FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The City of Bowling Green is posting daily updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response from our local partners serving on the Coronavirus Workgroup. Please follow all of our social media channels, but especially check us on Facebook at facebook.com/citybgky. The responses to the questions at the bottom of this page were answered by this working group.
This group includes members from:
Barren River District Health Department
The City of Bowling Green
Warren County Government
Med Center Health
Greenview Regional Hospital
Graves Gilbert Clinic
Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital
Dr. Rebecca Shadowen, MD; Infectious Disease and Travel Medicine Specialist
Western Kentucky University
Southern Kentucky Community Technical College
Warren County School District
Bowling Green Independent School District, and
Warren County Emergency Management
1. How many of the confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Warren County have been hospitalized?
Since the first case was identified on March 18, 2020, 102 patients have been hospitalized in Warren County hospitals. It is important to remember that patients do not have to be “from” Warren County to be admitted to The Medical Center at Bowling Green or Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital.
2. What is our total hospital inpatient capacity in Warren County during this pandemic?
Our community has a capacity of over 650 inpatient beds. Currently, at least 50% of these bedsare available should our community experience a sharp increase in COVID-19 positive patients that need hospital care.
3. What does the number of positive COVID-19 cases curve look like for Warren County? Is it going up or down?
The number of positive cases are rising in the community in Warren and surrounding counties. This is a direct indicator of both increased testing numbers and our population behavior over the past 2 weeks. Specifically, it tells us that our community is becoming less strict about social distancing, general face covering in public, hand hygiene and surface disinfection. It means that EVERYONE needs to be diligent about these practices. It is advisable to wear a face covering anytime we are out in public.
4. What is our current hospitalization rate for Warren County?
The current hospitalization rate varies every day. We have had increases in the number of cases admitted. It is important to understand that hospitalization only indicates severe disease, or symptoms that cannot be managed at home. It is a small fraction of the number of actual cases present at any point in time. That number is estimated to be less than 14% of total cases in any community.
5. Is our local health department doing contact tracing, or is that the state's responsibility?
The Barren River District Health Department is responsible for case investigations and contract tracing related to COVID. Once we receive a lab report and a case is deemed to be positive, Barren River District Health Department Communicable Disease staff conduct a case investigation. As it relates to a positive case, we must receive the lab report before confirming a positive case. A case investigation includes a phone interview which covers in excess of 10 pages of information that we gain from the individual. We gather information about anyone who has been in contact with the positive case over the past two weeks. This is referred to as contact tracing. Think of it as wheel with a hub being the case and the spokes being the contacts. Anyone who is a direct contact with the positive case (meaning they have had extended contact with the person) will be notified directly by a member of the Communicable Disease staff from the health department.
6. Are local authorities involved in enforcing social distancing and use of masks in businesses?
The Barren River District Health Department is charged with the task of educating and informing the public about social distancing and the use of masks.
7. Do we expect increases in positive COVID-19 tests with the reopening of businesses and churches?
Our numbers of cases are directly dependent on the behavior of our community members as businesses and churches reopen. There is a delay of approximately 2-3 weeks in the effect of our social distancing activities due to the delay of onset of symptoms, what we call the incubation period for the infection. Our expectation is that EVERYONE will adopt general mask or face coverings while in public, social distance and be very careful for hand hygiene. Disinfecting common use surfaces is also a significant step in preventing transmission of this virus. Increases and decreases are under the direct control of every person and their acceptance or compliance with preventing spread. As we open our society, these measures and responsibilities are even more important. Until we have effective treatment AND a vaccine to administer, we must continue to be "Healthy at Home and Healthy at Work". Social distancing, face masks/coverings, hand hygiene and surface cleaning are all necessary…stay the course.