FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Department of Public Health has issued an advisory for Kentuckians who traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, over the past two weeks.
The guidance follows a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases that officials say began after Myrtle Beach hotels reopened May 15. There was a rise in positive COVID-19 cases after state attractions opened on May 22.
Preston County, West Virginia, issued a health alert June 17 related to a cluster of COVID-19 cases noted in residents who recently had traveled to Myrtle Beach. The second cluster of cases in West Virginia was identified the following day.
Health officials say a group from Kentucky traveled to Myrtle Beach on June 11 and returned on June 14. At least nine members of the party tested positive for COVID-19. Another cluster may be linked to a trip to Myrtle Beach during the first week of June. Another Kentucky resident tested positive for COVID-19 during travel in mid-June to Myrtle Beach.
If you traveled to the Myrtle Beach area within the past two weeks, you're asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
"Please avoid contact with those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly and anyone with significant medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease," said Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky's Public Health commissioner.
A recent traveler to Myrtle Beach should watch for the following:
- A fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath or breathing difficulty
- Loss of smell or taste
People should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible if they have any of the above symptoms.
The Department of Public Health says exposure to COVID-19 is not limited to Myrtle Beach.
Multiple states have reported a rise in COVID-19 cases, and the guidance should be applied more broadly, including social situations where people gathered in numbers of 10 or higher. It should also be used in situations where people do not observe recommended precautions, including practicing social distancing and wearing a cloth mask when in public or groups. Kentuckians should also practice thorough and frequent hand-washing.
For more information on Kentucky's response to COVID-19, click here.