Community Collaborates to Minimize COVID-19 Impact
Local leaders from Hardin County, Elizabethtown join in response to new virus
ELIZABETHOWN, Ky. (March 11, 2020): Today, representatives from Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) and Lincoln Trail District Health Department (LTDHD) along with government officials from Hardin County and incorporated cities (Elizabethtown, Radcliff, and Vine Grove), first responders, business and industry leaders, school representatives, and civic leaders provided a community update regarding COVID-19 resources and long-standing medical emergency preparedness. Officials discussed COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and what area residents can expect.
Currently, there are eight (8) cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Harrison County has five cases. Fayette County has two cases and Jefferson County remains at one. None of these individuals reside within the Lincoln Trail District (Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington counties). To date, public health officials have monitored over 200 individuals, with only 54 requiring testing. Local and state public health officials will continue to monitor and prepare to promptly respond to any potential cases should they occur.
“Please know that your local public health department identifies disease cases, investigates, and implements public health strategies to contain disease and prevent the spread of illness each and every day,” said Sara Jo Best, Lincoln Trail District Health Department Public Health Director. “We are prepared to continue to respond to all communicable diseases within our community to include COVID19.”
“Our local health department is one of Kentucky’s best and HMH is in the business of caring for people with all kinds of illness,” said Sharon Wright, HMH Vice President of Patient Service and Chief Nursing Officer. “For this constantly evolving, new virus, we have a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 taskforce that meets daily to review the latest, emerging facts and then implement appropriate strategies. The best way to help us is to wash your hands and go the websites we list for your information.”
John Godfrey, M.D. and HMH Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, told the group “Coronaviruses have been around for a long time and we’ve identified this new version, COVID-19 in the last 90 days so our immune system doesn’t have the ability to fight it off yet. That’s why those with low immunity have the most risk and children really do not. We are learning more everyday but it is right to say that most of us who contract COVID-19 will probably have very few symptoms. If we all practice preventative Hardin Memorial Health measures and keep working as a community like we are today, without panic or fear, we will hopefully minimize this virus’ effect in our region.”
As the situation continues to evolve, the leaders recommended obtaining reliable information from these sources:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
- Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services kycovid19.ky.gov
- Lincoln Trail District Health Department ltdhd.org
- Hardin Memorial Health hmh.net
The public may also utilize Kentucky’s public hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
Prior to seeking care, residents are encouraged to use the following guidelines to make the best decisions regarding their health.
- Worried, but well
Do not immediately go to a hospital, emergency room (ER) or doctor’s office. If you are worried but well, going to a hospital or doctor’s office just further overwhelms medical staff and adds to a higher concentration of people.
- Feeling ill, but otherwise would not have sought out medical care
If you have a fever or cough and, if it were not for COVID-19, you would not have otherwise sought care, do not immediately seek care at an ER, hospital or doctor’s office unless you feel your condition is urgent or emergent. If you want advice, call the state hotline (1.800.722.5725) or your local health care provider.
- If you are sick and feel you have an emergency
Call your doctor or seek medical care. The hospitals across the state stand ready to serve.
HMH is an integrated system of providers and facilities serving approximately 400,000 residents in 10 Central Kentucky counties (Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Breckinridge, Grayson, Nelson, Hart, Bullitt, Green and Taylor). The 300-bed hospital in Elizabethtown, Kentucky includes 270 acute care, 15 psychiatric and 15 skilled nursing beds. Additionally, HMH includes 50+ outpatient facilities across the service area including a Cancer Care Center and Outpatient Surgical Center. There are over 445 physicians and advanced practice clinicians in over 40 specialties and primary care including Hospitalists available 24/7, Emergency and Urgent Care; Cancer, Cardiac, Rehab and Therapy Services; Medical and Surgical Services; Pulmonary Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Ear, Nose and Throat, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Obstetrics including a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatrics. With 2,700 employees and an active volunteer corps of 140, Hardin Memorial Hospital is the third largest employer in Hardin County.
The Lincoln Trail District Health Department (LTDHD) serves the residents and visitors of a six-county area including Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. With a central office in Elizabethtown, Lincoln Trail District Health Department operates six health centers throughout the district. A number of clinical services and programs are provided through those centers. Additionally, environmentalists work from these centers, providing all the inspections and permit services necessary to ensure public health. LTDHD’s mission is to assure the public’s health and safety through prevention, promotion, and protection.
Megan Blaney, Heartland Communication Consultants (631) 431-3011 email@example.com
Terrie Burgan, RN, BSN, MPH, Lincoln Trail District Health Department (270) 769-1601 ext. 7008 Terrie.Burgan@ltdhd.org