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MEDIA ADVISORY: First Reported Case of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky

March 18, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Reported Case of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky

 FLORENCE, Ky. — Northern Kentucky has its first case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The individual is a 66 year-old female, and resides in Kenton County. The individual is in isolation at St. Elizabeth Hospital at Ft. Thomas.

A virtual press conference is planned for Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 PM. Log in information will be provided to local media.

COVID-19 ranges from a mild to severe upper respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Most people who are infected with COVID-19 have a mild to moderate illness recover at home. However, some people are more likely to have severe illness requiring hospitalization, including the elderly and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and lung diseases.

According to Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, NKY Health’s District Director of Health, there is no reason to panic. “We have been planning for the possibility of cases here in Northern Kentucky. All of us must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by frequently washing our hands; avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth; avoiding close contact with ill people; covering coughs and sneezes properly; and staying home when we are sick.”

The Northern Kentucky Health Department continues to work with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and local health care providers to monitor and screen for potential cases, educate the public on what they can do to prevent the spread of illness, and stay up to date on the latest information.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, and have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about any recent travel, and/or if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, and your symptoms. You should also avoid contact with others to prevent them from becoming sick.

At this time, most people in our area will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus, but it is likely that additional cases could be identified in the coming days and weeks. Protect yourself and your family from disease by washing your hands and cleaning/disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others, and avoid non-essential travel.

For more information on COVID-19, including what you and your family can do to stay well, please visit https://nkyhealth.org/individual-or-family/health-alerts/coronavirus/

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The Northern Kentucky Health Department provides high quality public health services to more than 400,000 residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties, with a goal of preventing disease, promoting wellness and protecting against health threats. The Health Department seeks to be a nationwide leader in public health, and was one of the first in the country to earn national public health accreditation. For more information, visit www.nkyhealth.org.