Public Information Brief 5.4.20 6:00 PM EDT

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The Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) at the current time has experienced 178 Positive/Presumptive Positive cases in our 10-county district.­ Regardless of the confirmed case count for any Lake Cumberland County, we believe COVID-19 to be widespread.  LCDHD is working with the Kentucky Department for Public Health to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with them.

We had one new case today in Russell County. We had no new deaths. We released two cases today from isolation. We have released 73% of our cumulative confirmed cases from isolation.

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).
  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Personal Prevention Measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water aren’t readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with a fever, coughing, sneezing, and having difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • 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. You can also use a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • If you are over 60 or have underlying medical conditions that may make catching the disease more dangerous, please stay home as much as possible at this time.
  • Purchase several weeks’ worth of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time and to decrease the number of trips to purchase supplies.

 Community Prevention Measures:

  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others in public.
  • Implement environmental surface cleaning measures in homes, businesses, and other locations. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces and objects. Use regular household cleaning spray or wipes as recommended by the CDC. You can also use a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • In following with Governor Andy Beshears’ order, no social gatherings such as church services, funerals, weddings, etc. will be permitted.
  • Retail businesses are closed except for those exempted by the Governor’s order. Those that remain open must observe social distancing for staff and customers. Restaurants are closed except for drive-through and delivery.  No dining room service is allowed.
  • Wear a face mask while in public where social distancing is not possible, such as at the grocery, doctor’s office, or hospital.

  What to do if you feel ill:

  • If you have not had symptoms and you begin to feel feverish or develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your doctor or local health department to determine whether you need a medical evaluation. You should self-isolate at home. Wear a mask if you have one when interacting with members of your household and practice social distancing. Continue to take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.  Do not leave home until you have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without any fever-reducing medication, your other symptoms have improved, AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. It’s best to not seek medical care in an emergency department unless you have symptoms of severe illness. Severe symptoms include high or very low body temperature, shortness of breath, confusion, or feeling you might pass out.
  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening, for example if you have difficulty breathing. Before going to a doctor’s office or hospital, call your doctor and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.
  • There have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, but the CDC still recommends that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.
  • Put on a face mask before you enter a healthcare facility or any time you may come into contact with others.

How can I protect myself while caring for someone that may have COVID-19?

  • Stay in another room or be separated from the person as much as possible. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Extra precautions:

  • You both should wear a face mask while you are in the same room.
  • Wear a face mask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the person’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine.
    • Do not reuse gloves. Wash the facemask if it is made of cloth or throw away the disposable mask.
    • First remove and throw away gloves at once when you finish. Do not reuse gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and launder a cloth facemask or throw away the disposable face mask. Immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not share household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with the person who is sick. After the person uses these items, wash them thoroughly. Use disposable dishes to decrease the chance of exposure.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe. You can also use a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly in hot water
    • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands immediately after removing your gloves.
  • Place all used disposable gloves, face masks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items.

What LCDHD is doing:

  •  Performing case and close contact investigations and issuing isolation and quarantine orders for positive COVID-19 cases and high-risk close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Responding to issues of non-compliance with the Governor’s order to close down businesses specifically told to shut down for a period of time and also operating businesses not complying with precautionary measures.
  • Providing weekly meetings to update the media and public on COVID-19 in our region.
  • Planning for mass immunization clinics once a vaccine is available in our area.
  • Working with healthcare partners to increase testing capacity.
  • Asking for donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the community at large.
  • Consulting with long-term care facilities regarding best practices for preventing COVID-19; and, responding to positive cases.
  • Researching becoming a COVID-19 Testing Management Center to facilitate increased testing at area medical facilities.

To help answer questions, the Kentucky Department of Public Health has created a hotline to answer questions at 1-800-722-5725.

Additional information can also be obtained by going to their COVID-19 website at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/pages/covid19.aspx

The CDC also has a COVID-19 website that can be reached here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Lake Cumberland District Health Department’s website can be reached here:

https://www.lcdhd.org