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 
Pulaski County.
    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 
near future?
    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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