Be on alert for potential phone scam

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is alerting the community to a potential scam involving phone calls seeking payment for COVID-19 services. Please remember that all COVID-19 tests and vaccinations are FREE for everyone. You will not be contacted by the health department requesting a payment of any kind. If you receive a call like this, please call the Lexington Police Department at 859-258-3600 to report it.

If you receive a call from the health department and have questions about its legitimacy, you can call the LFCHD COVID-19 call center at 859-899-2222 for assistance.

Schedule kids’ back-to-school immunizations today

As Fayette County students prepare to head back to school, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is making sure they have plenty of opportunities to get their required vaccinations.

To beat the back-to-school rush, the health department will be offering immunizations by same-day appointment at the Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. To schedule an appointment or for more information about the immunizations, please call (859) 288-2483.

Participants must be 18 years or younger and be uninsured or underinsured. Medicaid is accepted. Immunization records must be brought to the appointment, and physicals will not be provided.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Fayette County students who are new to the school district or are entering kindergarten are required to bring a Kentucky immunization certificate in order to enroll. Sixth-grade students are also required to have certain boosters and must bring an up-to-date immunization certificate. Please call the health department’s school health division at (859) 288-2314 for more information.

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

(En español) The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering free vaccination clinics.

Public Health Clinic

Free COVID-19 vaccines are available by same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your appointment. The Public Health Clinic offers the Moderna and Janssen vaccines for ages 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and older. 

Public Health Clinic: 3rd Dose for Immunocompromised

Starting Monday, Aug. 23, third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available for immunocompromised people by same-day appointment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule your appointment. The third dose can be received four weeks after receiving your second dose. 

Please note this is NOT the booster dose for those who received their second dose 8 months ago. This is a third dose only for immunocompromised people. Those who need the third dose include people who:

  • Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  •  Have advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Have active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

More information about the third dose can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.

Information

The vaccine will not be given to someone who is already fully vaccinated. We will complete a vaccination series for someone whose first dose was given elsewhere. Vaccines will not be be given to those who are not feeling well or have not yet recovered from a current COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 vaccination is free, but your insurance will be billed for an administration fee. There will be no cost directly to you. You do not need insurance to get the free vaccine.

Thank you for your interest in getting vaccinated. If you need assistance, please call our call center at 859-899-2222.

Fight the Bite: eliminate mosquitoes this summer

This summer, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department plans to control mosquito populations in the community by bringing increased focus to eliminating standing water and preventing mosquito larvae from hatching. At the same time, the department will use mosquito trapping to identify areas where spraying for adult mosquitos would be most useful.

The health department has surveyed Lexington neighborhoods to identify and treat large areas of standing water that can serve as prime locations for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Elimination of standing water is the ultimate goal, but in places where puddles exist, the water can be treated to kill mosquito larvae with a chemical called a larvicide.

“We are increasing activities to kill mosquito larvae in areas where standing water cannot be drained,” said Luke Mathis, Environmental Health and Preparedness team leader at LFCHD.  “Targeting immature mosquitoes is a more effective control strategy as it stops mosquitoes from developing into adults that can feed on humans and transmit mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile.”

The health department will no longer conduct routine mosquito spraying for adult mosquitoes throughout the city on a regular cycle. Instead, mosquito traps will be placed in potential problem areas. If a certain threshold of mosquito activity is reached, the department will conduct targeted spraying in the appropriate areas. Those areas will be announced via the health department’s website, www.lfchd.org, and social media pages.

For spraying, the health department uses Duet, an EPA-approved agent that features a component that stimulates resting mosquitoes in trees and foliage, causing them to fly into the air and come into contact with the spray’s mosquito-killing agent, sumithrin. Duet has been rigorously tested for human and animal safety and is registered for outdoor residential and recreational areas.

Lexington residents can also take steps at home to fight mosquitoes:

● Mosquito-proof your home and yard. Fix or install window and door screens. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items such as tires, buckets, barrels and cans. Refresh the water in your pet’s water dishes and birdbaths at least every five to seven days.

● Be aware of peak mosquito activity times. The twilight hours around dusk and dawn are times of peak mosquito activity. Use insect repellent when outdoors especially during peak activity times, including early morning hours. Look for EPA-labeled repellents containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Apply repellent according to label instructions. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks outdoors. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent helps prevent bites.

“The battle against mosquitoes starts at every residence in Fayette County,” Mathis said. “By eliminating standing water, even something as small a capful of rain in your yard, you can remove areas for mosquitoes to lay eggs. It’s important for people to walk around their homes to see what they can do to help curb the mosquito population.”

To report a standing water problem in your neighborhood, please call the health department’s Environmental Health section at (859) 231-9791. 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.

Safety tips will help during holiday and summer picnics

One out of every six people get sick from a foodborne illness each year, and a few extra precautions can help keep your summer meals, cookouts and picnics illness-free this year.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department wants to increase awareness of food safety as people head into the summer picnic season. The following food safety guidelines can help you prevent the spread of food-borne illness from picnic meals shared with family and friends:

  • Keep hands clean. Wash hands before eating or preparing food, after using the restroom, between handling raw and ready-to-eat items and after handling pets. Wash with hot soapy water and dry with paper towels.
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces often. To sanitize surfaces, use a solution of regular household bleach and warm water. Add about 1 tablespoon of bleach to 2 gallons of water for the right concentration. Sanitize by first washing and rinsing the surface and then immerse, spray or swab with the bleach solution.
  • Separate – don’t cross-contaminate. Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods. Use different cutting boards or wash, rinse and sanitize after contact with raw meat, poultry and seafood. Never use the same plate for holding raw meat and transporting cooked meat.
  • Be sure to wash all produce thoroughly before use. Thoroughly clean the outer surface before slicing and keep work surface and utensils clean and sanitized. Handle all cut melons carefully, including cantaloupe and watermelon. Promptly refrigerate sliced melon at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • Follow the cooking guidelines listed below for proper meat preparation. Cook food to the proper internal temperature. Always check the internal temperature of cooked foods with a metal-stemmed thermometer and cook another 15 seconds after the thermometer indicates it has reached the proper temperature.

 Ground beef: 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds

Poultry and stuffed meats: 165 degrees F for 15 seconds

Pork products: 145 degrees F for 15 seconds

Other products: 145 degrees F for 15 seconds

Reheating leftovers: 165 degrees F for 15 seconds

  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Leftovers should be cooled and maintained within four hours at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower or frozen at zero degrees or lower. When you are unsure how long leftover food has been out of proper serving temperature, a good rule of thumb to follow is “when in doubt, throw it out!”

Humbaugh receives career achievement award

Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh received the Elbert “Al” Austin Jr. Career Achievement Award from the Kentucky Public Health Association! Dr. Humbaugh has been Lexington’s commissioner of health since 2016.

The following is the nomination submitted for Dr. Humbaugh.

Full disclosure: if Dr. Kraig Humbaugh wins this award, he will place all the credit on his staff.

That’s true in his current role as Commissioner of Health of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, where he has served since 2016 (and is leaving this summer), and in numerous roles throughout the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Anyone who has worked with Dr. Humbaugh knows he is the first to take the blame for anything bad and to pass the credit for anything good.

The Elbert “Al” Austin Jr. Career Achievement Award is to honor a person “who remains humble among peers yet towers above the rest in achievements,” and if it is possible to do that AND tower about being humble, Dr. Humbaugh is doing just that.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Humbaugh has used his expertise in epidemiology to help the community better understand the data. There’s not a job he’s not been part of during the response, and it’s not just the long hours he puts in that staff notice – they also see him actively talking to almost everyone who walks through our COVID-19 vaccination clinic, holding doors for them, giving them advice and answering every question they toss at him.

Fortunately for Lexington, that type of leadership existed long before the worldwide pandemic. Dr. Humbaugh has extensive experience in public health, including epidemiology of communicable diseases, emergency preparedness and response, as well as a background as a pediatrician. He describes himself as a “prevention-oriented, data-driven public health physician and epidemiologist.”

Dr. Humbaugh has served as the state health department’s director of the Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning. He previously served as medical director for the Louisville Metro Health Department where he also was the interim director of health. He began his medical career as a pediatrician, which included a year in Russia.

Dr. Humbaugh earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from Yale University. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Otago in New Zealand and received a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

He brought all of that to Lexington and immediately began to think of how to improve our outreach and health equity. He is devoted to diversity and works daily to remind that diversity in all types (race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, gender and more) is crucial to public health’s mission. In Lexington, he used that to develop our core values: CARES (Caring, Accountability, Respect, Equity and Service), so that every person in Lexington is treated with the value they deserve.

It is that leadership that makes Dr. Humbaugh deserving of honors from the Kentucky Public Health Association. He will humbly accept, and we will proudly celebrate with him. 

Gaines & Consolidated Baptist named 2021 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Heroes

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health has selected Pastor Richard Gaines and Consolidated Baptist Church as the 2021 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero award winners. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. The winner is announced each April as part of National Public Health Week (April 5-11, 2021).

Gaines and Consolidated were recognized for their long-standing help to Lexington through allowing the church gymnasium as a site for the health department’s annual free flu shot clinic in 2016 and 2017, along with a drive-thru clinic in the parking lot in October 2020. That experience led to the health department launching COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Consolidated, located at 1625 Russell Cave Road, on Dec. 23, 2020, with weekly clinics ever since. This has been without a charge to the department or the public.

Gaines, the Consolidated staff and volunteers work with the health department each week to make sure every need is met for those getting vaccinated. This includes allowing the health department to store basic equipment, which removes the need for set-up/take-down each week. This saves at least four hours every time a clinic is held.

Additionally, Gaines and Consolidated work with the City of Lexington, Mayor Linda Gorton’s office, faith-based leaders and other community organizations to help spread the word about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Consolidated Baptist Church has been a significant partner in ‘helping Lexington be well,’” a nomination stated, referencing the health department’s mission.

Gaines and Consolidated will be recognized at the April 12 Board of Health meeting, held via Zoom. They will also be honored April 22 during a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council meeting.

Previously known as the Public Health Hero Award, the Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in memory of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach, Lexington’s former Commissioner of Health who spent more than 50 years as a public health physician. Leach died April 1, 2016.

Past winners include Jon Parker (2020), Mark Johnson (2019), Dr. Svetla Slavova (2018), Reginald Thomas (2017), Dr. Rice C. Leach (2016), Dr. Susan Pollack and Marian F. Guinn (2015), the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service (2014), Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2012); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Data

UPDATE June 7, 2021: Demographic information for our COVID-19 vaccination clinics will now be available monthly. Click on each image for a high-quality version. You can also see updated information from the CDC Data Tracker.

The latest information showing the demographic data for our weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics is now available. Click on each image for a high-quality version.

UPDATE April 6, 2021: The latest information showing the demographic data for our weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics is now available. Click on each image for a high-quality version.

UPDATE March 1, 2021: We continue to follow the federal/state guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination distribution. The clinics have been expanded to include anyone 18 and older who lives or works in Lexington.

Additional information, including a legal statement, can be found here: COVID-19 Vaccine Information.

LFCHD First-Time Dose Information

UPDATE March 9, 2021: Here’s a look at first-time dose information from previous weeks:

  • Week of Dec. 21: 1,500 received, 591 given (we held a small clinic this week because of the Christmas holiday and to test our ability to expand in future weeks; doses were carried over to the following week)
  • Week of Dec. 28: 700 received, 931 given
  • Week of Jan. 4: 800 received, 1,309 given
  • Week of Jan. 11: 2,000 received, 1,994 given
  • Week of Jan. 18: 1,200 received, 1,350 given
  • Week of Jan. 25: 1,000 received, 1,234 given
  • Week of Feb. 1: 700 received, 737 given
  • Week of Feb. 8: 500 received (does not include 600 provided to Baptist Health Lexington), 415 given (includes LFCHD doses only)
  • Week of Feb. 15: 0 received (shipments were delayed because of ice/snow storms), 129 given (using 2nd-time doses until new shipment arrived)
  • Week of Feb. 22: 550 received (does not include 1,050 provided to Baptist Health Lexington), 435 given (includes LFCHD doses only; remaining 115 were used as 2nd doses after borrowing from inventory last week due to snow/ice storms).
  • Week of March 1: 800 received, 810 given 
  • Week of March 8: 800 received, 829 given
  • Week of March 15: 800 received, 817 given
  • Week of March 22: 950 received, 876 given
  • Week of March 29: 1,200 received, 789 given
  • Week of April 5: 800 received, 841 given
  • Week of April 12: 400 received (Johnson & Johnson; clinic canceled), 69 given (Moderna doses taken from second dose supply)
  • Week of April 19: 400 received, 174 given
  • Week of April 26: 300 received, 166 given
  • Week of May 3: 0 received, 241 given
  • Week of May 10: 0 received, 55 given

The difference of more doses given than received is from “bonus/angel doses” in some of the vials.

Kentucky’s Regional Vaccination Clinic Information

Updated Jan. 28, 2021: Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department for Public Health announced the state’s first regional COVID-19 vaccination clinics, including at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena, 4089 Ironworks Pike, Lexington. The clinics start at 10 a.m. Feb. 2. This for Phase 1B ages 70 and older. 

Registration starts at 5 p.m. Jan. 28 at Kroger.com/CovidVaccine. Note: we are not responsible for this site and cannot answer questions about the process or clinics. State vaccine information can be found at vaccine.ky.gov or 855-598-2246.

Updated Jan. 15, 2021: Mayor Linda Gorton and the City of Lexington launched a new site with information about the vaccine rollout: Lexington COVID-19 Vaccine Information.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you want to volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccination response, please sign up through the Medical Reserve Corp!

CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Kentucky Department for Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Nominate someone for 2021 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award

It is time to nominate people for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award. The award, now in its 18th year, is for individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents.

Criteria for the selection of the award include:

  • Exemplary leadership and diligence in promoting public health;
  • Remarkable contributions and support in fostering public health programs; and
  • Work or actions that have impacted the community’s health in a positive way.

The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in honor of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach “so future generations will know what a true public health super hero is.” Leach, who served as Lexington’s Commissioner of Health for five years, died in April 2016 following a battle with cancer.

Past winners include Jon Parker (2020), Mark Johnson (2019), Dr. Svetla Slavova (2018), Kentucky State Sen. Reginald Thomas (2017), Dr. Leach (2016), Dr. Susan Pollack and Marian F. Guinn (2015), the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service (2014), Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins-Booth and Jay McChord (2012); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

If you know of someone to nominate for this award, please provide the following information:

  • Name, professional title and organization;
  • Phone number and e-mail address of nominee; and
  • Examples of why the person is worthy of the award. Descriptions should be no more than 200 words.
  • Your name and contact information

Nominations can be submitted here: https://www.lfchd.org/public-health-hero-award-nomination.

The deadline for submitting candidates is 3 p.m., Friday, Feb.26.

The Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health will make the final determination. The winner will receive special recognition from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The awards are given each April as part of National Public Health Week.