Coronavirus state of emergency in Lexington

Mayor Linda Gorton and Dr. Kraig Humbaugh confirm the first Coronavirus case in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Shortly after Governor Andy Beshear announced the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case in Lexington and declared a state of emergency, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton did the same.

Gorton says declaring a state of emergency opens a pathway that will make it easier to get access to funding to fight the virus.

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Gorton, a registered nurse, says the city has been preparing for this and is ready.

She encourages people to wash their hands, avoid contact with sick people, and stay home if they’re not feeling well.

She says everyone should carry on with life, just with some extra precautions. She says even she will be going to events she already had scheduled for the weekend.

“There is no reason to panic. There is reason to be careful. It’s still the simple things … wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and avoid contact with sick people,” Gorton said. Otherwise, people should go about their lives as usual, she said.

When asked if she had been in touch with Keeneland, the Mayor said she had not yet and it was likely too early to be making decisions about the spring meet.

Fayette County Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said Lexington can likely expect more cases.

“The role of public health is to make sure the community is protected. We have worked closely with city officials and stakeholder groups throughout Lexington to get prepared,” Humbaugh said.

The patient diagnosed with the Coronavirus is in isolation at UK Hospital

“We can confirm that we have a patient that has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 currently in isolation at UK Chandler Hospital. Our health care team has taken every precaution and followed the appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols to prevent exposure to other patients and caregivers. UK HealthCare is a nationally regarded academic medical center that is especially equipped to handle these types of illnesses. In keeping with our policies regarding privacy, no specific information about the patient is available at this time. We can confirm that the patient is not a member of the UK community,” Jay Blanton, a UK spokesman, said.

The Harrison County Health Department says the person diagnosed with coronavirus lives in Harrison County.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 is a Harrison County resident.Dr. Miller, Public Health Director, is working…

Posted by WEDCO District Health Department & Home Health Agency on Friday, March 6, 2020

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the person. Those people will then be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department offered tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The health department has launched a call center for coronavirus questions. Medical advice will not be provided. The number is 859-899-2222 or email

If you think you might be sick with the coronavirus, stay home and call your doctor.


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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!