State officials warned coronavirus is spreading in Kentucky during a press conference Monday morning.
Gov. Andy Beshear said it is too early to predict how far the virus will spread because of the limited availability of testing. State officials hope to increase testing as private labs make tests more widely available.
“We believe, and this seems to be the case nationally, that this is community spreading, spreading from person to person,” he said. “Again that has been expected, we are ready for it, it is what we always thought that we would see with this novel coronavirus.”
The state has tested 21 people as of Sunday evening and confirmed four cases of COVID-19, including two patients in Harrison County, one in Fayette County and one in Jefferson County.
Beshear said he plans to issue an executive order on Monday to waive co-pays, cost sharing and diagnostic testing for those on private insurance and for state employees. He also plans to remove impediments for anyone trying to get tested on Medicaid, he said. Kentucky declared a state of emergency last week.
Residents 60 years or older, and those with underlying chronic health conditions should avoid large public gatherings, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Health.
Health officials advised nursing homes and long-term care facilities to restrict visitors. They’re also asking businesses to plan to allow employees to work from home.
Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said people who feel sick should only go to the emergency department if they would have gone under normal circumstances.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, shortness of breath and fever. Those feeling sick should stay home, and take Tylenol or Motrin-like products until the fever breaks.
In order to limit the spread of the virus, residents should practice social distancing (of at least six feet), wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and cough and sneeze into the crook