MARCH 8, 2020: Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh announce Lexington’s first case of COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). Health officials are working with the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to identify and speak with all those who may have come in close contact with the person. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. There are four confirmed cases in Kentucky.
Additional details about the person cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws.
“We can, and we will, get through this,” Mayor Gorton said. “We need to take care of the elderly, pay attention to basic hygiene, and remember there’s no need to panic. Just use common sense and be prepared. We will make sure you stay informed.”
The health department offered these tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- 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).
- Via 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.
Senior adults and those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for complications of COVID-19. The CDC recommends the following for people over the age of 60 and anyone with heart, lung or kidney disease, cancer or diabetes:
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Make sure you have access to medications and supplies in case you are advised to stay home.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds.
COVID-19 is an emerging disease and the health department is staying up-to-date on the latest information.
To help answer the community’s questions about COVID-19, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is operating a call center for members of the public. Questions can be asked by calling (859) 899-2222 during regular business hours or emailing COVID19@lfchd.org. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, can be found at lfchd.org and on the LFCHD social media accounts. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth.