A "large portion" of Franklin County's 23 new COVID-19 cases are in a long-term care facility experiencing an outbreak.
Franklin County Health Department Deputy Director Brittany Parker made the announcement during the local weekly COVID-19 press conference held by city and county officials Monday.
There are now 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Franklin County.
Parker warned there are people within the community who are not in a long-term care facility or work for one who were recently diagnosed.
On Saturday, six new patients were confirmed, which included a 53-year-old male; a 95-year-old male; a 37-year-old female; and a 55-year-old female. This also includes a male and female whose ages are unknown at this time.
On Monday, Parker announced 23 new COVID-19 cases. There are now 43 active cases and 21 people who have recovered from the virus in Franklin County.
Parker said it is extremely important that everyone still practice social distancing, wear masks and practice frequent handwashing despite more places opening up and the allowance of small gatherings.
The ages, genders and conditions of the new cases are unknown as of press time.
The spike in cases can be contributed to an ongoing outbreak at a long-term care facility and the increase in available testing, Parker said.
As of Monday afternoon, only two Frankfort long-term care facilities have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 in either a resident, an employee or both.
On Monday, Lori Mayer, a spokesperson for Bradford Square Care and Rehabilitation Center, told The State Journal the facility no longer has any active cases.
The facility had one confirmed case of COVID-19 on April 23 and the patient’s recovery was confirmed on May 3 after two negative COVID-19 tests.
"We were in constant communication with the local and state health departments during this time," Mayer added. "... Since that time, we have completed full house screening with all negative results two weeks ago. We have also continued with Zoom calls for the families twice a week to keep them up to date."
Bradford Square is located at 1040 U.S. 127 South.
On Thursday, Frankfort Rehabilitation and Care spokesperson Ashley German told The State Journal the facility had three active cases in residents. Those residents are in isolation and being monitored 24/7.
"Out of an abundance of caution, residents with any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 are being treated as if positive,” German said.
According to German, comprehensive COVID-19 testing was completed at the facility on May 21 and 22.
Frankfort Care and Rehabilitation is located at 117 Old Soldiers Lane. The State Journal contacted German for an update on the facility’s COVID-19 cases but did not receive a response by press time.
Frankfort Mayor Bill May said the spike in new cases is “alarming” but that’s to be expected with more businesses opening up and with an increase in COVID-19 testing accessibility.
Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells said the spike is “sad” and a reminder that the virus is just as contagious as it has always been.
The Franklin County Health Department’s free drive-thru testing event for June 3 is full, Parker said, but another free drive-thru testing event is planned for June 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Public Health Center at 851 East-West Connector.
Both events are for adults-only and by appointment only at fchd.org/COVID19testing.aspx.