NKY Health Statement: July 1, 2019
The Kentucky Court of Appeals’ Order issued on June 26 in the Kunkel litigation is a resounding victory for public health in Kentucky. The Court of Appeals, in a thorough and extensive decision, upheld the Boone County Circuit Court’s finding that the control measures implemented by the Northern Kentucky Health Department in response to the chickenpox outbreak at Assumption Academy were reasonable, appropriate and necessary to control the spread of a highly infectious disease. If left uncontrolled, chickenpox, also known as varicella, can result in serious, if not deadly, consequences.
Supporting the actions of the Health Department, the Court of Appeals quoted the U.S. Supreme Court’s statement that, “Of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” This statement of law embraces the very mission of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, which strives every day to prevent disease, promote wellness and protect against health threats in the Northern Kentucky community.
NKY Health Statement: March 16, 2019
As has been reported in the news, a lawsuit has been filed against the Northern Kentucky Health Department and its employees, as well as other State health officials, arising from the actions taken in response to the outbreak of the highly contagious disease varicella (chickenpox) at Assumption Academy. Unfortunately, some individuals, including the attorney who filed the lawsuit, have taken to social media to spread misinformation as part of their litigation strategy. It is unfortunate when social media is used as a weapon for misinformation to advance litigation agendas and to undermine our mission to protect public health. In order to clear up any confusion caused by these self-interested and inaccurate social media posts, we are sharing with the public the actual letters which were sent by the Health Department to the parents and staff at Assumption Academy.
NKY Health Statement: March 15, 2019
We are aware of the lawsuit filed by Jerome Kunkel, and want to state that the actions taken by the Health Department with respect to Assumption Academy were done consistent with this agency’s statutory charge to protect the public health.
Chickenpox, also known as varicella, can be a very serious illness that is especially dangerous for infants and pregnant women or anyone who has a weakened immune system. The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Health Department regarding the chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy was in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness.