COVID-19 safety tips for Thanksgiving

Give thanks, not COVID-19!

Follow these tips to reduce your risk of being exposed to, getting or spreading COVID-19 during Thanksgiving!

  • Traveling increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with. Avoid high-traffic public areas, such as bathrooms and dining spaces.
  • Wear a mask at all times when around people.
  • Avoid potluck-style gatherings and encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. Limit traffic where food is being prepared or handled. Do not share serving utensils.
  • Disinfect all resuables when the event is over.

(English & en español) LFCHD to give FREE flu shots

(Haga clic aquí para el español.)

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is giving you the chance to fight the flu for free while maintaining safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Monday, Oct. 5, flu shots will also be available for free all season by appointment only at LFCHD’s Public Health Clinic, 650 Newtown Pike. Please call 859-288-2444 to make an appointment, starting Oct. 5; walk-ins will not be accepted due to requirements to maintain physical distancing in the clinic.

“An annual flu shot is the best way to fight the flu each fall and winter,” LFCHD spokesperson Kevin Hall said. “The flu shot is especially important this season as we remain in the COVID-19 pandemic. It can help reduce the overall impact on respiratory illnesses on the population, which will lessen the burden on our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Last flu season, Lexington had 3 deaths from flu-related causes and 742 lab-confirmed cases.

In addition to helping prevent you from getting sick with flu, a flu shot can reduce the severity of your illness if you do get flu and reduce your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.

The seasonal flu shot is recommended for all people ages 6 months and older and is especially important for people at the highest risk of serious complications from the flu: infants and young children, pregnant women, anyone with underlying medical conditions and adults 50 and older. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is also urging the flu shot for essential workers, including healthcare personnel and long-term care facility staff; and people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including adults 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and anyone with underlying health conditions.

For additional information about the 2020-21 flu season, like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth. For questions about the flu shot, call the Public Health Clinic at 859-288-2444.

Harm reduction program celebrating 5th anniversary

On Sept. 4, 2015, we opened the doors to the first day of our needle-exchange program. The goal then was to start small, build trust and then grow as needed.

And it has definitely grown!

It’s now a larger Harm Reduction Services Program, featuring a needle exchange to reduce the spread of hepatitis C and HIV; testing for hepatitis C and HIV; free naloxone used to reverse opioid overdoses; and on-site counseling to connect people to rehabilitation and treatment centers.

Join us in celebrating this milestone online with a special Facebook Live at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26, featuring chats with our dedicated staff and a look behind the scenes at how the program started and grew into what it is today! You can also learn more on our Facebook Event page!

Harm Reduction Program Hours of Operation
Our free, anonymous/confidential harm reduction services are offered 1-4 p.m. Mondays, 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays. To help protect our participants and employees, we are following social/physical distancing guidelines, including operating outside and using our new van for the exchange! We also provide naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, offer free HIV and hepatitis C testing and provide counseling for treatment options.

Lexington offers more free COVID-19 testing

Updated Sept. 8

English & en español:
COVID-19 continues to spread in Lexington, with cases disproportionately affecting the city’s African-American and Hispanic populations.

The City of Lexington and the Lexington Division of Emergency Management are providing free COVID-19 testing. Check here for more sites/information: COVID-19 testing. Limited at-home testing is also available: At-Home Testing for Lexington.

Drive-ups and walk-ups will be accepted. No appointment is necessary. Testers will ask for insurance, but testing is free, even without insurance.

For more information, call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline at 859-899-2222.

El COVID-19 continúa extendiéndose en Lexington, con un aumento desproporcionado de casos entre la población afroamericana e hispana de la ciudad. 

Más tarde esta semana, la Ciudad de Lexington y la División de Manejo de Emergencias de Lexington estarán proveyendo pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19.

Personas en autos o a pie serán aceptadas. No hace falta cita. Se le preguntará si tiene seguro médico, pero las pruebas son gratuitas, incluso sin seguro médico. Para más información, llame al centro de llamadas para el COVID-19 del Departamento de Salud de Lexington-Condado de Fayette al 859-899-2222.

Learn more about wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19

On July 9, 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order mandating the wearing of face coverings in situations described here: COVID-19 Face Coverings FAQs. The order went into effect at 5 p.m. on July 10, 2020. It is essential that people continue to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene even when wearing a face covering — including keeping 6 feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible. A face covering is one more precaution we can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially by people who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms.

Be sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions!

Never leave a child unattended in a car!

Never leave children unattended in vehicles, especially during hot weather.

Kids play in cars or wander outside and get into a car and can die in 10 minutes! A reported 51 young children died in hot cars in 2019, according to weather.gov/heat! Cars can heat up quickly when left in the sun. Get resources to remind you or friends with children in both English and Spanish from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Click to learn more!

Several measures are recommended to prevent these types of deaths from occurring. They include:

  • Create reminders.  More than half of child heat stroke deaths occur because parents and caregivers become distracted and exit their vehicle without their child. To help prevent these tragedies parents can:
  • Place a cell phone, purse, briefcase, gym bag or something that is needed at your next stop on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This will help you see your child when you open the rear door and reach for your belongings.
  • Set the alarm on your cell phone as a reminder to you to drop your child off at day care.
  • Set your computer calendar program to ask, “Did you drop off at day care today?”
  • Establish a plan with your day care that if your child fails to arrive within an agreed upon time, you will be called. Be especially mindful of your child if you change your routine for day care.
  • Don’t underestimate the risk.  The inside of vehicles can quickly heat up, even on relatively cool days, so you should never leave your child alone in a car. Don’t underestimate the risks and leave them even “just for a minute.”
  • Lock cars and trucks. Thirty percent of the recorded heat stroke deaths in the U.S. occur because a child was playing in an unattended vehicle. These deaths can be prevented by simply locking the vehicle doors to help assure that kids don’t enter the vehicles and become trapped.
  • Immediately dial 911 if you see an unattended child in a car.  EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble. The body temperature of children rises three to five times faster than adults. As a result, children are much more vulnerable to heat stroke. Check vehicles and trunks first if a child is missing.

Additional tips are recommended to avoid other heat-related injury and illness:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Increase your normal fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 or older who often have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol, because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Choose lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. In the hot sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep the head cool. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Stay cool indoors. The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner, consider visiting a mall or public library.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be out in the heat, try to plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. Rest periodically so your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
  • Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness.
  • Monitor those at high risk. Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include:
    • Infants and children up to 4 years of age
    • People 65 years of age or older
    • People who are overweight
    • People who overexert during work or exercise
    • People who are ill or on certain medications for blood pressure or diuretics.

Board of Health selects Friesen as chair for 2020-21

The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health elected Michael Friesen as chair for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which began July 1.

Friesen is a vice president at Traditional Bank in Lexington with 15 years of commercial banking experience. He is a native of Lexington and graduated from Henry Clay High School. Friesen has an MBA from the University of Kentucky and BSBA-Finance from the University of Richmond. He is the father of three children.

Friesen joined the Board of Health in November 2016 and has served as chair of the Finance Committee the last three years. He was the Board of Health’s vice-chair last year.

Friesen replaces Kacy Allen-Bryant, who will continue to serve on the Board of Health.

Jason Zimmerman, MD, MSPH, will serve as vice-chair for 2020-21. Other Board of Health members include: Jack Cornett, Dr. Lee Dossett, Mayor Linda Gorton, Majd Jabbour, Dr. Rodney Jackson, Dr. Lindsey Jasinksi, Dr. Mamata Majmundar, Leah Mason, Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds and Sherelle Roberts-Pierre. Commissioner of Social Services Chris Ford is an official representative of the mayor but is a non-voting member.

The Board of Health meets the second Monday of every month at 5:45 p.m. at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, 650 Newtown Pike.

For additional information, like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth. Details are also available at www.lfchd.org.

COVID-19 cases growing in city; caution urged when traveling

JULY 7, 2020 – Yesterday saw Lexington’s highest one-day increase of COVID-19: 62 cases, bringing the city’s total to 1,775 through June 6. There was also another death for a total of 32 in Lexington. Since the start of July, Lexington has had 222 COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths.

The city’s highest one-day totals to date have been:

  • 62 cases, July 6
  • 46 cases, July 1
  • 41 cases, June 26
  • 40 cases, June 24
  • 39 cases, June 30
  • 39 cases, June 14

We continue to see many cases throughout the community in family clusters and people returning from vacations to national COVID-19 “hot spots” like Florida and South Carolina. The CDC offers these tips for people who are traveling, and they remain great suggestions for everyone to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores.

Learn more at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html. We update Lexington’s COVID-19 numbers daily at lfchd.org.

(English and en español) COVID-19 cases increasing in Lexington’s Hispanic communities

UPDATED June 22, 2020 – COVID-19 continues to spread in Lexington, with cases increasing among the city’s Hispanic population. Of the 1,284 total cases, 322 (25 percent) identify as Hispanic, a group that makes up 7 percent of Lexington’s population.

“COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising throughout Lexington for the past 4-5 weeks,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “This most recent wave of cases includes an increase in affected residents who self-identify as Hispanic. The health department will continue to work with members of this community and city officials on prevention and disease control information, including messages in Spanish for those whom Spanish is their primary language.”

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department recommends the following for everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Staying home when sick. This helps protect others from getting sick.
  • Not gathering in groups larger than 10 people.
  • Staying at least 6 feet apart from others.
  • Wearing a cloth mask over your mouth and nose when around others.

Lexington residents with questions about COVID-19 can call the health department’s special COVID-19 hotline at 859-899-2222 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Information in Spanish can be found here:

LFCHD: https://www.lfchd.org/en-espanol/

City of Lexington: https://www.lexingtonky.gov/COVID-19/multilingual-information

Kentucky Department for Public Health: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/kycovid19.es.pdf

   

Los casos de COVID-19 aumentan en las comunidades Hispanas de Lexington

El COVID-19 continúa extendiéndose en Lexington, con un aumento de casos entre la población hispana de la ciudad. Entre el total de los 1,284 casos, 322 (25 por ciento) se identifican como hispanos, un grupo que compone el 7 por ciento de la población de Lexington.

“Los casos de COVID-19 han estado aumentando constantemente en todo Lexington durante las últimas 4 a 5 semanas”, dijo el Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, Comisionado de Salud. “Esta ola de casos más reciente incluye un aumento en residentes afectados que se auto-identifican como hispanos. El departamento de salud continuará trabajando con miembros de esta comunidad y funcionarios de la ciudad en la prevención y la información para el control de enfermedades, incluyendo mensajes en español para aquellos que el español es su idioma principal.”

El Departamento de Salud de Lexington-Condado de Fayette recomienda lo siguiente para que todos ayuden a prevenir la propagación de COVID-19:

  • Lavarse las manos frecuentemente con agua y jabón durante al menos 20 segundos.
  • Quedarse en la casa cuando esté enfermo. Esto ayuda a proteger a otros de enfermarse.
  • No reunirse en grupos mayores de 10 personas.
  • Permanecer al menos a 6 pies (1.82m) de distancia de los demás.
  • Usar una máscara de tela sobre la boca y la nariz cuando este cerca de los demás.

Los residentes de Lexington con preguntas sobre COVID-19 pueden llamar a la línea directa especial COVID-19 del departamento de salud al 859-899-2222 de 8 a.m.-4 p.m. todos los días.

La información en español se puede encontrar aquí:

LFCHD: https://www.lfchd.org/en-espanol/

Ciudad de Lexington: https://www.lexingtonky.gov/COVID-19/multilingual-information

Departamento de Salud Publica de Kentucky: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/covid19/kycovid19.es.pdf