Whitesburg KY

Drive-through test ID’s 2nd COVID-19 patient

2nd virus victim doing ‘very well’

A free drive-through testing event in Pike County uncovered a second positive test of COVID-19 in Letcher County.

The 57-year-old man is self-isolating at home, according to the Kentucky River District Health Department. The new case was announced Sunday.

District Health Director Scott Lockard said the epidemiologist who interviewed the man said he is doing “very well” at home, and is not a known contact of any of the other positive cases in the district.

The person was tested at a drive-through testing site set up by the state and Kroger Health at Shelby Valley High School in Pike County for three days last week. It is the first time the Kentucky River District Health Department has had a person in its area who tested positive at a mass-testing event.

The state reached an agreement with Kroger to conduct the drive-through testing events across the state, primarily in underserved areas, that are now free and open to everyone. Currently, those sites are in Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro and Bowling Green. Including those, there are 13 testing centers in state, including Primary Care Centers in Hazard. The Kroger sites require online signup, however the Hazard site does not require signup in advance and is open to everyone.

In addition to those sites, local medical providers can test patients who present with symptoms.

So far, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation has done about 100 tests, and Appalachian Regional Healthcare has done about 20, medical personnel from the two providers said. Letcher County has a population of about 22,000.

Overall, state efforts have increased the number of people tested statewide to 52,411 out of about 4.4 million. Positive cases stood at 4,375.

“I know we have plateaued, but we are not in any way out of the woods,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday night.

Beshear is still urging all residents to wear masks when they are in public places, as a way to prevent asymptomatic people from unknowingly spreading the virus, and to remind people to social distance.

The latest positive case in Letcher County is the second here and the 15th case for the area served by the Kentucky River District Health Department, the health department said in a statement on its Facebook page Sunday.

Anyone who took the test last week should check The Little Clinic patient portal for test results. Persons who were tested at the site should have received an email from The Little Clinic LLC with instructions on how to logon and check their test results.

“The local health department has received several calls from individuals who state they have been instructed to call the health department for results from the testing event in Pikeville. Kroger is not reporting these results to the local health department for release,” the district health department said in a statement today.

Instruction given at the testing site said patients who test positive would be notified by the provider or the health department, and negative results would be posted to the online patient portal.

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