Tractor Supply, Kroger and Aldi’s. “We ask that you responsibly take it upon yourself to help keep a 6-foot separation,” when shopping.

He added, “One cart, one person. Get what you need and get out.”

Two of Boyle County’s COVID-19 victims are 27 and 48-year-old individuals, Hunt said. “Nobody is exempt from the potential of being infected by this virus. Don’t think because you’re young, you’re not going to get it.” 

On Saturday, Ephraim McDowell Health infectious disease team, in conjunction with the Boyle County Health Department’s epidemiology team, began tracking individuals who had close contact with the new cases who are at risk of infection. Those individuals will be instructed on proper quarantine measures and monitored to safeguard their own and the public’s health. 

This notice is intended to create more caution within our community instead of additional anxiety because reports indicate 80 percent of people infected will develop only mild symptoms, said BCHD Director Brent Blevins.

Blevins said his staff has begun sending out letters to those who have come in contact with those who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. “We expected this to happen,” he said. “We’re in the investigative process which is designed to ensure the best protection for the public and to slow the spread of Covid-19.”

On Monday, Blevins said Individuals not contacted by BCHD are considered as having no more risk than the general public at this time. 

The hospital was also notified on Sunday that the first person in Washington County had tested positive for Covid-19. There is no other information on this person at this time.

According to an EMH news release, Ephraim McDowell Health has taken specific steps for the protection of its patients and associates. 

No visitors are allowed at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital or Ephraim McDowell James B. Haggin Hospital. There are some exceptions such as births, passing patients, patient sitters and those who are power of attorney or health care surrogates for a patient. 

 

What if you have COVID-19 symptoms?

 

Call (859) 936-8350 if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or if you have a fever, sore throat or breathing difficulties. A nurse answering the call will assess your symptoms and advise you of the steps you should follow.

That may include a visit to your primary care provider, a visit to your local Emergency Room or a visit to one of Ephraim McDowell’s three testing facilities. The three testing facilities are the Hope Clinic (105 Daniel Drive, Danville), Ephraim McDowell Haggin Primary Care (470 Linden Avenue, Suite 5, Harrodsburg) and Immediate & Primary Care at Fort Logan Hospital (110 Metker Trail, Stanford). Do not go to one of these testing facilities unless you are directed to by the Ephraim McDowell Call Center or an Ephraim McDowell health care provider.

 For those with further questions about this illness, please call the Covid-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725, visit the Kentucky Covid-19 website at kycovid19.ky.gov or visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

Other instructions suggested by the BCHS include:

  • Stay home — If you are worried, but well, please stay home. Going to a hospital or doctor’s office for information could overwhelm medical staff.
  • Call for advice — If you are ill, but wouldn’t have sought care if not for worry about COVID-19, do not seek care at an ER, hospital or doctor’s office. If you want advice on whether your symptoms require a visit to a healthcare provider, call your local healthcare provider or the Kentucky state hotline.
  • Seek care — If you are sick and feel you have a medical emergency, please call your doctor or seek medical care. Be sure to inform medical staff of your symptoms in advance.

Please see the KYCOVID-19 website and boylecountyhealthdept.com for updated details. 

Specific populations including adults over 60 and people with serious health conditions (i.e., diabetes, lung and heart disease) are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. Individuals of these populations plus their loved ones or caretakers, must make special efforts to adhere to the preventive measures outlined below. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap/water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.