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'We are ready for this.' Kentucky governor confirms 3 new cases of coronavirus, including 1 in Jefferson County

Officials with Norton Healthcare say a patient confirmed to have coronavirus is being treated at their Brownsboro facility.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has confirmed three new cases of coronavirus including one in Jefferson County.

The governor confirmed the cases during a press conference on Sunday and comes two days after a case was confirmed in Harrison County. 

He says that the other two cases are in Harrison and one additional case in Fayette County, bringing the total to four statewide.

All of the individuals are in isolation, according to the governor. 

Harrison County Schools will be closed in the county for several days, and nursing homes are recommended to close to visitors in the coming days. Beshear believes these steps are preventative for potential spread of the virus.

“We want to make sure Kentuckians have the information they need to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus,” Beshear said. “While we do have additional cases, which we expected with the way this coronavirus has spread across the nation and world, Kentuckians should know the risk remains relatively low and they should not panic. We can all take proactive steps to reduce the risk of exposure for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

So far 21 people have been tested for coronavirus with 17 of the tests coming back negative with four mentioned being positive.

Beshear says the state will get through this and the risk is still low. 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer held a press conference Sunday evening to confirm the resident resides in Jefferson County. 

Officials with Norton Healthcare confirmed late Sunday the person is a patient at their Brownsboro facility. They say the patient arrived at the hospital after experiencing respiratory issues. 

Kentucky Department of Public health officials notified the hospital of positive test results also on Sunday.

Norton Healthcare officials say employees and others who may have come in contact with the patient while in their care are being contacted and evaluated. 

Officials have not disclosed further details of the patient due to federal privacy laws. 

Since the COVID-19 virus is unique, Fischer wanted to remind the public that city government officials have always responded to public health outbreaks effectively in the past and talked about the city's strong response to the Hepatitis A outbreak last year.

"There are still a lot of unknowns about this and the situation will continue to evolve. But what we do know is this -- we are going to continue to communicate aggressively and transparently with you all," Fischer said. "We're going to continue to communicate the best medical advice. We all have a role to play in this, so keep yourself healthy and keep others healthy as well. Everybody can help out with us and our community will get through this together."

Fischer said the city will open the Emergency Operations Center at Level 1 but it stops short of declaring a state of emergency. He says the city will have updates daily to ensure transparency. 

He is expected to join officials from Jefferson County Public Schools, the University of Louisville, community partners and Governor Beshear to further discuss the new cases in a Monday media briefing at 8:45 a.m.

Here are some guidelines to follow to stay healthy:

  • PROPER handwashing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • If you do not feel well, stay home, drink fluids and rest.
  • If symptoms persist such as high fever, sore throat, coughing and shortness of breath, please seek medical attention.

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