The first Hopkins County death from the coronavirus was confirmed Friday, while the number of positive cases now stands at three.
Gov. Andy Beshear revealed at a late-afternoon briefing that the victim is a 77-year-old male. Health Director Denise Beach said he had “comorbid conditions.” That means he had other health issues.
“Seniors and those with comorbid conditions... are the at-risk group,” Beach said. She urged them to continue social distancing.
A third COVID-19 case in Hopkins County was confirmed Thursday night. Beach said the patient is an adult, but she gave no other details. During a Facebook Live briefing, she added her staff has contacted everyone in close contact with all three cases.
“We start interviewing the patient or next of kin... and then work our way through the contacts for two days before the symptoms began until the day the contact investigation began,” Beach said in a statement.
The Hopkins County death, along with one in Fayette County, increased the total across Kentucky from COVID-19 to seven. The Kentucky Department of Public Health reported the number of positive cases now is 302, out of 5,123 tests.
While the local coronavirus pace is slow compared to cities such as New York and Chicago, Beshear warned a surge is coming. Beach indicated area hospitals are ready for more patients.
“We have plenty of ventilators,” Beach said. While she didn’t know an exact number, “no shortage is expected right now.”
Beshear put the number statewide at 1,352.
Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. suggested people take an approach to COVID-19 that professional wrestling fans know as kayfabe.
“Act like you already have this virus and don’t want to spread it to anyone else,” Whitfield said. That includes going to stores only when necessary.
“I would recommend using your credit card, so you don’t have to pass cash across and get money back, so you’re the only one who touches it,” Whitfield added. The World Health Organization suggests people wash their hands after handling money.
In other new developments related to COVID-19:
• the Madisonville Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation posted pictures of how to make a simple face shield from five parts. The commonwealth is looking for companies which can make “millions” of them.
• the City of Hanson closed its gazebo and playground on instruction from Gov. Andy Beshear. Nortonville closed the picnic area and playground at Gordon Park as well.
• the City of Madisonville clarified its restrictions on city parks. The miniature golf course at City Park is closed, while the regular course and disc golf courses are open.
• the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office announced that the deadline for property taxes has been extended to Friday, May 15.
• the Hopkins County-Madisonville Public Library Board announced its Monday meeting will be conducted through an online teleconference. Both library branches are scheduled to reopen Tuesday.
• Whitfield said the next Fiscal Court budget hearing is still on for Tuesday, but might be conducted through video conferencing as well.
• Hopkins County Innovate + Caffeinate announced its monthly meeting Wednesday will be via Facebook.