A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jason Glass: We need our communities to take this virus as seriously as our schools have

Public education is a decidedly social endeavor. The things most graduates treasure from their school years are the memories of interactions with great teachers who changed the trajectory of their life, their experiences in school activities and athletics that taught them the value of collaboration and teamwork, and the lifelong bonds of friendship that often are forged in school-age years. This same...

Health chief says nothing could have fully prepared him for the ‘Groundhog Day’ he’s living

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the state Department for Public Health, has become a familiar face to many Kentuckians during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has offered the public little information about himself and how he’s dealt with it — until now. Stack told writer Sara Berg of the American Medical Association, of which he was president a few years ago, that the experience had helped...

UK HealthCare partners with state to begin free community COVID-19 testing at two sites on Aug. 24

The ​Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is partnering with the University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare ​to begin free drive-up COVID-19 testing for the community at two sites beginning Aug. 24, UK officials have announced. “Kentucky remains at war with the coronavirus, and a robust testing program is essential to protecting one another, fully reopening our economy and...

Beshear reports 205 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths; urges wearing masks for best protection

As of Monday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were at least 12,647 COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. The Governor provided updated information about coronavirus cases newly confirmed Sunday and Monday in Kentucky. On Sunday, 85 new cases of coronavirus were reported. On Monday, 120 new cases were reported. Beshear also announced one new death Sunday and five new deaths Monday. The total number of...

Beshear announces plan to open Southeast State Correctional Complex in Wheelwright

Gov. Andy Beshear and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on Thursday announced plans for the Department of Corrections to open and operate Southeast State Correctional Complex. “The 656-bed prison is located in Wheelwright, and its opening will reduce the number of state inmates in county jails,” said Beshear. “The state commits to safely and effectively running this state prison, while being...

Gov. Beshear reports 134 new coronavirus cases, six more deaths; urges show of care and compassion

Gov. Andy Beshear reported there were at least 1,452 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 134 of which were newly confirmed as of Thursday afternoon. The new total includes some revision after the discovery of duplicate reports. There were six new deaths, raising the total to 79. The Governor said 426 total COVID-19 patients have needed hospitalization, with 228 currently in the hospital and 105 of those...

Beshear announces 45 new cases of coronavirus in Ky.; Trump extends shutdown through April 30

Staff report As of Sunday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear announced there are a total of 45 newly-confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. Beshear also reiterated Sunday that everyone must remain vigilant about social distancing amid reports of crowding at golf courses, basketball courts, and home improvement stores to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and reduce the risk...

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...

Number of new flu cases in Kentucky drops slightly; 66 adults have died from flu complications this year

The number of new cases of influenza dropped slightly in Kentucky during the second week of February, but 16 more adults in the state were reported to have died from the flu. So far, 66 Kentuckians have died from it this season, four under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that in the week ending Feb. 15, Kentucky counted 1,854 new cases,...

Department for Public Health issues health, safety guidelines in wake of severe flooding in Eastern Ky.

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians to follow safety guidelines following severe flooding and water run-off events from recent rainfall across the state. Governor Andy Beshear, who today visited the Eastern Kentucky areas hardest hit by flood, praised residents for helping each other and told them his administration will support them. “We will use every resource available...

Eight more adults die from influenza in Ky. as cases continue to rise; many schools close due to illness

New cases of influenza inched up again in Kentucky during the week ended Feb. 1, and eight more adults in the state were reported dying from it. So far, 41 Kentuckians have died from the flu this season, three under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows in the week ending Feb. 1, Kentucky counted 1,815 new cases, a slight increase from...

Dr. Steven Stack named commissioner of Department for Public Health; begins appointment Feb. 10

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Dr. Steven Stack as the agency’s new commissioner of the Department for Public Health (DPH). Stack will begin his appointment on Feb. 10. Gov. Andy Beshear said Stack shares his commitment to making better health care and health education available to Kentuckians in every part of the state. “Health...

Flu cases dip in new year, but still much higher than last season; 21 deaths from flu confirmed in Ky.

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Influenza has killed 21 people in Kentucky this season, two under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that the flu activity in the state has dropped a bit in the first two weeks of the year, compared to the last two weeks of 2019, when the state was reporting more than 2,000 new cases each week. In...

Kentucky receives D-minus for high rate or pre-term births on annual March of Dimes report card

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Childbirth, which should be one of life’s most joyous occasions, has become more deadly for Kentucky mothers and remains problematic for many Kentucky babies because it comes too early. One in nine Kentucky babies is born prematurely, so many that the March of Dimes gave the state a D-minus on its 2019 Premature Birth Report Card. And the rate of Kentucky...

Officials encouraging Kentuckians to get flu shots now in order to be protected throughout the holidays

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu, as the holiday season is approaching. “As the holidays approach, people will be traveling and families will gather together, increasing the potential for exposure to the flu,” said Dr. Angela Dearinger, Commissioner of DPH. “We are strongly urging anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine, particularly...

More than 1/3 of Kentucky students in violation of required hepatitis A shots; immunizations fall short

More than a third of students in Kentucky schools are in violation of the year-old state law requiring them to be vaccinated for the liver disease hepatitis A, according to the annual report by the state Department for Public Health on student immunizations. “While hepatitis A rates were the lowest of all required vaccines, they reflect a broader trend: Kentucky students still aren’t getting...

State health officials encourage flu vaccinations; DPH reports 154 confirmed flu cases since Aug. 4

The Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is encouraging Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu, as the official flu season begins Sept. 29 and runs through May 16, 2020. DPH officials are reporting 154 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in regions across the state since Aug. 4. “Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,”...

Department for Public Health invites submissions for children’s environmental health poster contest

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is inviting school-age children kindergarten through eighth grade across the Commonwealth to create and submit original artwork for a chance to win cash prizes in a poster contest focusing on environmental health. This contest is sponsored by the Kentucky Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and Kentucky Population Health Institute. Students in Kindergarten...

Organizations from across Kentucky hold strategic planning meeting on elimination of hepatitis C

Kentucky’s Department for Public Health hosted a statewide Hepatitis C (HCV) elimination meeting Monday. Staff from the state’s local health departments, universities, hospitals, corrections departments, behavioral health facilities, private providers, and other groups attended the strategic planning meeting. Kentucky leads the nation in both acute and chronic cases of Hepatitis C. HCV...

Health officials urge public to take steps to avoid injury, illness during extreme summertime heat

Health officials with the Department for Public Health (DPH) urge the public to take steps to avoid injury and illness during periods of extreme summertime heat expected to move into the area over the weekend.   “During summer we often spend long periods of time outside. However, with warmer extreme temperatures comes the risk of overexertion, so we advise the public to take steps to keep cool and...