A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Heather Gate: We’ve gained ground in fighting digital divide, let’s not lose it after pandemic is behind us

Over the years, expanding broadband access, adoption, and use has, at times, seemed like “The Little Engine That Could” — I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. We work hard every day to chip away at the digital divide and continue up the hill with many other little engines. Heather Gate Looking back at the last 20 years, it’s often been a challenge to convince others that expanding...

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...

Coronavirus relief bill would expand Affordable Care Act premium tax credits to higher earners

By Bruce Maples Kentucky Health News Stimulus checks. Funding for vaccines. Larger unemployment checks. Money to open schools. All these are features of the coronavirus relief-and-stimulus package that passed the House and is now in the Senate. And you’ve probably heard of all of them. (KyForward file) But one important feature you probably haven’t heard much about are changes to health insurance...

Pandemic metrics continue to fall in Kentucky, but state’s infection rate remains one of the highest

County infection-rate ranges since start of pandemic, with lowest and highest marked. For other counties, via an interactive map from the American Communities Project, visit www.americancommunities.org. By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Two major measures of the pandemic in Kentucky, new cases of the novel coronavirus and newly listed Covid-19 deaths, dropped sharply Saturday. The state reported only...

Constance Alexander: Classic western cinema offers escape from current state of domestic affairs

With the current death toll from the coronavirus nearing 400,000 and projections that the total will reach a half-million by the end of next month, states are scrambling to secure enough doses of vaccine to inoculate first responders and other vulnerable populations. Moreover, after the Trump administration revealed there was no stockpile of vaccine, public health professionals are grappling with shortages...

Constance Alexander: West Kentucky virus survivor tries to make sense of the COVID-19 puzzle

Ronda Dalton Gibson lives in Ballard County at the confluence of Ragland, Monkey’s Eyebrow, and Bandana. Compared to her birthplace in rural Crittenden County across the river from Illinois’ Cave- In-Rock, the farm where she resides with her husband and teenage son is relatively cosmopolitan. “Paducah and Murray are big metropolitan areas to me,” she confessed. Anyone who knows Ronda is not...

Beshear says restrictions have resulted in ‘significant decline’ in coronavirus cases over several weeks

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear noted a several week drop in new COVID-19 cases on Monday and a schedule for the next round of vaccinations was also released. “There was a significant decline last week and four weeks in a row. Last week was the lowest we have seen since November 9,” he said during a virtual press briefing from the Capitol. “What it shows is that we have certainly...

Study finds more Kentucky kids are facing housing, health coverage and mental health challenges

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The coronavirus has surpassed heart disease as the number-one killer of Americans, and a new report finds children are especially vulnerable to the personal and economic consequences of the pandemic. Based on census household survey data taken last spring, the Annie E. Casey Foundation study found nearly 1 in 5 Kentucky households with children said they had slight...

Federal appeals court sides with Beshear, allows order to halt classes at private religious schools

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today A federal appeals court on Sunday morning sided with Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to close religious private schools and others in the state as the coronavirus rages in Kentucky. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati granted Beshear’s request to temporarily halt a judge’s ruling that would have allowed 17 private Christian schools to reopen. Those schools...

Digital divide means Ky. kids risk falling behind, especially as pandemic limits in-person instruction

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service More than 1 in 3 students of color in the Commonwealth, and 30% of all students, lacked adequate technology at home before the pandemic, putting them at higher risk of falling behind in school, according to a new KIDS COUNT County Data Book. Alicia Sells, director of innovation and communication at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, works with high school...

Billy Reed: Sports world must get over entitlement, protect fans and players by taking virus seriously

At this very moment, my younger granddaughter is in Richmond, Va., participating in a field-hockey tournament. I kid you not. Why in the world this thing wasn’t postponed is beyond me. I was sort of hoping she would use the Coronavirus as an excuse not to go. But she loves to play the sport and she didn’t want to let her teammates down. I have to applaud her for that. When you’re on a team, you...

In south-central Ky., health workers and officials battle coronavirus fatigue, politicization of pandemic

Health officials are working “to convince a skeptical public in south-central Kentucky of the risk of catching the deadly virus racing through the region, taking lives and putting an ever-growing number of people in the hospital,” Deborah Yetter of the Louisville Courier Journal reports after a trip to Glasgow, Tompkinsville and Bowling Green. Courtney Calloway’s co-workers gave her...

UofL’s new African American Theatre Program director connects humanity through performing arts

UofL alumni LaShondra Hood and Xavier Harris in The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. The Mountaintop was performed last year on campus and at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC. (Photo from UofL) By Julie Heflin University of Louisville It is part of what persuaded her to pursue a master’s of fine arts in performance at the University of Louisville, and now Sidney Edwards has...

Maridith Yahl: I report about COVID, but having been exposed, quarantined and scared, please wear mask

The day had been an ordinary day, nothing outstanding or special. I was relaxing on the couch, snuggling with my dog when I got the text. A friend I had just seen was sick. At first, she was just not feeling. Nothing specific, just worn out and tired. The next night, she told me she was feeling achy and hurt all over. No fever though. Later, the fever came, then nausea and vomiting, and then the unmistakable...

It’s not a drill: Beshear reports cases (1,449, 3 deaths) with limited reporting, urges ‘uniting’ against COVID

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday asked all Kentuckians to recommit to following safety guidelines as Kentucky again set a record for cases reported in one week. The current report also represented the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Sunday. “Coronavirus is present in every corner of the Commonwealth and it’s spreading at a truly alarming rate,” the Governor said. “This is not a drill;...

COVID surge continues with Fayette among leading counties; Beshear urges renewed commitment

Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentuckians should be alarmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth and renew their commitment to stop the spread of this disease before the crisis escalates further. “It continues to be a difficult time in the Commonwealth, where every day, things appear to be getting worse and more concerning,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are seeing not only a surge in the virus,...

Beshear reports 1,786 cases, 18 deaths; positivity rate is 5.9 percent — everyone must fight the virus

Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday that community, long-term care and school leaders and administrators, as well as Kentucky families in red zone counties, should prepare a weekly COVID-19 reduction plan based on each Thursday’s incidence rate map. Thursday’s red zone map, published on kycovid19.ky.gov, provides communities and families time to plan and accommodate the new red zone reduction recommendations...

Amy McGrath: We can rebuild Kentucky even stronger, but first there must be positive change

Over the last two weeks in Kentucky, we have had our two highest weekly coronavirus case counts yet. Meanwhile, nationwide, we are again seeing more than 60,000 cases a day on average. Economically, our true unemployment rate in Kentucky seems to be over 10%. Compared to other wealthy countries, our inability to control this virus and help our citizens who are struggling is staggering. When I pressed...

As COVID-19 grows more dangerous, ‘pandemic fatigue’ makes some take risks; here are tips to cope

As coronavirus cases surge across the country with no end in sight, many of us are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and are heading into the fall with “an odd mix of resignation and heedlessness,” the New York Times reports. “In sharp contrast to the spring, the rituals of hope and unity that helped people endure the first surge of the virus have given way to exhaustion...

Escalation of COVID-19 continues as Beshear reports 1,059 new cases, eight deaths on Friday

Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). “We continue to be in another escalation of COVID-19 cases here in Kentucky,” said Beshear. “This is the highest Friday in the last four weeks, and this will be our highest week ever when we finish it for number of new COVID-19 cases.” Case Information As of 4...