Update Regarding Barbourville Infectious Disease Investigation

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Union College and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) that all test results of a potential infectious disease case at the Barbourville ARH Hospital in Barbourville are negative.

Dr. Maria Braman, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the ARH system, applauded the diligence of the Barbourville ARH Hospital emergency room staff as well as the CDC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health for their assistance in protecting the health and wellbeing of the communities Barbourville ARH serves.

“In medicine, it is our practice to always protect the patient. We test for the worst and hope for the best. We are relieved that is the case for this patient at Barbourville ARH Hospital,” she said. “The staff at Barbourville ARH took the necessary precautions for treating a potential infectious disease with the information they had, and this was not a misdiagnosis but rather a best possible outcome for this patient which we are relieved to report.”

In a press release issued this evening by the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), Gov. Andy Beshear said:

“My administration took immediate action working with officials to quickly respond and we are pleased to announce that Kentuckians were never at risk,” said Gov. Beshear. “We thank everyone who helped address the concern.”

DPH Commissioner Dr. Angela Dearinger said tests revealed there was no high-level threat to hospital staff or the community.

“This was nothing out of the ordinary for any U.S. hospital,” she said. “After receiving the test results, as well other details about this incident, we can confirm there was never a risk of highly infectious disease.”

Dearinger said state health experts followed proper infectious disease protocols with hospital, local and federal officials.

Additional information is available at https://chfs.ky.gov/.