PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) – The Pike and Perry County Health Departments have announced the first positive cases of COVID-19 in Perry and Pike counties in Kentucky.
The Perry County Health Department said the patient in their county had been transferred to Pikeville Medical Center from another healthcare facility to receive a higher level of care before being tested for the virus. Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PMC decided to test the patient for possible COVID-19 and the results came back positive.
“Pikeville Medical Center is well prepared for this event,” says Pikeville Medical Center
CEO and Vice President of the Board of Directors, Donovan Blackburn. “Our staff is following all
infection prevention measures regarding exposure to patients with COVID-19. The safety of our
patients, visitors and staff at PMC is always our top priority. You can rest assured that we are
taking appropriate precautions to limit exposure to this virus.”
The patient has been isolated since arriving in PMC’s ICU and is receiving treatment.
Pikeville Medical Center says in a separate incident, a second patient whose results were positive for COVID-19 is an employee who was tested due to possible exposure from an employee from another healthcare facility. The employee is home quarantine and is reported to be doing well, according to PMC.
PMC officials say they have been preparing for an infectious disease outbreak for several years.
The program, managed by Director of Infection Control, Nina Reynolds, has two Infectious Disease and Infection Control physicians on staff, Medical Director Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass and Dr. Muhannad Antoun.
Al Akhrass has been working closely with the CDC, state and local health departments for weeks, preparing for this or any infectious occurrence.
“PMC is well prepared to handle this situation,” Al Akhrass says. “We have the capability to take care of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19, even the critically ill ones, by utilizing the
techniques we have developed and exercise in PMC’s Highly Infectious Disease Unit.”
According to medical officials, the best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene. Officials recommend residents:
- Wash their hands with soap and water twice as often and twice as long. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- To avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth
- Covering their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not their hands) when coughing or sneezing
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touches objects and surfaces
- Staying home when sick
- Avoiding contact with others who may be sick