Updates to public health services in Lexington

MARCH 27, 2020: As part of our COVID-19 response, everyone who enters our building at 650 Newtown Pike will be screened with a series of questions and a temperature check starting Monday, March 30. We have also changed a number of our in-person public health services in the interest of social distancing and because of limited staff availability. Before visiting us, please review the following to see if you need to be on site:

• WIC visits will no longer be in-person and will now be held over the phone. Please call 859-288-2483 with any questions or for more information. If you have an existing WIC appointment, you DO NOT need to call to reschedule; someone on our staff will call you. We will continue to accept new WIC clients during this time. To learn more about WIC, visit lexingtonhealthdepartment.org/women-infants-and-children/.
• Public Health Clinic services will be limited and available only as same-day appointments – you must call ahead of time as walk-ins will not be accepted. Please call 859-288-2483 to make an appointment. Note: this will not affect our needle-exchange program or harm reduction services at this time.
• In-person food handler certifications are suspended until further notice. The certification is still available online at lexingtonhealthdepartment.org/food-handler-certification/.
• Vital Statistics (birth and death records) will be closed to walk-in visitors. If you need assistance with these records, please call 859-899-2226.

• We will not accept in-person requests for medical records, protected health information or requests for immunization records. Please use this link to make an online request: https://tinyurl.com/tq5swqc.

We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we continue helping Lexington be well while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

LFCHD reports 1st death related to COVID-19 in Lexington resident

MARCH 23, 2020: The first death related to COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) in Lexington has been confirmed, Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh reported today. The victim was a person in their 80s with underlying health conditions. Additional details about the person cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws.

“This is a sad day for our city and especially for the family and friends of this victim,” Mayor Gorton said. “Let’s all make sure our elderly neighbors are cared for and protected. And let’s do everything we can to slow down this virus.”

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department now believes that sustained person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is occurring in Lexington because not all new cases can be connected to previous cases or to travel outside of the community. Although the number of cases is still low, cases are expected to increase. In order to slow transmission of COVID-19, persons should avoid any unnecessary contact with others and stay at home when sick. COVID-19 is thought to be primarily spread through close contact with those who are infected.

The following social distancing tips should be followed:

  • 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.

The health department offered these tips to continue to help 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.
  • Practice social-distancing when at all possible.

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 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily 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.

The City is also providing updates on lexingtonky.gov. Click on COVID-19 information.

Social distancing recommended with 1 new COVID-19 case in Lexington

   

MARCH 18, 2020: The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirms today there is one additional COVID-19 (coronavirus) case in Lexington.

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 this person. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. There are now six confirmed cases in Fayette County.

Additional details about the people involved cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws.

The health department is recommending social distancing for everyone because COVID-19 is thought to be primarily spread through close contact with those who are infected. The following social distancing tips should be followed:

  • 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.

The health department offered these tips to continue to help 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.
  • Practice social-distancing when at all possible.

LFCHD recommends postponing or canceling all public events during COVID-19 response

MARCH 12, 2020: Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Kraig Humbaugh are recommending that beginning Friday, March 13, organizers consider postponing or canceling all public, in-person events as part of the region’s COVID-19 response.

“Although this will be painful for some groups, we know we must do everything we can to protect the lives of our citizens,” Gorton said.

COVID-19 is thought to be primarily spread through close contact with those who are infected, so transmission is possible within gatherings. Limiting physical contact with others can help reduce the spread of the disease, protecting those at highest risk of severe illness, such as seniors, and those with chronic diseases. When possible, organizers should consider alternate options to in-person gatherings for accomplishing the goals of their event, such as using technology as way for people to participate.

“Several events have already been canceled around town. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has canceled the boys’ and girls’ Sweet 16 tournaments; the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University have switched to on-line instruction; and people are avoiding large public gatherings,” Gorton said. “Thank you to all of our citizens. You are doing a great job following the precautions we have outlined. That will make all the difference in getting us past this.”

  • Factors event organizers should consider when deciding to hold an event:
    • The age and health status of attendees. People over 60 years of age or those with chronic medical conditions have been advised to avoid public gatherings;
    • The ability to implement regular environmental cleaning measures for high-touch areas during event;
    • The ability to provide opportunities for good handwashing and availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, in lieu of handwashing;
    • The capability for attendees to practice social distancing (remain 6 feet away from each other).  Crowd density and indoor gatherings in small spaces could impact the ability of attendees to space themselves;
    • The ability to potentially screen participants for fever or symptoms of illness. Those with either should be advised not to attend;
    • The length of the event. The longer the event’s duration, the greater the risk of potential exposure;
    • The ability to manage the needs of people who may become ill and the ability to track or recall attendees if an attendee is identified as having COVID-19.
  • If an in-person gathering is held, the following prevention measures are recommended for individuals to reduce the transmission of COVID-19:
    • Stay home when you are sick;
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with fever, coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. To avoid close contact, stay at least 6 feet away from others;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. To avoid coughing into your hands, you can cough into your elbow.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for “at least 20 seconds,” especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Thefollowing are action strategies for postponing or canceling events:
    •  Immediately alert event staff and participants if the event(s) has been postponed or canceled and inform them of emergency refund policy and re-ticketing option, if available.
    • Inform everyone about when events may occur if postponed. Let event participants know whether new tickets can be obtained and when.

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.

LFCHD urges caution for people at highest risk for COVID-19 complications

MARCH 10, 2020: With six COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kentucky, including two in Lexington, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is working to protect the city’s residents, especially those at the highest risk of complications from COVID-19: senior adults and those with chronic health conditions.

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.

The health department also backs the message from Gov. Andy Beshear encouraging all Kentucky senior centers, nursing homes and long-term care center to restrict visitation policies.

The health department offered these tips to everyone 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.

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.

2nd case of COVID-19 recovering in Lexington

Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said today there are two additional COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in Kentucky: one in Harrison County, one being treated in Fayette.

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 two people. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. There are now six confirmed cases in Kentucky. Two of the cases are being treated in Lexington; one is known to be a Lexington resident.

Additional details about the people involved cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws.

“Lexington citizens are pulling together, taking care of one another,” Gorton said. “If we all take simple precautions – wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick – we can have a real impact on this virus.”

The health department backed Monday’s message from Gov. Andy Beshear encouraging all Kentucky senior centers, nursing homes and long-term care centers to restrict visitation policies.

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.

The stakeholder group organized by the Mayor will have its first conference call this week. “We hope to learn more about the different ways our City is responding, and what we can do to improve coordination and communication,” Gorton said.

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.

The City is also providing updates on lexingtonky.gov. Click on COVID-19 information.

1st COVID-19 case reported in Lexington resident

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.

Download the COVID-19 flyer here: Download

LFCHD reports 1st case of COVID-19 in Kentucky

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is reporting Kentucky’s first case of COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). While the risk to the general public is low, health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the person. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

The patient is the first person known to be infected with COVID-19 in Kentucky. The WEDCO District Health Department issued a statement on Facebook saying the patient was a Harrison County resident. The University of Kentucky released a statement saying the patient was in isolation at UK Chandler Hospital. Additional details about the person cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws.

“We believe the risk to the public is low, and as this situation evolves, we will continue to communicate with the CDC, KDPH and the people of Lexington,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, there are everyday preventative actions you can do to help prevent the spread of this virus.”

The health department offered these tips:

  • 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.

In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts. COVID-19 is an emerging disease and there is much more to learn about its transmission and severity.

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 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.

COVID-19: Information on coronavirus

UPDATED MARCH 6: COVID-19 has been confirmed in Kentucky. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will continue updating the community with information, including FAQs, as available.

Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh took part in a Facebook Live about COVID-19. You can also learn more from Gov. Andy Beshear and the University of Kentucky from their respective news conferences. Mayor Linda Gorton and Dr. Humbaugh talked about the first case in a March 6 news conference. The City of Lexington also has a special COVID-19 information page. Gov. Beshear’s office has created a statewide page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in more than a thousand confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan City. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.

Travelers are being screened for symptoms at airports in China prior to travel and upon arrival at major airports in the U.S. Travelers without symptoms are given instructions to seek medical care in the 14 days after travel if they feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If those conditions arise, travelers are instructed to: 

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website.