Coronavirus Update For Saturday, March 28
UPDATE: Ephraim McDowell Health has revealed that a second Boyle County resident has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The second case is currently quarantined at home, recovering. Those were all the details provided by the McDowell Health press release.
A second Mercer resident has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Gov. Andy Beshear, raising the county’s total to two. In addition, Boyle and Washington Counties each had their first positive case of coronavirus confirmed on Saturday.
The Boyle County resident who tested positive is an associate with Ephraim McDowell Health and is currently hospitalized, according to a McDowell Health press release. The Boyle County Health Department and McDowell’s infectious disease team are tracking down other associates or patients who may have come in contact with the infected person.
McDowell Health has taken steps to protect patients and associates. No visitors are allowed at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital or Ephraim McDowell James B. Haggin Hospital except in the case of births, deaths, patient sitters and those who are power of attorney or health care surrogates for a patient, according to the press release.
The number of new positive coronavirus cases across the state rose to 92 on Saturday, a new record high and nearly double the 54 cases Beshear reported the day before. In addition, a 66-year-old woman from Kenton County has died, bringing the state’s toll to nine after three deaths were reported by the governor on Friday.
Worldwide, there have been 659,367 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the epicenter shifting to the U.S., which now has 121,117 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. So far, the disease has killed 30,475 across the world—including 1,019 in the U.S., while 139,384 have recovered. Beshear estimated that 64 Kentuckians have recovered.
On Saturday, Gov. Beshear also announced he had reached a deal with the state’s Labor Cabinet raising the maximum weekly benefit for those receiving unemployment by $600. The agreement also increased the amount of weeks residents can receive unemployment by13 weeks for a total of 39 weeks. Those who need to file a claim can do so at https://uiclaims.des.ky.gov/ebenefit/eben.htm.
Additionally, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is waiving the requirement for in-person meetings and is also allowing maximum benefits on WIC, SNAP and Medicaid. They are also expanding hours and adding Saturdays for intake meetings, which will be held remotely. Those who need to apply for SNAP can call 1-855-306-8595. Those who need to apply for Medicaid can call 1-855-459-6328.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are fever, tiredness and dry cough, according to the World Health Organization. People may be sick for up to 14 days before developing symptoms. Most people—about 80-percent—recover without needing special treatment, according to WHO.
Anyone can call McDowell Health at 859-936-8350 if they are experiencing symptoms. After assessing the symptoms, a nurse will advise callers on the steps they should follow, which may include a visit to their primary care provider, a visit to the nearest emergency room or a visit to one of McDowell’s three testing facilities. Local residents are being asked not to go to a testing facility unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider.
In addition, callers can reach the Kentucky Covid-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725, visit the Kentucky Covid-19 website at kycovid19.ky.gov or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet have established the Team Kentucky Fund, an online platform to provide financial help to Kentuckians whose employment is affected by the coronavirus. The governor challenged those who are able to help to make a tax-deductible donation to the fund. In addition, a website portal has been created to streamline the process for businesses looking to donate supplies and services for Kentuckians in need.
The state has also created the COVID-19 Reporting Hotline (833-597-2337) that will investigate complaints about non-compliance with coronavirus mandates. Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. There is also a new state website Kentuckians can visit to make online complaints kysafer.ky.gov.