A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Outlier Massie becomes pariah, forcing colleagues to gather against public health advice for stimulus vote

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Thomas Massie, the congressman from Kentucky’s Fourth District, has long been at the limits of elective politics at the national level. He is more Libertarian than Republican, but his strong stands against the tax-and-spend mentality of the federal government harken back to Republicans of old, such as the late Sen. Robert Taft of Cincinnati, just across the Ohio...

Most Kyians with Alzheimer’s are at least 65, have chronic illness, putting them at high risk of COVID-19

People with Alzheimer’s disease are considered at high risk for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, not only because they have Alzheimer’s but also because most of the 272,000 Kentuckians with the disease are over 65 and most of them have at least one other chronic illness, Hillary Smith reports in a University of Kentucky news release. The increased risk of COVID-19 for...

UK Healthcare to offer drive-thru coronavirus testing for frontline employees by appointment

UK HealthCare is offering drive-thru testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus for its frontline employees and patient care providers.  The drive-thru testing is at UK HealthCare Turfland and by appointment only for UKHC employees who are symptomatic but do not need inpatient care. Plans to expand testing to broader groups at UK HealthCare and the public will be considered once access to...

Officials urge quick hospital, government action to limit deaths from COVID-19 in rural areas

A public-health professor and a surgeon at the University of Kentucky are sounding the alarm that the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus could devastate rural Kentucky, and they say rural citizens and hospitals need to be more careful. Ty Borders, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Endowed Chair in Rural Health Policy, and Sam C. Tyagi, an assistant professor of surgery, wrote a letter...

UK Healthcare implements no visitation policy at its hospitals and clinics; here are the restrictions

To protect our patients, families, employees and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, UK HealthCare is implementing a no visitation policy beginning midnight tonight in its hospitals and clinics until the threat of COVID-19 transmission has decreased significantly. “These are extraordinary times and we ask for your cooperation and assistance in complying with these restrictions,”...

City of Lexington records first death related to covid-19 novel coronavirus, reminds residents to be vigilant

The first death related to COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) in Lexington has been confirmed, Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh reported Monday. The victim was a person in their 80s with underlying health conditions. Additional details about the person cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws. “This is a sad day for our city and especially for the family and...

Kentucky’s covid-19 response compares favorably to major border states according to recent data

(Click for larger image) Kentucky compares favorably with major bordering states in dealing with the coronavirus, according to recent compilations of testing and case data. (Click for larger image) Among the six states, per person, Kentucky ranks second in the number of tests for the virus and is next to last in the number of reported cases, according to figures compiled by the Pegasus Institute, a...

KY’s Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Steven Stack, says we could be seeing ‘calm before the storm’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today In a video interview with the American Medical Association, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said if a large part of the population gets sick and becomes critically ill in a short period of time, the health care industry will run out of supplies. 
“Most of us rely on a supply chain that often as short as a three-day, just in time, logistics supply...

Gov. Beshear aims to stop the spread, help citizens; extends tax deadline to July 15, school closures

Gov. Andy Beshear announced more actions on Friday to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and assist Kentuckians trying to manage difficulties because of the virus. Gov. Beshear requested school superintendents keep schools closed for in-person classes until at least April 20 and delayed the state’s income tax filing deadline until July 15, consistent with the new federal deadline. “We...

Governor’s daily message about coronavirus, cites new cases (including a child); upset with budget plan

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky now has 47 positive coronavirus cases, a second death and a second child tested positive for COVID-19, said Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday. 
Announcing the death during a Capitol press conference, the governor struck a somber tone. “This is an event that family never wants to face. A 64-year-old male from Jefferson County actually passed away on March 13, but...

Transylvania announces further changes in response to COVID-19; winter, May terms to be taught remotely

Transylvania University Interim President Dr. John N. Williams on Wednesday announced further changes to the university’s academic program in response to COVID-19. “We have made the decision, in the best interests of the community we hold dear, to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of our Transylvania students, faculty and staff,” Williams said. “After extensive conversations...

Coronavirus-19 health crisis prompts University of Kentucky to move to online/alternative formats for remainder of semester

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto on Tuesday announced that UK will move to online or alternative formats for classroom instruction for the rest of the semester in response to the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Last week, Capilouto announced that UK would move to online instruction for the two weeks following this week’s Spring Break, March 23 through April 3. But in...

Kroger’s Community Rewards program to support USA Cares during coronavirus pandemic

With shoppers rushing to pick up food and household items in response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, programs like Kroger’s Community Rewards program are ensuring nonprofits like USA Cares can continue providing aid to those who seek their services. “As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increase, so will the requests we receive for assistance from veterans and their families,”...

Health officials focus on measures to ‘flatten the curve’ to fight the coronavirus; what that means

Kentucky Health News When health officials talk about strong measures to ‘flatten the curve’ to fight the coronavirus, this is what they’re talking about. Measures that are being called “drastic” and “extreme” are necessary to keep the coronavirus and its COVID-19 disease from overwhelming the U.S. health-care system, according to health experts and public...

Two statewide health advocacy groups asks public to help prevent spread of highly contagious COVID-19

Two statewide health advocacy organizations are urging Kentuckians to take state public health experts’ advice seriously to help prevent the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Commonwealth. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (FHKY) and the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) say social distancing, frequent and thorough hand washing and staying home if you’re sick are especially...

Navigating Aging: A startling inequality gap emerges after age 65, and those who reach it are living longer

By Judith Graham Kaiser Health News In an era when “deaths of despair” — from substance abuse and suicide — are on the rise among middle-aged Americans, those who reach age 65 are living longer than ever. But there’s a catch: Seniors in urban areas and on the coasts are surviving longer than their counterparts in rural areas and the nation’s interior, according to an analysis from Samuel...

Two more COVID-19 cases confirmed in Harrison County, bringing total to five in county, eight in Ky.

Governor Andy Beshear confirmed two more cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), both in Harrison County, Tuesday night, bringing the total in Kentucky to eight. All eight are in isolation. “As we continue to prepare and respond, everybody should remain calm and know we are ready for this,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our local health departments are ready for this. The state is ready for this....

New program encourages community to create inclusive environment for seniors with sensory loss

Approximately 83 percent of older adults in the United States are living with at least one diminished sense, according to a new survey by Home Instead, Inc. While a sensory loss is remarkably common, the world is not designed to accommodate those living with challenges such as impaired vision, hearing and mobility. This harsh reality is no more apparent than on the demographic with the highest rate...

New influenza cases in Kentucky dropped slightly in last week of February; vaccine remains best defense

In the last week of February, Kentucky reported fewer new cases of influenza and fewer deaths from it than it did the week before. The latest weekly report from the state Department for Public Health shows that in the week ending Feb. 29, Kentucky counted 1,591 new cases, down from 1,943 new cases the previous week. Five flu deaths were reported in the state, down from 14 the previous week and 16...

Mitch McConnell announces Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight new coronavirus

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight the new coronavirus, labeled COVID-19. The funding, included in the supplemental appropriations bill, was signed into law by President Trump, will be provided to state officials who will determine how the resources will be distributed. Each state will receive no less than $4 million. The...