A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Somerset opened last week
and officials with the Lake Cumberland District Health Department
addressed some questions regarding the service, during their weekly
update held Wednesday, April 22.
Dr. Christine Weyman, with the Lake Cumberland District Health
Department, said that she expects the new testing site will likely
increase the number of positive cases reported.
"I do think we will have more positives. The more you test the more
likely you are going to find positives," said Weyman.
The Somerset drive-thru site is located in the parking lot at The
Center for Rural Development. There are currently specific criteria
for those who are being tested. These include health care workers,
first responders and those with COVID-like symptoms.
Weyman expects that the criteria for testing may be loosened and
possibly asymptomatic people will be tested. Weyman indicted that in
some accounts 25 to 50 percent of those who have tested positive were
As of Monday, April 27, the total number of cases in the Lake
Cumberland area is 167. There are 89 active cases at this time, with
14 of those individuals hospitalized and 72 self-isolated.
The number of cases in Wayne County remains at six, with three of
those still active. Two people are hospitalized and one person is
self-isolated. The other three patients have been released from
A total of 13 deaths have been reported in the area from COVID-19.
Nine people have died in Adair County, where the largest number of
cases has been reported so far in this area at 78. A nursing home in
that county has had numerous cases of COVID-19 among its population.
Neighboring Pulaski County has had a total of 40 cases, but only
eight of those remain active. All eight individuals in Pulaski County
are self-isolated. There have been two deaths from COVID-19 in
Following are some of the questions that were addressed during last
week's media update.
• What steps are being taken for long term care facilities, and
other similar facilities, to contain the spread?
All LTC facilities have been provided guidance and support from the
district Health Department.
• With the increased numbers of positive cases in nursing homes, is
there a plan to require testing at all facilities, and if not, at
what point are all residents and employees tested.
Each nursing home decides if they want to test everyone or just
symptomatic individuals. There are no specific recommendations from
the CDC. Both strategies have benefits and failings Testing all
residents and employees is one strategy for managing an outbreak in
nursing homes; however, it provides only one point in time and for it
to be of use testing of those who are negative needs to continue
every few days. Positive patients need to be isolated in specified
COVID wings. Currently staff are using facemasks and gloves in all
nursing homes, whether they have cases or not. LCDHD has provided
calls and guidance to all long term care facilities in our 10 county
area according to CDC guidance for LTC facilities.
• Where are the COVID-19 patients being treated at area hospitals?
Several area hospitals are treating positive COVID-19 cases.
• The governor's "Healthy at Work" plan calls for businesses to
have ample PPE. We are all having difficulty getting antibacterial
wipes and hand sanitizer because everything is reserved for first
responders. Do they (first responders) now have an ample supply and
will these products be opened up for businesses to purchase in the
Otherwise, businesses will not be able to reach the benchmarks
required. PPE and sanitizing materials remain in shorter supply than necessary. We are uncertain exactly how this barrier will be overcome.
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