A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY has 20 COVID cases, 4 deaths; state has 260 cases, 12 deaths; Beshear rolls out contact tracing

As of Monday afternoon, the NKY Health Department reported 20 additional cases of COVID-19 and four deaths in Northern Kentucky. This brings the totals to 952 total cases and 55 deaths.

There are 441 cases in Kenton County, 128 cases in Campbell County, 351 cases in Boone County and 32 cases in Grant County. The deaths were two Kenton County residents in their 80s and two Boone County residents in their 80s and 90s.

At his daily briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear reported 260 new cases and 12 deaths on Sunday and Monday, bringing the state’s totals to 7,935 cases and 346.

Child illnesses

The Governor said two more children were ill with Pediatric Multisymptom Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS), a syndrome that is causing serious health problems for some young people.

PMIS is a rare illness being seen in some children who have been infected with COVID-19. About a month after a coronavirus infection, children and teenagers with PMIS develop fever accompanied by abdominal pain and, often, swollen hands, feet and lymph nodes.

The Governor said a 5-year-old was in the hospital but is now home, and an 11-year-old is currently hospitalized. Dr. Stack previously reported that two Kentuckians, a 10-year-old and a 16-year-old, were treated. The 10-year-old remains hospitalized but is improving.

Dr. Stephen Stack said the Department of Public Health issued a PMIS advisory last week, which provides guidance, key points about the syndrome, possible symptoms and reporting directions. Dr. Stack said the Kentucky Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline (800-722-5725) staffed by Norton Children’s Hospital is prepared to answer questions from both parents and clinicians about PMIS.

Contact tracing

The Governor called on Kentuckians to support contact tracing: “Team Kentucky needs you – answer the call if a public health worker contacts you. Contact tracing is key to protecting the health of our communities as we begin to reopen our economy. We are relying on more testing combined with increased contact tracing and for everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The Governor also announced the appointment of Mark Carter as executive adviser leading the contact tracing efforts in the Office of the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

“We are excited to have Mark leverage his vast Kentucky health care experience to lead COVID-19 contact tracing. His leadership, along with the team at the Department for Public Health and Kentuckians’ support, will help protect the health and safety of more Kentucky families,” he added.

Carter will work closely with Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack and public health staff. Carter is a certified public accountant and has 40 years of experience in the health care industry.

CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander noted that Carter’s health care strategy and leadership is critical as they continue to reopen Kentucky for business.

Contact tracing, which is funded through the CARES Act, is expanding to meet both the White House and Governor’s benchmarks for safely reopening the economy. Each state and territory is using contact tracing as a tool to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Carter said the expanded seven-month contact tracing program combines public participation and the power of technology to help public health officials and health care providers contain the spread of COVID-19. Carter said information provided is kept completely private and confidential. Information regarding the individuals who have COVID-19 and people they have made in-person contact with recently is not released or made public. To view a video explaining contact tracing click here.

As businesses continue to reopen in Kentucky, citizens cannot forget that COVID-19 is still here. Cases increase daily, and will continue to do so until there is a vaccine. According to Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, “As we go back to work and our contact with others increase, it may seem normal, but don’t be fooled. It is not normal. COVID-19 continues to spread in Northern Kentucky. I cannot stress this enough – it is critically important now more than ever to not become lax in protecting ourselves.”

COVID-19. For additional details on COVID-19 cases in Northern Kentucky, please visit https://bit.ly/2VP7f28.

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