PUBLIC INFORMATION BRIEF
March 16, 2020
Developed from Governor Beshear’s daily press releases as well as the most current guidance from the CDC. This guidance will continue to change as circumstances warrant.
As of March 16, 2020, 21 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) in Kentucky. Harrison and Jefferson Counties have 6 positive tests each, Fayette County has 5 positives, and Bourbon, Clark, Montgomery, and Nelson Counties each have one positive case.
- Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) State Health Operations Center is activated at level one – fully activated – and the State Emergency Operations Center is also activated. The Lake Cumberland District Health Department Department Operations Center (DOC) is also activated at this time. We have been in discussion with community partners and are coordinating efforts.
- KDPH has developed a web page with resources to keep Kentuckians up to date on recent guidance:
KDPH has developed a hotline for the public to utilize to ask general questions: 1-800-722-5725
- It is advised that all community gatherings be cancelled
- Restaurants and bars will close to in-person service. Drive through and pickup
meals will still be permitted.
- Unemployment waiting period will be waived for those losing jobs due to COVID-19 while the state of emergency is in effect.
- State Capitol is closed to nonessential personnel.
- Recommended childcare centers create plans so if needed they can close within 72 hours
- All 172 school districts, the Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the
Deaf will close
- Avoid all non-essential travel. Do not fly. Do not participate in cruise travel.
- Recommend the temporary closure of senior centers to help halt the spread of the virus
for those most vulnerable
- All state prisons are closed to visitors
- Recommend businesses to utilize telecommuting and allow employees to work from
home if possible
- State boards and commissions have canceled any scheduled in-person meetings and
instead will use video teleconference technology
- Hospitals are asked to cease elective procedures by Wednesday March 18th.
This guidance will continue to change as circumstances warrant.
COMMUNITY PREVENTION MEASURES
The following community prevention measures are recommended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:
- Practice social distancing (6 feet away).
- Cancel places of worship and large gatherings temporarily due to close proximity.
- Urge businesses to allow employees to tele-commute and to provide paid sick leave.
- Spread out during meetings by increasing the distance between seats and other similar actions. · Implement environmental surface cleaning measures in homes, businesses, and other locations, including frequently touched surfaces and objects, i.e., tables, doorknobs, toys, desks, and computer keyboards. Use regular household cleaning spray or wipes as recommended by CDC.
People at Higher Risk for COVID-19 Complications
- Adults over 60 and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. If you are at increased risk for COVID-19, it is especially important for you to take the following actions to reduce your risk of exposure:
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact (6 feet away) and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds.
Kentucky’s Response to COVID-19 Use these links for further information.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL CONCERNS
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations, due to widespread, sustained, ongoing transmission in the following countries: China, Iran, most European Countries, United Kingdom and Ireland. Most foreign nationals who have been in one of these countries during the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States.
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea. No restriction on entry to the United States.
If you have traveled outside the country, monitor yourself for fever and other symptoms of the COVID-19, including cough and shortness of breath, for 14 days after the day you return. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself from others in your home and contact your healthcare provider or local health department. Call your provider prior to going to the healthcare facility to alert them to your symptoms.
While the immediate risk of this new virus to Kentuckians is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat.
- It is flu and respiratory disease season. LCDHD recommends getting a flu vaccine, covering your cough and washing your hands frequently.
- If you are a health care provider, remember to take a patient travel history for all patients, especially those with fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Contact KDPH with any questions at 1-800-722-5725 or call your local health care provider.
- Stay up to date on the situation on CDC’s website: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- At this time, CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID19.
- Masks should be reserved for people who are sick, so they can protect others from getting infected. If you are sick (i.e., people with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infection, including patients under investigation who do not need to be hospitalized; and people with confirmed COVID-19 infection who were hospitalized and determined to be medically stable to go home), you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
- Everyone should practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- You do not need to go to a hospital emergency department unless your illness is severe. Only seriously ill persons should seek care at a hospital. If you develop severe symptoms such as deep chest pain or difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider right away. You may need to go to the hospital. Anyone who experiences symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, or fever should contact their primary care doctor first.
- Contact your primary care physician’s office prior to your arrival and update them on your symptoms. If you feel you are in an emergency situation, please call the ER prior to your arrival to alert them to your symptoms.
- Stay home if you are sick, and avoid sick people.