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OH officials say area still in early stages of pandemic

April 1, 2020

Following the first coronavirus-related death in Daviess County and with a handful of patients being monitored at the hospital, Owensboro Health officials warn that the area is still in the early stages of the pandemic.

The patient who died was being treated at the hospital, and officials there offered sympathy for all everyone who felt effects from the virus.

“On behalf of the leaders and caregivers and staff at Owensboro Health, our deepest sympathies for the family of all the loved ones affected by this in the community, as well as the person that we’ve now lost in the community,” said OH Vice President of Medical Affairs Michael Kelley.

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Officials said a total of 13 patients are currently either being treated at the hospital for COVID-19 or are under investigation — meaning they are awaiting test results.

Three of those patients are in the critical care unit. So far one of them has tested positive.

The other 10 patients are under observation under a lower level of care. One of them has tested positive.

“Sometimes even the patients that are admitted end up being negative,” said Francis DuFrayne, chief medical officer with Owensboro Health. “Those patients that are in the hospital, if they’re doing well, even before their test result comes back, they could be sent back home to quarantine and we end up calling them with the result of their test afterwards.”

OH has administered 480 total tests, with 320 coming back negative so far. Many are still awaiting results.

Official urge everyone throughout the region to do these five things:
– Wash your hands
– If you need to cough, do so into a tissue or elbow
– Don’t touch your face
– Social distancing
– Stay at home if at all possible

DuFrayne said social distancing and washing hands is proven to be effective.

“Social distancing is really key,” he said. “If you’re not around anyone, you can’t get the infection.”

DuFrayne said the region is still in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As far as we can tell, we have not reached our peak,” he said. “We don’t even know yet when the peak will occur. That’s why we really strongly urge you to do those five things.”

Kelley added that by following those recommendations, the public can flatten the curve and help the hospital better treat those who do test positive.

“We want there to not be a big surge and a big peak,” he said. “We want to try to spread this out. It’s much easier for our health system to deal with this in smaller numbers over time than a large amount of people all at once.”

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Click here for all of our coronavirus coverage.

The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.

For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.

For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.

April 1, 2020

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