COVID-19 impacting local jail, dance studio, church
Not too long after 46 patients and several staff members at First Christian Care Communities in Corbin tested positive for COVID-19 on June 26, positive COVID-19 tests involving the Whitley County Detention Center, Gail Fredericks School of Dance and Gymnastics and Central Baptist Church are also creating problems.
A dozen inmates at the Whitley County Detention Center are currently being quarantined after a former employee, who worked for a vendor at the facility, tested positive for COVID-19.
“While no other employees from this vendor, deputies or inmates are currently showing any signs or symptoms from this virus, we are actively taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and those who are being detained,” Whitley County Jailer Brian Lawson said in a news release Friday afternoon.
Lawson said that the former employee of the vendor last worked at the detention center on June 26, and he became aware of the situation on July 1.
Jail officials have concluded that about 12 inmates were around the worker, and those inmates are undergoing quarantine through July 10.
Lawson said that he consulted Whitley County Health Department Public Health Director Marcy Rein, who calculated the quarantine period for those inmates.
None of the staff or inmates, who were around the now former employee, have shown any symptoms and they have not been tested for the virus upon recommendation of the health department.
“She (Rein) has advised as long as no one is showing signs or symptoms, there is no need to test. We have quarantined those inmates, who were around or possibly around the worker, who tested positive,” Lawson said.
Rein also advised the jail that as long as other employees weren’t in close proximity, which is six feet, of the former employees for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, then they are unlikely to contract the virus, Lawson added.
Lawson said jail staff are taking precautions against the virus.
“Everyone has masks available. We are constantly cleaning and disinfecting. We are using the QUAT 256 chemical that kills the coronavirus. We are feeding with Styrofoam trays then disposing of those. Other than that, we are just quarantining pretty much,” he explained.
QUAT 256 also kills influenza and other germs and viruses and is dispensed through a garden like sprayer. The Whitley County School District also started using the chemical this spring for disinfecting purposes.
Lawson noted that both agencies are utilizing the same vendor.
Jail staff are wearing masks anytime they go inside a jail cell, and are trying to cut down on the amount of in-person contact that they have with inmates by utilizing security cameras more when doing visual checks rather than physically going into cells.
“We are really just trying to cut down all the traffic that we can,” Lawson added.
Gail Fredericks School of Dance
Gail Frederick School of Dance & Gymnastics in Corbin is closed for two weeks after an employee tested positive for COVID–19.
Owner Gail Frederick announced the decision on the school’s Facebook page Monday morning.
While the employee was not identified by name, Frederick said the employee was not displaying any symptoms of the virus and was tested for reasons other than illness.
Frederick said she has contacted any students that may have come into contact with the employee.
“I feel it is my duty to inform all of you,” Frederick stated in the post.
Frederick said since the studio reopened in June, staff and students have been following the guidelines put in place, which included temperature checks, wearing of masks and sanitizing hands, removing street shoes upon entry into the studio/gym, permitting only small bags be brought into the gym/studio, limiting class sizes to ensure social distancing, and closing the lobby to parents and other non-dancers. In addition, the studio and gym are sanitized prior to the start of each new class.
“Over the next few days I will come up with a plan for our next steps and will let all of you know as soon as I’m able to sort it out,” Frederick stated.
“This was an incredibly hard decision for me, but one I feel is necessary,” she added. “I hope everyone understands and knows that I will always do everything I can for our students.”
Central Baptist Church
Central Baptist Church sent out a notice Tuesday morning that during the Sunday, July 5 worship service, there was an attendee that tested positive for COVID-19.
“We wanted to notify the congregation as soon as possible. Those that were in closest proximity to the person are being notified. Because our church has taken extreme precautions and practiced social distancing and the wearing of masks, our hope is that the exposure and transmission of the coronavirus was very limited,” the announcement noted.
“In order to protect the safety of our congregation, all services will be moved online for the next two Sundays (July 12 and 19). We will not have in person services at the church building on July 12 and 19. Please continue to pray for our community and protection from this virus. Continue to look to God and pray.”