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‘Phase one’ of reopening Kentucky starts with hospitals, healthcare services next week

ARH Regional Medical Center announced on Friday the first COVID-19 related death happened at Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center.
ARH Regional Medical Center announced on Friday the first COVID-19 related death happened at Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center.(WSAZ)
Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 6:24 AM EDT
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“Phase one” of Kentucky’s gradual reopening will begin Monday, April 27 with hospitals and healthcare service, Governor Andy Beshear announced.

Under this initial phase, the governor says hospitals can start doing the following services next week:

•Diagnostic treatments

•Radiology work

•Non-urgent and emergent procedures

•In-person office visits

•Ambulatory visits

Also, pre-anesthesia testing services can begin next week in order to prepare for the increase in surgeries that will come after they were delayed earlier in the month.

During Wednesday’s update, Gov. Beshear and Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack discussed a shift as well as an increase in testing capacity for Kentucky.

According to Dr. Stack, there are now two types of testing options available for the coronavirus:

•PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

◦Was the first type of test available

◦Can tell if infection is currently present or recently occurred

◦Identifies presence of viral RNA

◦Used to determine if someone has an infection

◦Usually collected from nose (back or middle)

•Antibody (Serology) Testing

◦Identifies antibodies showing immune system response to infection

◾IgM - associated with acute infection

◦Can tell if infection has recently occurred

◾IgG - associated with recovered/chronic infection

◦Can tell if a patient has been infected at some time

◦Blood test

◦Too early to know which tests are useful and reliable

◦Too early to know if positive IgG antibodies equal immunity to infection

As Kentucky begins to reopen, starting with hospitals, testing will shift towards healthcare workers, first responders, and senior living facilities.

Doing this will help take care of those most vulnerable to the coronavirus, which is one of that state’s 10 benchmarks to reopen.

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