Tuesday, April 7, 2020
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Updated closure list, visitation changes, etc., due to coronavirus
UPDATED CLOSURE LIST, CHANGES IN VISITATION, CHANGES TO BUSINESS OPERATIONS, ETC., DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
The Advocate will update this list as information continues to come in. If you have a closure, business operation change, etc., please share it with us!
JAIL
As of March 11, the MCRJ has suspended all non-inmate traffic into the secure part of the facility. This includes all visits, church, guest speakers, GED, work release inmates, as well as moving inmates to and from other facilities, Jailer Eric Jones said.
“We will have our Inmates At Work Program operating as normal with protocol of thorough cleaning and sanitizing before entering the facility. Be advised we don’t have any cases of the COVID-19, we are being proactive to ensure the safety of the staff, inmates and general public. We are working with our contracted health provider to have additional intake questions to help identify any symptoms prior to them entering our facility. We are also working with our local health dept. for a standard protocol in the event we need an inmate tested. We are educating our staff and inmates on the importance of good quality personal hygiene,” Jones said.
Hospital
CHI Saint Joseph Health is actively monitoring new developments related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kentucky and across the United States. As the situation evolves, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling is making changes related to visitation and operationally.
Since the beginning of the flu season, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling has implemented seasonal restrictions and those are still in place. In light of the COVID-19 situation, the facility is reinforcing those restrictions and taking additional precautionary steps. Only two immediate family members will be allowed to visit patients in all units; in the maternity area, visitors will be limited to parents and grandparents without a fever or runny nose, a release said.
In addition, people with a fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms will not be permitted to visit. Anyone who has traveled to a high risk area for COVID-19 or had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 will not be allowed to visit patients in the hospital.
“Our top priority at CHI Saint Joseph Health is the safety of our employees, patients, visitors and communities,” said Dan Goulson, MD, chief medical officer for CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Considering all of the recent recommendations and information, as well as the safety and well-being of our volunteers, we have made the decision to temporarily pause our volunteer programs. We are making these changes out of an abundance of caution.”
With this change, the gift shops run by volunteers at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East will close temporarily. Many volunteers at CHI Saint Joseph Health are over age 60 and are particularly vulnerable should they be infected with COVID-19.
Similar to instances involving Ebola, SARS and MERS in the past, CHI Saint Joseph Health is working with CommonSpirit Health and public health dept.’s at the state and local levels, as well as with local governments on community response.
CHI Saint Joseph Health advises patients to avoid emergency rooms unless symptoms are severe, such as high fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Patients should contact their regular health care provider by phone first if they are experiencing symptoms like cough, low-grade fever or other respiratory issues.
Goulson offered standard precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently; it’s one of the most important steps in avoiding not only COVID-19, but also other illnesses, including the flu. If you’re sick, stay home. If you develop a fever and lower respiratory symptoms such as a cough, talk with your physician or care provider, a release said.
WINDSOR CARE
Windsor Care said it is restricting visitation from family and visitors for a period of one week. That could be extended if necessary, said Ruth Hackworth, administrator.
Only family visitation is allowed for residents in critical condition. Those families will be screened with a questionnaire from the CDC and temperatures will be taken.
If someone has known association with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, they will not be allowed in the center, Hackworth said.
Rooms are being set aside for hospice patients for visitation. Dr. Danielle King, medical director, will reassess the situation after the week-long period and determine if an extension is needed.
Windsor Care staff are doing training and following guidance from the CDC. Family members can check social media for updates, Hackworth said.
CHURCHES
Local churches are making decisions regarding church services on an individual basis. Please follow your church’s social media page or call for info.
Doctor offices
Some local medical offices are adjusting policies about entering if you have a fever, for example.
Please call your individual provider to check on the current policy.
BUSINESS
Ruth Hunt Candies said yesterday that due to the COVID-19 virus its factory tours were temporarily postponed until further notice. Both the Lexington and Mt. Sterling storefront locations are open with regular operating hours.
Flowers on Main says it will no longer be delivering items to hospitals, care facilities and/or doctors offices. All other deliveries at this will time will be at its discretion.
Pathways Inc. is working to ease any stress and anxiety for its consumers and others who may need to seek behavioral health services. Pathways is pleased to announce behavioral health services, including intellectual and developmental support services, mental health services and substance use disorder services, will continue at its outpatient and residential locations. If a consumer cannot keep a face-to-face appointment, he/she may call their local office and schedule a telehealth appointment.
In the event of school closures, any child or youth currently receiving school-based services can schedule an appointment at the local Pathways office or call to arrange a session by telehealth. Local Pathways offices will be able to assist any consumer or individuals seeking an appointment with telehealth arrangements.
Pathways recognizes that reactions during an infectious disease outbreak can make an emotional impact on a person, especially individuals with a preexisting mental health condition, children and those involved in helping with the response to COVID-19, including health care providers, a release said. Reactions may include excessive fear and worry about health status, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems or increased use of alcohol, nicotine or other drugs. Pathways is ready to help any individual experiencing an increase in these symptoms or having stress reactions that interfere with daily activities several days in a row.
Pathways said it will make every effort to accommodate scheduling needs. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the 24/7 help line at 800-562-8909 or 606-324-1141.
You can reach the Mt. Sterling office at 498-2135.
ACTIVITIES
The Gateway Regional Arts Center announced it was canceling Thursday yoga classes until further notice and its IrishFest, which was scheduled for Friday, March 13. It encouraged patrons to stay posted with potential closings or event postponements through its social media channels and email list.
Shows for the McNabb Middle School production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. have been postponed.
A Montgomery County High School baseball team chili supper and auction has been postponed until further notice.
A Camp Camargo Family Showcase Night was postponed.
Mt. Sterling-Montgomery County Parks and Recreation has canceled the 2020 spring soccer season that was scheduled to begin with games March 16 due to concerns about coronavirus.
The 2020 Ruth Hunt Easter in the Park event scheduled April 4 has been canceled.
OUTREACH
Apostles Closet said in light of coronavirus it has decided not to do its March outreach. A great deal of children and elderly attend the outreaches. The church that oversees the outreach, Heritage Christian, said that the church will post both the next outreach and box reopening on social media.
The March 28 community meal hosted by the Montgomery County Homeless Coalition has been canceled. Many of the guests who attend, according to the coalition, fit into the criteria the CDC has deemed vulnerable to coronavirus.
Its All About People Helping People
The group would like to be able to help those with relieving some worries/concerns about not having food while school is out for your children. Come to the distribution center Saturday, March 14, from 1-6. "Please keep in mind that this is a need-based group. Please do not try to use it to stock up, let’s make sure that we can help as many people as possible. Also if any time during this closure you find yourself needing food, please reach out to any of the admins on the page and we will do what we can to help," a release said.
The gorup is also still taking donations for food, hygiene and cleaning supplies.
GOVERNMENT
As of this posting, local government was operating as normal at both city hall and the courthouse annex.
Regular meetings for the Fiscal Court and Mt. Sterling City Council are still expected to be held Tuesday, March 17, for both agencies.
Jodi Whitaker, communications director for Congressman Andy Barr, said that Barr’s office will be conducting mobile office hours via phone until April 1 out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19.
Barr’s office typically has mobile hours from 10 to 11 a.m. the fourth Thursday of the month here in the office of the Montgomery County Judge-Executive. Barr’s staff assists with things such as federal agency issues including Social Security disability benefits, SSI, Medicare benefits, expedited passport requests, IRS issues, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, veterans compensation claims, military records, service issues and medals.
Barr’s office can be reached at 859-219-13669.
The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2020 session has been postponed until March 17. The Senate and House will not convene, as previously scheduled, Friday, March 13, or Monday, March 16.
The decision was made in light of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a statement released by Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker David Osborne, Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey and House Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins
“This will not affect the number of legislative days left in this session. However, it will provide an opportunity to evaluate safety procedures as we move through the remainder of session. We anticipate resuming normal legislative business on Tuesday, March 17,” a release said.
The Kentucky Supreme Court canceled all in-person appearances for both civil and criminal dockets, with exceptions for emergency matters, domestic violence hearings and evidentiary hearings in criminal cases in response to the coronavirus. Judges are encouraged to use telephone or video technology for all necessary hearings, including arraignments and mental health hearings.
The measures are in place from Monday, March 16, to Friday, April 10.
Civil trials, hearings and motions are postponed and rescheduled for a later date. Any civil trial or hearing currently in progress will be continued or completed at the discretion of the presiding judge.
Reasonable attempts will be made, according to an order, to reschedule all criminal trials, subject to a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
With the exception of emergency matters and hearings statutorily required to be held, small claims, eviction, juvenile, probate, traffic and guardianship cases shall be continued.
Courtroom attendance will be limited to attorneys, parties and necessary witnesses.
A case involving an attorney or party who is ill or in high risk category will be rescheduled.
The order includes various other measures, such as the suspension of new juror orientations and postponing jury service for jurors who are ill or caring for someone who is ill, encouraging attorneys to use e-filing and drop boxes, discourage congregating outside courtroom doors and encouraging social distancing inside the courtroom, etc.
In addition, while Supreme Court proceedings are normally open for the public to observe in person, the court will not seat an audience for the March 18-20 oral arguments. This is to observe calls for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, a release said.
As for the Montgomery County Courthouse, it is following the same measures as outlined in the Kentucky Supreme Court/Ky. Court of Justice order.

SENIOR CENTERS
The governor has recommended that senior centers close. At the time of this post, there had been no announcement about the local centers.
SCHOOLS
Montgomery County Schools are following a recommendation from Gov. Beshear to close school for a least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
A special called school board meeting is scheduled for tonight, at 5:30 p.m., at the Clay Center, where this matter will be discussed.
With the threat of COVID-19 in the region, Maysille Community and Technical college is transitioning to online class delivery beginning March 16.
MCTC will be taking the following approach to delivering instruction:
• Online classes will continue as usual.
• All face-to-face and hybrid courses delivered on campus will be transitioning to online delivery starting March 16.
All MCTC Campuses will remain open during this period.
“At MCTC, we understand that this situation can create challenges for our students,” said Stephen Vacik, MCTC president. “With that in mind, our business and student support services will continue to offer services, including admissions, advising, disability services, testing center and institutional support.”
Following the state’s lead, MCTC is minimizing large public gatherings to assist in efforts to limit any potential exposure to illness. Beginning March 14, all non-essential college sponsored and hosted events will be canceled through March 30. MCTC will continue to monitor the situation to determine if this should be extended.
Moving courses to an online format is MCTC’s plan to keep their students, faculty, staff and community safe as Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana have declared states of emergency due to the threat of coronavirus.
CRIME
Sheriff David Charles said when there is a crisis or concern with an issue, such as coronavirus, crime will invariably follow.
He said criminals will target individuals through social media with click-bait email scams in an attempt to capitalize on fears. He cautions the public about receiving emails promising supplies or a cure. Do not open them, he said. Official and legitimate sites will not communicate in that manner. Do not provide any personal or financial information.
He encourages the public to call his office with questions.

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