Five more Daviess County residents tested positive for coronavirus Friday, said Green River District Health Department officials.

They are a 48-year-old male, 48-year-old female, 23-year-old female, 69-year-old male and a 58-year-old female.

None required hospitalization. They are self-quarantined at home.

On Thursday, health officials announced a 51-year-old Daviess County man had been diagnosed with the virus. He remains self-quarantined at home.

Another Henderson County resident — a 61-year-old male — tested positive Friday as well, giving that county two cases. Both residents are isolated at home.

“These additional confirmed cases are not surprising,” Clay Horton, public health director, said in a press release. “The public should not be alarmed. We expected this, and we expect additional cases. Everyone needs to strictly adhere to the social distancing recommendations and other guidance that is being provided.”

On all local coronavirus cases, GRDHD officials are conducting contact investigations, which involves finding out various locations affected residents visited and who they may have encountered before being diagnosed.

As of Monday morning, the health system had taken 57 specimens to test for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Many test results are pending.

With the announcement of new cases, OH officials again tightened visitor restrictions at OH Regional Hospital. The new policy mirrors other hospitals’ policies across the region, said Dr. Francis DuFrayne, OH chief medical officer.

The new policy states:

  • No children under 18 will be allowed to visit unless they are parents of a child in the pediatric or neonatal intensive care units.
  • No visitation will be allowed for adult inpatients except under specific circumstances and with prior approval. For example, two visitors will be permitted for end-of-life care or decision-making.
  • Also, two parents will be allowed to visit the NICU and pediatric units; however, parents can be denied access if they are symptomatic.
  • One visitor will be allowed in the labor, delivery and postpartum units, and that visitor must be the same during the entire time.
  • One visitor may accompany a patient for discharge.
  • One visitor for patients who have emergency surgery.
  • Family, friends and loved ones should use electronic devices and apps to keep in contact with patients.
  • No family members will be allowed to wait in lobbies or waiting rooms. If people are not allowed in to visit, they must wait in their cars or return home.
  • Visitors will be screened before being allowed into the hospital. They will be turned away if they are running a fever or have traveled recently to high-risk areas.

To view the temporary visitor restrictions, go to owensborohealth.org.

“What we are really trying to accomplish is minimizing exposure to all of our citizens, staff and patients,” DuFrayne said.

Health and government officials across the nation questioned Friday whether the nation’s hospitals had enough ventilators to treat the number of patients who may fall ill with COVID-19, which is a respiratory virus.

OH has a total of 26 ventilators onsite, DuFrayne said. Twenty-two of them are for adults and children. Four of them are in the NICU.

Because elective surgeries have been postponed in anticipation of COVID-19 numbers rising, ventilators can be taken from operating rooms, he said.

And the health system has six more ventilators on order. DuFrayne said the delivery date is not known at this time.

So does OH have enough ventilators?

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict,” DuFrayne said. “That depends on how busy we get at Owensboro Health.”

At Gov. Andy Beshear’s press conference Friday afternoon, he announced the state’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 63.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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