The Walking Dead Begins With a Scary Similarity to Coronavirus Outbreak

The Walking Dead fans have noticed that the series begins with a scary similarity to the current Coronavirus outbreak. u/helpfulraccoon posted the image from after Rick woke up and to the surprise of everyone reading, it was Harrison Memorial Hospital. Why is that scary? Well, Kentucky just confirmed the first case of Coronavirus in the state at… Harrison Memorial Hospital. So, the Internet does what it does best and mingled dark humor with some speculation for good measure. (There were some spirited replies in the thread about whether or not the hospital was actually in Harrison County.) Still, all these developments have people afraid and that won't go away until officials figure out some way to combat the illness.

Harrison Memorial released the statement below:

On March 6, 2020, HMH was contacted by the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH) regarding a confirmed COVID-19 case who had been a previous patient at Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH) in Cynthiana, Kentucky.

The first case of coronavirus in Kentucky was identified and isolated at Harrison Memorial, the same hospital where Rick was when he woke up to the apocalypse. from r/thewalkingdead

HMH has had COVID-19 screening in place since early January 2020 as mandated by the Centers for Disease Control. At any point of entry within HMH, all patients are screened for the potential risk. The patient presented with flu-like symptoms to our facility. At that time patient did not meet KDPH health screening and was treated for the presented symptoms. When symptoms did not subside, the patient returned. Further tests were completed, KDPH was notified, and KDPH determined the patient did not qualify for testing. Despite the patient not meeting COVID-19 screening criteria, HMH clinicians made the determination to admit the patient to the hospital due to the patient's condition and was admitted into a negative pressure isolation room. From there, the patient was transferred to a tertiary care facility.

When informed of the confirmed case, HMH immediately contacted the Public Health Commissioner and Center for Disease Control representatives to discuss cautionary measures for patients and staff. At this time, HMH has evaluated the staff members who had contact with the patient. Those employees who were exposed will follow the current CDC recommendations. HMH would like to stress that we have not had a staff member with symptoms, and we are taking precaution to ensure patient safety. The protective process requires contacts to be isolated (for 14 days after their known contact), so that if they become ill we can take appropriate action to keep our patients and employees safe. If after the 14-day period, they remain healthy, these employees are allowed to return to work and normal activities.

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HMH wants to alleviate concern to the public. We have the facilities and the expertise to care for patients, while protecting the safety of all of our patients, visitors and employees. HMH has negative pressure isolation rooms with specialized ventilation systems. The staff is trained and maintained a state of continual readiness. In addition, staff is given personal protective equipment when caring for any patient suspected of having an infectious disease. The HMH Certified Health Care Environmental Services Technicians complete daily terminal cleaning and will continue to complete terminal cleaning on every surface in both clinic and public spaces each day using anti-microbial disinfectant. Terminal cleaning includes removing all detachable objects in the room, cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces in the ceiling, and cleaning everything downward to the floor. Items removed from the room are disinfected or sanitized before being returned to the room.