A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

COVID: NKY has 12 new cases; KY has 159, 7 deaths; testing expanding, NKY’s Gravity Diagnostics lauded

As of Thursday afternoon, the NKY Health Department reports 12 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Northern Kentucky, for 244 total cases.

There are 111 cases in Kenton County, 52 cases in Campbell County, 67 cases in Boone County and 14 cases in Grant County. There have been 18 total deaths related to COVID-19.

Gov. Beshear reported that there were 159 new cases in the state and 7 new deaths. One of the victims was a 10-day-old infant.

“That’s lower than we’ve had some other days and I know yesterday we had a lower amount,” the Governor said. “But we believe tomorrow is going to be one of the highest numbers we’ve seen, and part of that is bringing n some data that’s had to move through a couple of systems that will hit tomorrow.”

The Governor announced the opening of state facilities to house people ill with or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The shelters will be at Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland state parks and will be made available for people who need to be isolated but lack their own homes, cannot self-isolate within their homes or live with people at heightened risk of contracting the virus.

Expanded testing

One key to restarting business activity and paving the way back toward more normal activities is widespread testing. In a move toward that goal, Gov. Beshear announced an expansion of the state’s partnership with Kroger to provide drive-through testing for the coronavirus.

Testing has been underway this week in Franklin and Kenton counties. The Governor said four new sites would come online next week, in Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset and Pikeville.

“This is making sure we can serve all parts of the state,” he said. “We are one Kentucky, we are Team Kentucky and we’re making sure now that we can test in all of Kentucky.” 

Testing at the new sites will be done from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. For location details or to register for a test, visit KROGERHEALTH.COM/COVIDTESTING.

“Kroger is committed to expanding our drive-through testing sites in other locations to provide this vital need to increase the health and wellness directly in our communities,” said Meegan Brown, National Health and Wellness TLC Director of Kroger Health.

Those eligible for the tests include people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, shortness of breath and cough; health care workers and first responders who may have been exposed to coronavirus; and anyone with mild symptoms who also may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The testing is done free of charge. The overall goal of the partnership is to conduct 20,000 tests over the next five weeks. Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, praised Kentucky company Gravity Diagnostics Labs for their work ramping up testing in the state.

Gravity Diagnostics’ headquarters is on Russell Street in Covington.

“They have done wonderful and heroic work for us,” Dr. Stack said.

Gravity Diagnostics CEO Tony Remington

Gravity Diagnostics CEO Tony Remington hailed his employees’ hard work and said he was glad his company can be of help during a challenging time.

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to be part of the solution that’s facing all of us across the country, especially in Kentucky,” Remington said. “I’ve been amazingly impressed with the way the private sector and the government have come together at the city, county, state and federal levels.”

For more data on COVID-19 infections in Northern Kentucky, please visit this website.

The Health Department says that not only is continued social distancing important for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky, but so is washing our hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and not touching our eyes, nose and mouth.

According to Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health, this can be difficult to remember, especially during allergy season.

“Allergy season is upon us, and many of us are suffering from itchy eyes and runny noses. It is important all the time, but especially as we fight COVID-19, to avoid touching our faces. COVID-19 can spread by touching an object with the virus on it, and then touching our eyes, nose or mouth. If you must touch your face, be sure to wash your hands before and after, and don’t forget to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.”

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