Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson speaks on the two positive COVID-19 cases in the county. (Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette)
Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson speaks on the two positive COVID-19 cases in the county. (Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette)

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Grayson County has now risen to two as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Grayson County officials made the announcement of a second confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis during a press conference held Wednesday afternoon in Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson's office. 

Grayson County Public Health Director Josh Embry said the two individuals diagnosed are a 19-year-old female and a 46-year-old female, and quarantine agreements have also been distributed to seven individuals (not all of whom live in Grayson County) in relation to these diagnoses. 

Embry said that, by law, he can provide no additional identifying information regarding these two individuals, and, while he understands there is fear, the steps for responding to the situation are the same: remain calm and continue to practice social distancing by staying home unless absolutely necessary or staying at least six feet away from others. 

"We knew we would be here at some point," Embry said. 

Henderson also reminded citizens not to panic buy as supplies and food will continue to be delivered to local retailers.

Henderson then pleaded with community members to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, not only because there are now cases in Grayson County, but the situation has now reached county employees. 

The county, Henderson said, sent six employees home because they have been in contact with a person whom has come into contact with the virus; though, he added that these individuals have not been quarantined.

"This is not a joke," he said.

With that said, Henderson reiterated that now is not the time to panic, and he encouraged residents to continue to abide by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, Gov. Andy Beshear, and President Donald Trump. 

"It's up to us as a community to take care of ourselves," he said. 

County residents in need of assistance or who have questions are encouraged to call Henderson's office at 270-259-5000.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO Wayne Meriwether also spoke during Wednesday's press conference and said the local hospital continues to be open, but some limitations and changes to its services have been implemented in response to the pandemic. 

Visitors to the hospital will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 by having their temperature taken. Screeners will also ask a number of questions related to COVID-19. 

Meriwether said family physicians will continue to see patients, but not for preventative or wellness matters. For matters such as prescription refills, patients are encouraged to call their physician's office. 

Additionally, TLRMC is still performing surgeries, but only in cases of emergency in order to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for the hospital's anticipated treatment of patients with COVID-19, Meriwether said. 

TLRMC has received a number of donations of surgical masks in recent days, but the local hospital is seeking at least 800, so each hospital employee can have two. For information on what specifications one must follow to make a mask, visit https://www.tlrmc.com/getpage.php?name=Fabric_Surgical_Masks_Information.

Leitchfield Mayor Rick Embry also discussed the city of Leitchfield's response to the COVID-19 pandemic during Wednesday's press conference, saying that the city remains open for business with some limitations.

Embry said half of the city's work staff has been sent home, and no payments are being taken in the office at Leitchfield City Hall. Residents needing to make payments are asked to pay with credit/debit card, by mail, or via the overnight drop box at city hall. 

In addition, Leitchfield has not closed its city parks, but signs have been posted encouraging patrons of the parks to practice social distancing. 

Embry also reminded parents taking their children to the parks to bring materials to sanitize playground equipment before their children play on it as the city does not currently have the manpower to do so.

Lastly, for the time being, the city is discarding residents' recyclables that are picked up from their homes with their trash due to limited staffing, but the Leitchfield recycling center remains open for residents who wish to take items there to be recycled, Embry said. 

Leitchfield residents in need of assistance are encouraged to call or text 270-259-4034.