The Madison County Health Department confirmed the county’s first case of the COVID-19 virus Saturday. On Sunday, another case was confirmed.
According to the Madison County Health Department, the patient, in isolation at home and recovering. The first patient diagnosed, a 76-year-old female, is at Baptist Health in Richmond and is a resident of Madison County. Because of privacy guidelines, no other information is available on the patient.
Beginning Monday, the health department will offer a local call center to provide general COVID-19 information. This number will be available during limited hours of operation to be announced and shared as soon as possible. The number does NOT take the place of the KY COVID Hotline.
According to the health department, the risk to the general public is low, and local health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the person. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
“We believe the risk to the public is low, and as this situation evolves, we will continue to communicate with the CDC, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and the people of Madison County,” said Madison County Health Department Director Nancy Crewe. “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As we continue to recommend, there are everyday preventative actions you can take to help prevent the spread of this virus. Also, continue to adhere to Governor Andy Beshear’s social distancing guidelines and watch his regular press conferences on his Facebook page and television for updates on COVID-19.”
Recommended precautions are being taken to protect the patient and staff. The medical team is evaluating and monitoring the progress of this patient in close collaboration with the local and state health officials and the CDC.
"We have been expecting our first case in Madison County for several days, and this news was certainly expected,' Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley said in a post on the city's Facebook page. "My recommendation for all citizens is to continue taking appropriate precautions by following the guidelines set by our State Government at www.kycovid19.ky.gov and our Federal Government at www.cdc.gov . It is up to all of us to follow this guidance, to remain calm and cooperative, to be strong, and help one another."
The health department offered these tips:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
• By respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
• These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, dry cough or shortness of breath. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms should first contact their local health department or health care provider. A state hotline (800) 722-5725 is available to help Kentuckians who have questions or need help. For more information visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov.