Gov. Andy Beshear reported Floyd County’s first case of coronavirus in Floyd County on Saturday, March 28, but local officials report the information was incorrect.
Judge-Executive Robbie Williams and Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton jointly reported in a Facebook post that there is not yet a case of COVID-19 confirmed in Floyd County.
“There is no reported positive test in Floyd County. The information that was passed along was not accurate,” Stapleton said.
Floyd County Health Department Director Thursa Sloan issued the following statement Saturday evening:
“While COVID-19 is now considered community acquired, we DO NOT have a confirmed case as reported at the state or local level. We have reviewed reports and verified with the state health department. The governor's office will be receiving that verification and as he has before will provide an update to the public.
Rest assured we are monitoring the status of all testing up to this point. Do know that going forward more labs are coming on and makes verification longer to get results than labs that went through the state lab during the first few weeks of testing.
We at your local health department have set up a process with all providers in our area as they begin testing. They are sending us PUI forms for any client who is being tested. We were notified that as of 5 p.m. yesterday that all state and private lab results were negative for COVID-19 at that time in Floyd County. There are tests currently out so we must all be ready to have positive cases as testing increases just as the governor said.
As we have posted numerous times in the last few weeks, PLEASE do your part. Stop going out in groups, stay 6 feet away when you are out from everyone and stay 30 minutes or less in the grocery, pharmacy or other essential places.
All health care providers, there are HIPAA laws that allow health departments to give and receive PHI with us but it does not allow you to share that with friends and your family. I have been sent screen shots from folks who may be called out on that inappropriate practice.”
During his daily update at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, Beshear reported that there are 394 cases of COVID-19 in the state, and there were 92 new cases of COVID-19 that have been confirmed in the state since the previous day. Nine people have died in Kentucky because of the virus, and one death — a 66-year-old female from Kenton County — was reported after the press conference on Saturday.
In his address, Beshear urged residents to maintain social distancing, explaining that the next two weeks are “absolutely critical” in the state’s response to the virus.
“Folks, we’ve been talking about this for weeks, that we know there are going to be more cases, and we know we’re going to have a day when there’s more than the 92 that we have here. We also that there’s going to be more deaths, as we go,” Beshear said. “But we are ready for this. We’ve been preparing for this, both personally and emotionally, as well as a state, and we gotta make sure that we are committed, absolutely committed, to doing what it takes, to flattening this curve. And we know now that we are on that increase.”
He said the state is “more connected now than ever,” even though social distancing is required.
“Our safety depends on us caring about each other, more now than ever before in our lifetime,” he said. “It requires us being a commonwealth for the common good, putting the health of our people above our self-interests. In fact, it is a calling for us to hear, and a clear truth for us to believe, that our individual actions as we move through this impact the safety and the health of others.”
He said residents have to live up “to our duty” to protect themselves and others, calling it a “test of humanity.”
“More than ever, we are connected to each other. Our actions matter,” he said. “I said before this is a test of humanity. It absolutely is … This is our calling, as a generation, to face an adversary that could take so many, we have got to answer that call.”
He encouraged people to be “Healthy at home.”
“So, let me be clear,” he said. “Unless you’re going to work, unless you’re going to get groceries, you outta be at home. That doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the outside, but it does mean you can’t socialize with people when you’re out there. Right now, healthy at home is your patriotic duty as a Kentuckian and as an American.”
He said the virus “spreads like wildfire,” describing it as “very contagious.”
Beshear reported that the state has received a disaster declaration from the federal government, allowing the state to receive federal funds for a portion of the funds it uses while dealing with COVID-19.
He emphasized that there are no public gatherings permitted in the state. He estimated that 15,000 tests have been conducted in Kentucky, and voiced frustration about tests from private labs that are not reported to the state.
For more details about COVID-19 and actions the state has taken, visit, kycovid19.ky.gov.