EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Late Friday afternoon, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear held a press conference at the capitol building to confirm the state’s first case of coronavirus.
“We expected this first confirmed case,” Governor Beshear said. “We will work together. We, as a state, will get passed this.”
Beshear is urging Kentuckians not to panic and says the case is in Lexington with the person currently in isolation at a medical facility who is receiving treatment.
“I promise, I will treat this the same way that I would for my own family, being the dad of a nine and 10-year-old,” Gov. Beshear added. “I want to make sure we’re doing everything to protect our families."
Hours ahead of Governor Beshear’s announcement, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb stood alongside state leaders who made a similar statement.
Its first COVID-19 case is in Marion County where the patient, who recently traveled to Boston, will remain in isolation for 14 days and not be released until specimens taken two consecutive days at the end of that period test negative for the virus.
“As we do this individual’s evaluation, Marion County Health Department will be taking the lead on that,” Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner explained. “And those are the questions. What flight did you fly in on is very important. Where were you staying? Who did you have contact with? Did you go to school? Are there children or other individuals in the home that could have been exposed?"
In Illinois, cases continue to climb as a fifth person tested positive for the coronavirus.
These cases are just a small fraction of the total cases. Globally, the World Health Organization said there are close to 100,000 cases of the coronavirus. Of those, 3,400 people have died.
The president signed an $8 billion emergency spending bill for vaccines, testing, treatment and preparations to contain the growing threat.
“Came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it,” President Trump said.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and local health officials sat down to talk about coronavirus late last week.
As of March 6, there are no known cases in the Tri-State, but no cities are off-limits.
“The world we live in today is such that there are highly communicable new illnesses that come about from time to time, so we’re constantly preparing for it making sure we have the right supplies to take care of people, planning for what would happen,” Dr. James Porter, president of Deaconess Health System stated in a prior press conference.
Indiana Health Department’s Commissioner Kristina Box says her main concern is the elderly and those in assisted living facilities.
Locally, SWIRCA serves more than 1,200 area seniors. Administrators met Friday morning to discuss best practices such as increasing hand sanitizing stations.
“Oh, it’s very concerning and we take those things very seriously,” SWIRCA’s Senior Vice President of Operations said. “Because once again, we are kind of younger, healthy, and at less risk so we don’t want to be the ones taking it to our clients from going into people’s homes. So, if need be, we try to do as much over the phone as we can, or if it gets to the point where it’s a true epidemic, we won’t send people into the home.”
The World Health Organization says there’s a shortage of personal protective equipment and that’s endangering health workers around the world. They say it’s caused by panic buying, hoarding and misuse.
They’re calling on industry and governments to increase manufacturing by 40 percent.