Christian County Health Department spokesperson Amanda Sweeney and CCHD Executive Director Kayla Bebout said Wednesday that despite social media chatter, no cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Hopkinsville or Christian County.
The health department is investigating potential local exposure to the virus after a Bluegrass Cheercats coach who is a Tennessee resident tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are doing some investigation on that right now to see what information we can find out,” Bebout said.
According to a Facebook post from Bluegrass Cheercats, the local dance and gymnastics facility owners contacted CCHD after the positive case was identified.
CCHD then obtained contact information for anyone at the gym who might have had direct exposure to the Tennessee coach to determine if they need to be tested or quarantined.
“Direct exposure is being within close contact for more than 20 minutes,” Bebout said. “When we find out that there is a positive case, our epidemiologist will contact those people to see if they’ve been exposed.”
Sweeney said that investigation is ongoing.
Residents are advised to monitor how they are feeling and to contact their physician if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever over 100.4, cough and shortness of breath. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that symptoms may appear between two and 14 days of exposure.
The CDC also explains the difference between isolation and quarantine:
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Calhoun & Company PLLC sent out a phone message to its customers Tuesday about another possible exposure and closed down its facility for deep cleaning. An employee hung up when the New Era called Tuesday for more information.
Bebout said after speaking with the company’s owner, the health department determined no one had been exposed.
The company released a statement via Facebook Tuesday evening explaining what occurred:
“A relative of a Calhoun & Company staff member who cares for patients at Vanderbilt Medical Center encountered a patient who tested positive for the virus,” the post reads. “That Vanderbilt employee was properly protected during that encounter and is continuing to work. Neither the staff member nor their relative has shown any symptoms and therefore is not considered at risk.”
Calhoun & Company stated it was not their intent to cause fear or undue concern.
“There has been NO exposure to Covid-19 by any employee of Calhoun & Company or Gracious Me!,” the post continues. “Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to close Our businesses for cleaning, much like the school systems and many public entities.”
Sweeney said it’s important for anyone who thinks they might have been exposed to COVID-19 to contact health professionals before sharing it with the public.
“Please contact CCHD, and we will go through the proper steps to make sure we put it out accurately,” Sweeney said. “We have solid methods in place to investigate these instances and ensure the correct information is disseminated to the public.”
Sweeney said CCHD is working to create a line of communication between physicians in and across state lines about confirmed COVID-19 cases and their whereabouts for potential exposure.
“We’re reaching out across state lines contacting hospitals and physicians, and just getting information to the hospitals that COVID-19 is a reportable disease,” she said.
According to the kycovid19.ky.gov website, between one and 15 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Christian, Todd and Trigg, and no local cases were confirmed as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. One case was confirmed in Lyon County, which neighbors Trigg.
Across the state, 35 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and 489 have been tested.
For more information, visit the website or call the state COVID19 hotline at 800-722-5725.