A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky eye physicians applaud bill requiring basic vision screening for driver’s license renewal

Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 439 into law, which requires a basic vision screening for a driver’s license renewal in Kentucky, beginning on July 1, 2024. The Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (KAEPS) has worked with legislative leadership for more than five years to advance this legislation. The bill, which passed the House and Senate with overwhelming majorities, has been...

Special open enrollment period for health insurance extended to Aug. 15; new rules expand who qualifies

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The special open enrollment period for people to buy government-subsidized health insurance on the federal marketplace has been extended by three months to Aug. 15. President Joe Biden made the announcement to extend the special enrollment period on March 23, the 11th anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act becoming law. It was originally...

Beshear reports 646 cases, 27 deaths; on Monday all Kyians 40 and older are eligible to be vaccinated

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate has declined to 2.8% and he continued to encourage eligible Kentuckians to get vaccinated. On Monday, all Kentuckians 40 and older will become eligible for three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to all individuals in Phase 1A, 1B and 1C. By April 12, all Kentuckians 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19...

Harm-reduction strategy supporters say campaign against e-cigarettes may have unintended effects

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s $160 million, three-year campaign to fight youth use of electronic cigarettes by young people may have had its intended effect, but some experts think it has had unintended effects, including scaring young people away from e-cigarettes and toward traditional tobacco cigarettes. “Others who have worked for decades to reduce deaths from smoking say the ongoing...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky names new members to its Community Advisory Council

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has named five new members to its Community Advisory Council. Advisory Council members provide the Foundation’s Board of Directors with advice and recommendations regarding overall policy direction and adherence to Foundation’s mission. Members of the Council are residents of Kentucky who are committed to addressing the unmet health needs of Kentuckians....

Early diagnosis, unique radiation therapy lead Markey Cancer Center patient to a return to daily life

By Allison Perry University of Kentucky While Kentucky was dealing with the early days of the COVID-19 shutdown a year ago, Lexington resident Phyllis Alexander woke up one morning and accidentally discovered another frightening problem. While reaching for her robe in her closet, she turned too quickly, knocking her chest hard against the door. The pain was sharp and immediate, and as she touched her...

State sees 644 new COVID cases, 25 deaths, and positivity lowered to 3.07%

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky continued its decline on Saturday as did the state’s positivity rate, while the number of new deaths — 25 — remained the same as Friday. 
A total of 644 new cases were reported to state public health officials, a drop from Friday’s 731, and increasing the pandemic total of positive cases in the state to 420,512. Wear...

Meghan Marsac: The return to in-person learning can be stressful for kids, some tips to help prepare

Returning to school will bring out different feelings in different kids. Some might be very excited and others quite nervous. Many will likely have mixed feelings. Some kids might be nervous about seeing their classmates or teachers, especially if your family has had very limited contact with others over the past year. It might take some time for kids to get used to new rules or expectations at school....

‘I Got The Shot’ public service campaign to address vaccine concerns raised by Black Kentuckians

Black Kentuckians who are hesitant about getting a Covid-19 vaccine often have the same questions as their white counterparts. But many have additional concerns that may emanate from their experiences with racism in the health care system and America’s history of unethical medical experiments on Black populations. I Got The Shot to Protect the Ones I Love is the theme of a new public service...

Governor reports 963 cases, 27 deaths and 3.73% positivity; says ‘We can’t let up yet’

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s positivity rate has declined to 3.73%. He reported 963 cases and 27 deaths. “While our new cases have decreased dramatically since their peak in the Commonwealth, these numbers are still too high,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are close to the finish line but we can’t let up yet. Keep masking up, keep social distancing and get vaccinated when it’s your...

University of Kentucky Healthcare opens new neurology clinic focused on pediatric and adolescent patients.

By Hillary Smith University of Kentucky Throughout the past few years, the University of Kentucky’s Department of Neurology has experienced tremendous growth. As part of this growth, the Child Neurology division outgrew its clinic space within the Kentucky Clinic. As a solution to that problem, UK Child Neurology opened a new clinic on March 15 at UK HealthCare’s Turfland campus with several other...

John Schaaf: COVID responses are all over — and, all in all, Kentucky has done an admirable job

As the U.S. marks one year of the COVID pandemic, Kentucky and the other 49 states have experienced relentless arguments about the best way to deal with the virus: “Implement no restrictions and let people decide for themselves” v. “Implement restrictions to help people protect themselves and others.” The result of these competing positions is a national landscape of confusion, as each state...

Bill requiring Kentucky drivers to pass vision test at each license renewal nears final approval

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky is close to becoming the 43rd state to require drivers to have a vision screening every time they renew their license. The rule is in a House bill that has passed the Senate is back in the House for consideration of changes made to it in the Senate. “House Bill 439 is a commonsense piece of legislation that will save lives by ensuring drivers on Kentucky...

Survey: Students say pandemic has increased students’ use of ‘vapes’ and other tobacco products

More than a third of Kentucky middle and high schoolers responding to a recent survey say the pandemic has increased students using e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” and other tobacco products. And more than 14 percent said they believe e-cigarettes are safer for them to smoke than traditional cigarettes, according to the survey, conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth...

New CDC guidance paves way for visitors to slowly return to Kentucky’s long-term care facilities

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News After nearly a year of keeping visitors out of long-term-care facilities, Kentucky has allowed visitation at some, but has been waiting on federal guidance for nursing homes regulated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This week, that guidance finally dropped. CMS said it was relaxing its indoor visitation rules in response to “significant...

Beshear reports 1,010 cases, 34 deaths, with 3.93% positivity; get vaccinated, wear masks

Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s positivity rate decreased again, to 3.93%, as more Kentuckians receive one of three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines and continue to follow guidance from public health officials. “We still have far too many deaths reported today – 34 – but I’m happy to see our positivity rate continue to decrease,” said Gov. Beshear. “This shows we’re stepping...

CDC guidance says people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can gather without masks in some cases

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines Monday for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying they can gather indoors without masks in some cases, but should keep their distance and wear masks in larger groups, and limit travel. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the...

State reports 526 new COVID cases, 13 deaths Sunday — and positivity rate of 4.12%

The state reported 526 new cases on Sunday and 13 deaths — and a positivity rate of 4.12%. There were 73 cases in the 18-and-under category reported in the numbers. This brings the state’s totals to 410,709 cases and 4,819 deaths. The top ten counties reporting were Jefferson (106), Fayette (59), Lyon (30), Kenton (16), Warren (16), Daviess (15), Scott (14), Franklin (11), Jessamine (11)...

State reports 840 new COVID cases Saturday and 52 deaths; positivity rate is low 4%

Staff report The state reported 840 new COVID cases on Saturday and 52 deaths, bringing totals to 410,184 cases and 4,806 deaths. One-hundred-forty of the news cases were in youth under 18. Positivity dropped to 4%. Counties reporting the most cases: Jefferson (171), Fayette, (64), Kenton (35), Scott (34), Boone (32), Laurel (25), Rowen (22), Perry (21), Campbell (20) and Russell (20). Five-hundred-ninety-one...

New WKU collaboration aims to improve health and wellness among child welfare workers across state

Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services and the Center for Child Welfare Education and Research (CCWEAR) are pleased to announce the launch of the Kentucky Child Welfare Workforce Wellness Initiative (KCWWWI). Child welfare workers make a positive difference in the lives of families and children. They are heroes and advocates. They are selfless professionals, and they...