Mayor takes steps to prepare City in case coronavirus spreads

Mayor Linda Gorton today pulled together an internal City Hall group to ensure the City is ready to respond to coronavirus cases, if necessary.

“We’re planning, not panicking; acting, not overreacting,” Gorton said. “We’re making sure we’ve done everything possible to prepare our City … that our essential services can function well in this kind of emergency, if needed. As a nurse I learned long ago that preparation is the key to handling a situation like this.”

The City is also reaching out to the community to organize a stakeholder meeting next week to make sure “everyone is on the same page,” Gorton said. “We have been in conversations with hospitals, schools, the airport, universities, businesses, Keeneland, assisted living facilities, shelters and more. We want to make sure all entities are in sync, and able to address the public with a unified message.”

The City will take its cues from state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department concerning public health decisions.

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, Commissioner of Health, said the Department continues to stay updated on the spread of the virus, and has been working behind the scenes to prepare.

Humbaugh stressed that no cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, have been identified in Kentucky. The Health Department is working daily with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the medical community to assist in the self-monitoring process of those who have traveled from China, and to prepare for the rapid identification of potential cases here and the appropriate responses to keep Lexington safe.

Humbaugh encouraged citizens to wash their hands frequently and to stay home in case of illness.

Like other coronaviruses, illness caused by COVID-19 is primarily respiratory in nature, and can range from mild to severe. Influenza infection can begin with similar symptoms and is still widely circulating in Kentucky.

Up-to-date information is available on the CDC website.