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Fountain Circle COVID cases boost total to 44

Six more residents of the Fountain Circle nursing home in Winchester have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, boosting the total number of positive cases in Clark County to 44.

Public Health Director Becky Kissick reported the new cases Sunday morning.

The new cases of the virus range in age from 53 to 91 years old. Additional details cannot be shared because of medical privacy laws, the director said.

The residents are all being isolated in a separate part of the facility in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kissick said.

“The health department is currently working 24 active cases, while 20 cases have been released or have recovered,” the director said in an email Sunday.

There have been no reported deaths from the disease in Clark County.

The cases involving residents of Signature HealthCARE at Fountain Circle have resulted in a huge spike in recent days.

When the Clark County Health Department reported the 21st case May 17, it was the first one reported in nearly three weeks, since April 29. But since then, the number has more than doubled.

On May 18, both Signature HealthCARE and the Health Department reported that 13 residents and five staff members, including one employee from Clark County, had tested positive for the virus. The residents were 55 to 100 years old.

The 35th case was a 19-year-old woman, and the 36th was a 77-year-old woman reported last Wednesday. On Thursday, it was reported that an 86-year-old woman had the virus. Saturday, a 78-year-old woman had tested positive, and the report’s wording indicated that she, too, was from Fountain Circle. The notice said the department “continues to work in collaboration with the facility, state officials and our partners to ensure the health and well-being of all our citizens.”

The Health Department is working to contact trace — identify and speak with all those who may have come in close contact with persons with the virus while they were contagious.

Kissick implored the public to “remain vigilant” during Memorial Day and keep others safe by frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, wearing masks and practicing social distancing — not standing or sitting close to others.

In his 5 p.m. televised briefing Saturday, Gov. Andy Beshear also urged Kentuckians to use caution in celebrating the holiday to “honor those who have sacrificed much for our country.”

He recommended limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, gathering outside instead of inside, maintaining at least six feet of distance from other people, wearing masks, covering food, individually wrapping plates and washing hands frequently.

The virus, which is most often spread by moisture on people’s breath, causes the debilitating and often deadly disease. So far 8,571 coronavirus cases have been reported in Kentucky, including 148 confirmed Saturday. No new deaths were reported Saturday. The state’s death toll remains 391, according to the last report.

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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