Whitesburg KY


The Kentucky River District Health Department announced this afternoon (Friday) that Letcher County has its first case of COVID-19.

The 50 year-old man is self isolating and does not require hospitalization at this time, District Public Health Director Scott Lockard said. The test was returned from a commercial laboratory, and Lockard could not say when the test was performed. He said commercial lab results can take as little as 48 hours, but can take up to 10 days. He said there is no known blanket warning to the public because the epidemiology believes it has contacted everyone at risk of being exposed to that particular patient.

However, Lockard said residents should assume that the virus is here and should not be out in the community unless absolutely necessary. He said the patient’s travel history is no longer relevant because there are cases all over the state.

Lockard said epidemiologists tracing the man’s contacts notified him just before the news conference in the Letcher District Courtroom that they had been in contact with everyone they could determine was at risk of exposure from the individual. Lockard would not say in what business the man works. Lockard said several years ago when there was a hepatitis A outbreak, it was determined that Patient 0 worked in a restaurant, and therefore it required a blanket notification of the public. Since that is not the case with that patient, Lockard declined to say where he worked in order to avoid releasing identifying information.

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