A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

University of Louisville receives $8.6 million from CDC for COVID-19 wastewater research project

The University of Louisville has received $8.6 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to back research that could help health departments use wastewater to monitor the rate of COVID-19 infection. UofL researchers already are testing wastewater to determine whether coronavirus infection exists in different neighborhoods around Jefferson County. This new work goes one step further,...

UK Colleges of Agriculture, Nursing partner to train more registered nurses to fill need in rural areas

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is partnering with the UK College of Nursing to help meet the need for more nurses in rural Kentucky. According to the 2019 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State Rankings for Health Outcomes, Kentucky has some of the highest obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease rates in the United States. Many of the state’s...

Pike, Woodford, Perry, Fayette and Floyd counties lead state in full vaccination according to CDC data

Screenshot of Washington Post interactive map (Click for larger image)(Click here for interactive version) By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Two pairs of very different Kentucky counties – Pike, Woodford, Perry and Fayette – have the highest percentages of their populations fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data published Sunday...

A longstanding Ky. summer tradition to return in 2021 as 4-H Camps to open with COVID protocols in place

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A long-cherished summer activity is returning in 2021. Kentucky 4-H’s four regional camps will open their doors to campers with new, enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place. “We are taking additional steps this summer to protect our campers, volunteers and employees,” said Joey Barnard, Kentucky 4-H principal specialist for camping. “We are closely monitoring...

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...

UK, Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center partner to help prediabetic patients fight onset of type 2

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky is helping prediabetic Kentuckians prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes through a collaboration between the UK Cooperative Extension Service and UK HealthCare’s Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center. UK extension agents deliver the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to local residents...

CDC study suggests rural K-12 schools could safely open for in-person learning with proper precautions

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A new study shows that rural schools holding in-person classes with heavy masking, social distancing and limited group sizes had few transmissions of the novel coronavirus. But a separate analysis shows that such precautions are not always being taken. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 13-week study involved 4,876 students and 654 staff from...

COVID relief is on the way. But as hunger persists, is it too little too late for some Kentuckians?

By Liam Niemeyer Ohio Valley Resource He asked her if she was cold. Wind whips around the park in western Kentucky a couple of days before Christmas. He puts his arm around her as they move closer together on the bench. Blake Livesay, 27, met Laura Brooke, 31, online earlier in 2020, and they’ve been inseparable since. She liked his way with words, “like a walking, talking Hallmark card.” He...

Kentucky records significant increase in overdose deaths as COVID-19 pandemic worsens opioid crisis

By Suhail Bhat Ohio Valley Resource New federal data shows the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the country’s deadliest 12-month period for drug overdose fatalities, including a sharp increase in overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley. According to the latest data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 people died due to drug overdoses in the 12 months from May 2019...

Smoking during pregnancy can cause long-term problems for babies; stop smoking now

By Maridith Yahl KyForward reporter Smoking during pregnancy affects how the baby takes in oxygen, how the baby develops and has negative effects which can present from birth into adulthood. “When a mother smokes while pregnant, the baby is absorbing carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes,” says Cady Cornell, Tobacco Health Educator, Northern Kentucky Health...

Beshear goes into quarantine on Sunday after security staff member tests positive for COVID-19

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday he and his family have gone into quarantine at the Governor’s Mansion after a member of his security detail tested positive for the coronavirus. In a YouTube vide posted Sunday afternoon, Beshear said, “The Beshear family has been committed, since the start of COVID-19, to setting an example, of doing all those things we’re asking...

A Kentucky example shows how CDC’s slow, cautious approach to pandemic contributed to spread

A bombshell USA Today package details how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to effectively respond to the growing pandemic, adding to its spread across the United States — especially in small towns and rural areas. “Reporters reviewed 42,000 pages of emails and memos obtained from health departments and interviewed more than 100 community leaders and public health experts,...

Dr. Ty Sullivan: Don’t let COVID-19 prevent your child’s annual doctor visit; check immunizations

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of life in Kentucky, our country and across the world. In recent months, stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing measures have created a “new normal,” and all of us have put activities on hold to reduce the spread of the virus. But one activity that you should not put on hold is a child’s annual doctor visit. With schools back in session...

Kentucky’s childhood immunization rates have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service There’s been a sharp decline in vaccination rates among Kentucky children since the onset of the coronavirus. And health experts say they are concerned about the confluence of COVID-19, flu season and the potential for other infectious-disease outbreaks. The state’s Department of Medicaid Services reports among Medicaid recipients, from March through...

Many of America’s faithful say it is time to return to church, but some governors continue to disagree

By Lindsey Van Ness Pew Charitable Trusts Gathering to pray feels more important than ever for many Americans of faith, as COVID-19 cases top 2 million in the United States and communities roil with anger about police brutality and systemic racism. Yet many governors and city leaders still prohibit large religious gatherings, angering some clergy — even those who backed pandemic-related restrictions...

KDE releases guidance on alternative learning strategies for reopening schools this fall

The Kentucky Department of Education released guidance Monday on ways to safely structure instruction and learning when schools reopen in the fall. The document, “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools: Alternative Learning Design Strategies,” explores a variety of learning and instruction models for districts to consider that prioritize safety during the pandemic, along with learning progression....

With interest in backyard chickens on the rise, experts warn of dangers of bacterial infections

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky When school is out and the weather turns warmer, people become more interested in raising backyard chickens. Since human interactions with poultry can raise the risk of bacterial infections, University of Kentucky poultry specialists are urging new and experienced backyard flock enthusiasts to remember safe handling principles. “We’re seeing an even higher...

What you should know about pediatric multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome and COVID-19

By Dr. Sean McTigue Kentucky Children’s Hospital There have been reports coming out of New York and other states that have been hit hard by the coronavirus about a complication experienced by children who have tested positive for COVID-19. Known as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome (PMIS), doctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made a connection between this...

Ky. American Water to conduct system flushing; temporary changes to drinking water disinfection

Kentucky American Water will soon conduct its annual water system flushing program, which involves crews opening selected fire hydrants throughout the water distribution system and letting them flow for several minutes. This is an essential maintenance activity that assists in providing excellent quality water to customers because it helps remove natural sediment that can build up in water pipes over...

Constance Alexander: ‘Joy is always imperiled’ the fictional doctor said, but Gov. Beshear delivers hope

On December 30, a Chinese physician, Dr. Li Wenliang, 34, tried to alert fellow medics about the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan Province. His message to fellow doctors in a chat group warned them about the disease and advised that they wear protective clothing to avoid infection. Three days later police paid him a visit and told him to stop, as if it were a crime to inform the public of impending...