VIRUS UPDATES: More Toyota delays, Appalachian Health changes, Horsepark closings, RFT cuts service; food drive set

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A day after announcing a three-day shutdown in production, Toyota extended that to two weeks.

“Toyota is extending the length of its production suspension at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The manufacturing facilities will be closed from March 23 through April 3, resuming production on April 6, 2020,” Toyota spokesperson Justin Posey said in a statement.

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“This action is being taken to protect the health and safety of our employees, key stakeholders and communities, as well as a result of the significant market decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To support our employees, Toyota will continue to offer full pay during this shutdown period for all production team members and variable workforce,” Posey added.

HORSEPARK CLOSINGS

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Horse Park announces its attractions, including the International Museum of the Horse and Park barns, are closed until further notice. Kentucky Horse Park grounds are open to the public.

The Visitor Center will be open 9 am to 5 pm, Wednesday-Sunday, for access to the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and public restrooms.

The Kentucky Horse Park Campground remains open. The Campground Store will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 8 am to 4 pm. Campers can go directly to their sites and will be checked in automatically—they will not need to check-in at the store.

Events scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park through March 31 have been canceled or postponed.

APPALACHIAN REGIONAL HEALTHCARE

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A medical group with 11 outlets in eastern Kentucky and others in West Virginia is changing the way it screens patients who potentially have the coronavirus.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is now offering a separate screening area for patients experiencing respiratory symptoms such as coughing, fever or difficulty breathing.

The group has facilities in Barbourville, Harlan, Hazard, Hyden, Prestonsburg, McDowell, Middlesboro, West Liberty, South Williamson, Martin and Whitesburg in Kentucky.

The goal of the separate screening area is to limit the exposure of patients with respiratory symptoms to other patients with similar symptoms, and to separate them from other emergency department patients who are not experiencing respiratory illnesses.

Upon entering the hospital campuses, patients will see signs directing them to these separate screening areas – some ARH hospitals have erected tented areas while others will have designated areas away from the Emergency Department. Here patients with respiratory symptoms are evaluated for the proper type of testing and treatment their conditions requires.

Staff will wear proper masking and attire for screening patients with various contagious respiratory illnesses and patients will be given a mask as well. Further, as part of the CDC recommendation of social distancing, in some locations, ARH staff onsite in the screening areas will utilize video consultations with physicians as part of the patient evaluation and screening process.

The ARH COVID-19 Hotline is open from 7a.m to 11 p.m., 7 days a week, to field questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, testing and prevention. The Hotline can be reached at 606-439-7100. For the most accurate and current ARH COVID-19 updates and information, call the ARH COVID-19 Hotline or Visit www.ARHCOVID19.com.

FOOTHILLS TRANSPORTATION

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – As a result of the coronavirus and new restrictions on transportation services, Kentucky River Foothills Transportation is limiting many of its transportation services, according to a post on its Facebook page.

“In response to COVID-19 concerns, KRFDC has made the difficult decision to suspend our transit routes. Foothills Express will continue to operate the EKU Yellow Route and
limited service only (ex: dialysis/critical needs). Limited service will operate on a one-to-one service (1 driver; 1 passenger as a result of new Medicaid guidelines). Services suspended include the Berea Bus Route, Richmond Transit Service, Madison County Connector Service, and the Winchester/Clark County Transit Service. Additionally, the Clark County to Lexington Commuter Service, Express Service (curb-to-curb),
and Intercity (to airport, train and bus), are suspended. These transportation routes will be reinstated as soon as possible. These safety measures will help combat the spread of COVID-19 as our community’s work through this pandemic. We understand the hardship this
will place on many of our clients. Thank you for patience and understanding during this difficult time. If you have a transportation emergency (health related), please call us at 859-624-3236 or 1-800-819-7083. Although we may not be able to provide transportation we may be able to link you with other resources,” the agency said in its post.

CROSSROADS FOOD DRIVE

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Crossroads Church will host a drop-off food drive on March 21 at its four Kentucky locations and all its Ohio locations.

Contributors are encouraged to bring the following items:
● Cereal
● Nutri-Grain/granola bars
● Instant oatmeal
● Lunch entrees (pasta, taco meal kit, etc.)
● Soup
● Ramen noodles
● Fruit cups
● Individual mac & cheese
● Peanut butter
All items can be dropped in bins at the sites and no person-to-person interaction will occur. Local
partners Inter Parish Ministry, GO Pantry and BLOC Ministries along with other area food pantries will receive
the donations.
The Kentucky locations are: 828 Heights Blvd. in Florence KY, 41042; 1696 Oxford Drive in Georgetown, KY 40324; 4128 Todds Rd. in Lexington, KY 40509, and 124 South Keeneland Dr. in Richmond, KY 40475