A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear calls new vaccine a ‘game changer’ as end of pandemic is in sight; masks, distancing still needed

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News As a new vaccine was released and the coronavirus and Covid-19 kept waning in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said the end of the pandemic is visible and the third vaccine “is going to be a game-changer.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the one-shot, easily handled vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson could be given to anyone over...

Red Cross encouraging Kentuckians join in to help those in need during Red Cross Month in March

One year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, people have stepped up to address the emotional needs of families reeling from the coronavirus and 2020’s record-breaking disasters. Throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and across the country, trained American Red Cross disaster mental health and spiritual care volunteers have had more than 53,000 conversations to provide...

Public invited to submit artwork for Team Kentucky Gallery to be displayed in state Capitol’s main hall

Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear on Monday invited Kentuckians to lend their artistic talents to a new Team Kentucky Gallery, which will be located in a main hall of the state Capitol in Frankfort. The Beshears said the Capitol is the people’s house and there is no better place to highlight Kentuckians’ voices as represented through art. “Once we defeat COVID-19 and more Kentuckians...

Kentucky by Heart: Despite intrusion of virus, we’ve made positive changes and learned valuable lessons

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist The pandemic experience has been a bummer for most of us. I passed through my own bout with COVID-19 early in January and fortunately had minor symptoms: a dry cough, no fever, and some lower back issues temporarily. Almost surprisingly, my wife, Suzanne, tested negative on two separate occasions, certainly a blessing. I figured there must be something good to come...

Ballard County school nurses step up to help community administer COVID-19 vaccinations

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher The first doses of vaccine against COVID-19 arrived in Ballard County in January, ready for distribution to 26 first responders, but the local health department had a problem. Its only available nurse, Melissa Ballard, was in COVID-19 quarantine. Then, another member of the Ballard County Health Department’s three-person staff also was out on quarantine soon afterward. But...

Joseph Kurtz: HB 149 offers Kentuckians the right to choose the education their children deserve

This past week, former State Representative Jim Wayne authored an opinion piece calling on Catholics to oppose House Bill 149, which would create an educational choice program for Kentucky families.  Rep. Wayne and I share a concern for ensuring that public policy serves the common good, and I appreciate him offering his views. Nevertheless, his arguments against House Bill 149 suffer from several...

FCPS acting superintendent Marlene Helm provides update on plan for return to in-person learning

Fayette County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm clarified the district’s plan for a return to in-person learning and assured the community that the district is committed to welcoming all students back to campus as soon as safely possible. “We’re closer than we’ve ever been, but it’s just not an easy proposition,” Helm said during a virtual news conference Wednesday. “We...

Syracuse-Louisville game postponed by positive COVID-19 test less than five hours before tipoff

Louisville’s men’s basketball team came close to its first game in 16 days but less than five hours before tipoff against Syracuse, the home game scheduled for tonight was postponed by the Atlantic Coast Conference because of a positive COVID-19 test. Louisville’s home game with Syracuse tonight was postponed less than five hours before tipoff. (Louisville Athletics photo) The Cardinals...

Cardinals ready for return to the court after COVID cancellations, face Syracuse Wednesday in Louisville

After a 16-day break for COVID-related issues and having four games postponed, Louisville plays its second straight at home in the KFC Yum! Center as the Cardinals face the Syracuse Orange on Wednesday. In its last game on Feb. 1, Louisville beat Georgia Tech 74-58 in the KFC Yum! Center as two Cardinals produced double-doubles in David Johnson with 10 rebounds and a career-high 24 points, and Samuell...

Special COVID-19 health insurance enrollment period begins; Kyians have until May 15 to choose a plan

Kentuckians have a new opportunity to enroll in health insurance for 2021 on HealthCare.gov, but only for a limited time. This new COVID-19 open enrollment period starts on February 15 and ends on May 15. With job losses continuing to mount amid the COVID-19 resurgence, and millions of people having lost their job-based health insurance since the start of this public health and economic crisis, the...

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...

Ground zero for Kentucky’s first COVID-19 case, Harrison County nears return to in-person instruction

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Harrison County Superintendent Harry Burchett described the atmosphere as “unsettling.” Thirty leaders from the Cynthiana and Harrison County area gathered together on March 7, 2020, as Dr. Crystal Miller, public health director of the WEDCO District Health Department, delivered the news that Cynthiana was ground zero for the first case of COVID-19 in Kentucky. “We...

Timothy Lonesky: COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to put Kentucky’s patients first

As a rheumatologist, I work with patients every day who are suffering from complex, chronic conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatic illness. These diagnoses do not have one-size-fits-all solutions, and effective management often requires many doctor appointments and specialty medicines — expenses that can add up quickly. In my 17 years of working in medicine, I’ve seen too many patients...

Diana Heiman: COVID fatigue is real, here’s how to keep up as more contagious virus strains threaten

COVID-19 restriction fatigue and mask fatigue are real. We likely are all at the point where we are tired of wearing masks and not being able to visit family, eat out in restaurants and socialize the way we are used to. So, why is it important to address this fatigue? (KyForward file) COVID-19 is still out there and the variant from the United Kingdom has been identified in Kentucky. This variant...

Addiction during the pandemic: Remaining in treatment while staying safe from COVID-19

By Corinne Boyer Ohio Valley ReSource Since 2012, the 2nd Chance Center for Addiction Treatment has served people in Lexington. The office sits on a busy street on the city’s north side. Similar to the heavy traffic that passes by, clients seeking treatment for substance and opioid use disorders steadily stream in and out of the building. But in 2020, the clinic had to limit that flow of patients...

This Week at the Capitol: Lawmakers hit the ground running in session’s second half, override six vetoes

If last month’s quick start to the General Assembly’s 2021 session wasn’t enough to show that lawmakers were serious about passing priority bills into law as soon as possible, the speed at which they override vetoes this week left no doubt. On Tuesday, lawmakers’ first day back at the Capitol after a recess that started in mid-January, the Senate and House voted to override all six of the vetoes...

CPE calls on educators across Ky. to take steps to shore up college enrollment after significant decline

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is calling on education leaders across the state to take decisive steps to combat a drop in college enrollment, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. The latest data from CPE shows that undergraduate enrollment at four-year public universities declined 2.1% in fall 2020, and it’s down 7.3% compared to five years ago. At the Kentucky Community and...

CPE data shows college graduation, retention rates continue to climb; costs remain steady across state

Despite a spring semester marred by COVID-19, graduation and retention rates continued to climb at Kentucky’s public universities last year, and the net cost of attending college has held mostly steady across the state. The latest data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education shows that the six-year graduation rate at four-year public universities reached 56.4% in the 2019-20 academic...

Beshear extends order allowing mail-in driver’s license renewal for licenses expiring prior to June 30

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced an extension of a special program for remote renewal of qualifying expired Kentucky driver’s license and ID cards. The new official order grants Kentuckians access to renew or replace a driving or identity credential through their Circuit Court Clerk’s preferred mail-in or drop method. The order applies to Kentucky driver’s...

John Calipari, Lance Ware say unexpected pause has turned out to be a plus for struggling Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today An unexpected interruption gave Kentucky a chance to take a deep breath, reboot, and refocus on the rest of the season. “We all took the time off and kind of used it as a refresh and, you know, got our minds right,” Kentucky freshman Lance Ware said. “It gave us some time even though we were still working out. It wasn’t practice. It wasn’t a two-hour-long practice....