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MEDIA ADVISORY: COVID-19 Update

March 20, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19 Update

FLORENCE, Ky. — Currently, there have been 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. Among these 47 cases, there have been two deaths. The most recent death was a 64-year-old male from Jefferson County. Our thoughts go out to both families during this difficult time. In Northern Kentucky, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 diagnosed thus far. The patient is a 66-year-old female from Kenton County. Those who may have been exposed are being identified and contacted with instructions they must follow.

NKY Health continues to work with health care providers and other organizations to respond to COVID-19. On March 18, we received a shipment of surgical and N-95 masks, gloves and gowns from the Strategic National Stockpile, which was distributed to local first responders and hospitals.

In order to practice social distancing, as well as devote more resources to the COVID-19 response, NKY Health’s District Office and four county health centers (Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Grant) have been closed to in-person services. According to NKY Health’s District Director of Health, Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, “This was a difficult decision to make, but is absolutely necessary at this time to protect the health of the community. To the extent possible, we will continue providing services that can be done virtually and over the phone, such as WIC, breastfeeding support and HIV Case Management.”

At the state level, Governor Andy Beshear reinforced the ban on social gatherings in an effort to keep the community safe. Additionally, he announced that restaurants that have an active liquor license, that are also doing food delivery or carry out, may deliver sealed alcoholic beverages in their original containers to customers.

At this time, there are a limited number of tests available, and health care providers and systems need to be prudent in determining who needs to be tested. However, samples from Northern Kentucky are submitted daily to the state and commercial labs. Tests may become more widely available as the situation evolves, but right now there are effective steps each one of us must take to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands often with soap and water, keep your hands away from your face, avoid being within six feet of others, and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and call your health care provider for further instructions. If it is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. Your health care provider will determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

For more information, visit our COVID-19 page on www.nkyhealth.org or www.kycovid19.ky.gov. You can also call Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725. The Governor’s press releases are available here: https://governor.ky.gov/news

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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.