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Clark County reports first COVID-19 related death

The Clark County Health Department is reporting the county’s first death in which COVID-19 was a contributing factor. The victim, a 77-year-old woman, was a resident of Fountain Circle, a long-term care facility. She died Friday.

“Our thoughts are with this family during this difficult time,” County Public Health Director Beck Kissick said in a news release Friday afternoon.

As of Sunday, the Signature HealthCARE nursing home in Winchester has had 32 residents and 12 staff members who have tested positive for the debilitating and often deadly disease. Two residents and five staff members have recovered, according to a recorded coronavirus report available by calling (859) 349-0518.

Ann Bowdan Wilder, a spokeswoman for Signature HealthCARE,  released the following statement Saturday:

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that Signature HealthCARE at Fountain Circle Care & Rehabilitation Center confirms the loss of one of its beloved residents on Friday, who had tested positive for COVID-19. The loss of any of our residents for any reason, is devastating, and we ask the community to keep the family of our resident in your thoughts and prayers. Our Signature HealthCARE family is holding our resident’s family closely in our hearts and prayers as well.”

Wilder noted that the company cannot provide any personal, identifying information about the patient because of HIPAA and other medical privacy laws and regulations.

“We do feel it is important to note, if a person tests positive for COVID-19 at the time of passing, it does not necessarily mean the person died of the virus,” she said.

Wilder said government officials are designating all those who have tested positive for the virus and died as COVID-19 deaths, and are instructing others to count them as such.

“However, only an autopsy can determine whether COVID-19 played a role, if any, in a person’s passing, some of which were predisposed to pass due to other conditions, COVID-19 notwithstanding,” Wilder stated.

65 local cases

The Health Department reported two new cases of the coronavirus Friday, one involving a 55-year-old woman and the other a 35-year-old man.

Because of medical privacy laws, Kissick said in the press release, the department cannot provide more information.

Currently, the health department is working 44 active cases of the total 65 positive cases identified in the county, she said.

Health officials are stressing, as businesses re-open and people return to some activities, that it is important to continue to follow public health guidelines. People should wash their hands frequently, stay at least six feet apart from other people and wear a mask to help prevent spreading the virus, the press release said.

In his daily televised briefing Saturday, Gov. Andy Beshear reported 319 new cases of coronavirus for the day, bringing the total to 11,287. There were four new deaths announced Saturday, bringing the total to 470.

“Remember, COVID-19 is still out there spreading aggressively and it can be lethal to certain populations,” the governor said in a statement Friday. “Let’s make sure we’re keeping our social distance, let’s make sure we’re wearing masks and let’s protect one another.”

More information about COVID-19 in Kentucky is available from the Governor’s Office at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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