The Laurel County Health Department has been notified of a second Laurel Countian who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Laurel County Health Department Director Mark Hensley said the health department was made aware of the second individual who tested positive on Monday evening and the health department was in its initial stages of its epidemiological investigation. On Tuesday Hensley said the individual was a 61-year-old male who was seeking medical treatment at a hospital. 

LCHD will work to track individuals who have had close contact with this new case and are at risk for infection. Those individuals will be instructed on proper quarantine measures and monitored to safeguard their own and the public's health.

"The Health Department is committed to protecting the health and wellness of it community," Hensley said in a press release.

Hensley said the public should continue to heed the recommended precautions from the CDC to prevent continued spread of the coronavirus and that health officials are prepared to respond to any cases that arise.

“We have a plan in place to provide operational framework to respond to any communicable diseases and we have qualified staff who have been trained and are ready to respond.”

Eighty percent of the population will develop only mild symptoms, according to the release from the health department that was posted to Facebook around 6:20 p.m. There are, however, specific populations that are at a higher risk of this illness. These include adults over 60 and people with serious health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease, among others.

The recommendations outlined by the health department are:

- stay home from work or school if sick;

- avoid close contact with people who are sick;

- avoid large gatherings;

- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

- if soap and water is not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol;

- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow; and

- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

Social distancing practices are essential to slow the spread of this disease, the release said.

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