HAZARD< KY (April 27, 2020) The Kentucky River District Health Department (KRDHD), which covers Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe County, continues to see new cases of COVID 19 throughout the district.  Currently we have 15 cases with Perry having 6 cases, Knott having 3 cases and Leslie, Letcher and Owsley each having 2 cases.  Lee and Wolfe Counties have yet to have a lab confirmed positive case of COVID 19 in either county.

KRDHD has been very fortunate in its response to this pandemic to have a Community Support Team from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, that has been working with them to try to prevent the spread of the virus into local long-term care facilities.  This team includes a MD, a Laboratorian, an Infectious Disease Specialist, and Epidemiologists.  This team has been working to support local long-term care facilities with specialized training on the use of personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus. This training was conducted with 7 different facilities within the district.  The team has also been working on testing of nursing home staff to confirm that asymptomatic individuals are in fact not infected with the virus and unknowingly carrying it into the facilities.  All of the staff at the Wolfe County Health and Rehabilitation Center have been tested and returned negative results.

Scott Lockard, KRDHD Public Health Director, stated “We are very excited that we have been selected as a site for one of the first CDC Community Support Teams in the nation.  This team has been an invaluable resource to our partners in the KY River District.  It is a privilege to work side by side with a group of some of the most talented minds in the nation as we fight to lessen the impact of COVID 19 on our most vulnerable citizens.”  The team from the CDC is scheduled to be in the KY River District until May 8th.

As always, the best defense from the COVID 19 virus it to remain healthy at home.  Avoid mass gathering and practice social distancing keeping at least 6 feet between yourself and others if you have to be out.  Individuals should wash their hands frequently throughout the day using soap and water and use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands.  It is now recommended to wear cloth face masks if you have to be out in public.  If you are sick please contact your medical provider before just showing up at their office.  As testing capacity increases individuals should also consider getting tested at one of the upcoming drive-through clinics or at one of the area ARH facilities offering free testing.

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