A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor says ‘stay safe’ for the holidays; officials get vaccine; reports 3,057 cases, 28 deaths

Gov. Andy Beshear said he hoped all Kentuckians will have a wonderful Christmas, encouraging them to keep gatherings small and safe so they may enjoy many future holidays with their loved ones. “I want to make sure I start by asking everybody to make that additional sacrifice and do their part to keep their Christmas celebrations small,” said Gov. Beshear. “With the rest of the country on fire,...

COVID roundup: Vaccines in long-term care facilities; Moderna coming this week; 1,988 cases, 15 deaths

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that several long-term care facilities in the Commonwealth began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. “Again, our goal is to get everyone in long-term care facilities vaccinated by March 1,” said Beshear. “If we do that, we cut off 66 percent of the deaths that we have been experiencing. We also reduce hospitalizations and we free up more health care...

Hoping to beat the virus for good, Beshear reports stable positivity, 3,388 cases, 27 deaths

Gov. Andy Beshear Saturday said mitigation efforts have stopped the growth of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth, noting that case numbers are continuing to decline and Kentucky’s positivity rate is stable. “What we are seeing is that the measures we have taken are working,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have stopped the increase in cases, which we knew we had to do before we can start to decrease...

Beshear reports 3,892 cases, 23 deaths — a record week already with one day to go

Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Saturday that Kentucky has had its new highest week of COVID-19 cases, even with one day left to report and encouraged Kentuckians to keep fighting. He reported 3,892 cases and 23 deaths. Fayette County had 304 new cases and one death. “With a day still to go, we have set a new one-week record for highest cases in the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “We are all sacrificing...

Beshear urges Kentuckians to ‘civic duty’ after state-record 3,303 new virus cases, 11 deaths Saturday

Gov. Andy Beshear reported the state’s highest number of COVID-19 cases yet again with the test positivity rate reaching almost 9% as the Commonwealth’s alarming spread of the coronavirus continues with more than 11,500 cases and 68 deaths in the last four days alone. “If we don’t grab ahold of those red zone county reduction recommendations, if we don’t see those steps being done and ultimately...

Beshear reports 812 COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths on Sunday; ‘We can get where we need to be together’

Gov. Andy Beshear on a slow-reporting Sunday said there were 812 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 87,607 cases and 1,317 deaths. One hundred and sixteen of the newly reported cases were from children up through age 18, of which 28 were 5 and under. The youngest was just 1 month old. Fayette County reported 67 cases. “Once again, we are seeing our case numbers...

Beshear reports ‘troubling’ and growing COVID cases, urges ‘buckling down’ to fight deadly disease

Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday reported at least 79,445 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 1,002 of which were newly reported Saturday. One hundred-eight of the newly reported cases were from children 18 and younger, of which 18 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest were three children, all of whom were 3 months old. “The number of positive cases is increasing at a troubling pace. We’ve had multiple...

Beshear welcomes latest donation of PPE to aid Kentucky’s response to ongoing COVID-19 battle

Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday welcomed one of the state’s latest corporate donations of personal protective equipment, which will help bolster the commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus 2019. “Even before this global health crisis arrived in Kentucky more than six months ago, we were working to secure the personal protective equipment needed to keep our people safe,” Beshear said. “The...

Stack goes another round with legislators, pushes back on data questions, answers queries on schools

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Republican legislators kept up their questioning of the state’s coronavirus data last week, and the state health commissioner and Democratic lawmakers pushed back. Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah, co-chair of the Program Review and Investigations Committee, was the leading questioner and most outspoken legislator, just as he was at the panel’s Aug. 13 meeting,...

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...

Beshear reports on ‘single largest week ever’ for COVID — with ‘trifecta of holidays’ coming up

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday reported 462 new COVID cases and nine deaths, but advised that there is limited reporting on Sunday so all information was not available. Among the reported cases were 79 children 18 and under, which includes 13 children five and under. The youngest is two months old. There were 77 cases reported in Fayette County. The numbers bring Kentucky’s totals to 48,032 cases...

Public Health officials defend data, call it imperfect but useful, and explain support for school delay

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A legislative committee meeting to review how the state collects and reports coronavirus data shifted quickly Thursday to Republicans’ questions about Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s recommendation to delay in-person schooling until Sept. 28, and his general handling of the pandemic. “We don’t close our schools down for influenza, but we...

Governor reports 785 new COVID cases and 6 deaths; Dr. Stack says get your flu shot — wear your masks

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 785 new COVID cases and six deaths as of Thursday afternoon, bringing the state’s totals to 37,686 cases and 796 deaths. Twenty-five of the new cases were from children ages 5 and under. Fayette County had 61 new cases. “Wearing a facial covering is absolutely critical to what we want to be able to do in the Commonwealth moving forward,” said Gov. Beshear. “Protect...

Gov. Beshear reports 425 new COVID cases, one death with limited reporting; take all precautions

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday reported 425 new COVID cases and one death, bringing the state’s totals to 34,982 cases and 773 deaths. Nine of the new cases were children 5 and under. There were 37 new cases in Fayette County. “Some good news and some bad news in today’s COVID-19 report,” the Governor said. “In good news, we’re ending the week with about 330 fewer cases than we had last...

Beshear reports 463 COVID cases, two deaths, hoping it’s a plateau; urges caution, mask-wearing

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 463 new COVID cases and two deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 31,185 cases and 742 deaths. Eleven of the new cases were children age 5 and under. There were 80 new cases in Fayette County, second to Jefferson County’s 91 new cases. “We’ve made it to August, and while I know we all hoped months ago when this pandemic first arrived in Kentucky that we’d...

White House virus coordinator meets with Kentucky leaders; Beshear says new restrictions coming

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with reporters Sunday afternoon after meeting with community, business and health leaders about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Andy Beshear says he will announce new restrictions Monday afternoon, likely including closing bars, due to the recent spike in cases. During a press...

Beshear sounds alarm that virus is spreading; issues travel advisory, reinstitutes guidance on crowd sizes

Gov. Andy Beshear warned the COVID virus is spreading as the Commonwealth faces a significant uptick in new cases and must be ready to respond. He reported just 258 new cases as of Monday afternoon — and just one death. He also said eight of the cases were children 5 and younger. “The virus is spreading out there. It’s spreading significantly. We must make sure that we take the steps to...

Kentuckians warned that massive dust cloud from Sahara Desert could make weekend air quality poor

Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack warned Kentuckians that air quality in the state may be poor this weekend and into next week. An enormous cloud of dry and dusty air that originated over the Sahara Desert will move across the southern United States over the next three to seven days. “We absolutely need to be cautious this weekend and next week, monitor the air quality...

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kentucky; Beshear talks testing, politics, schools, health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The number of new, daily coronavirus cases in Kentucky continues to creep up, hitting a seven-day high of 295 on Thursday. Gov. Andy Beshear called the number “pretty high… elevated from where we were going for more than a week,” but said it is “a little too early” to say the trend has reversed and is on an upward trajectory. “Again,...

Plans in works to open schools in fall, despite some concerns that guidelines make it impossible

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Some Kentucky school superintendents say they wouldn’t be able to reopen schools under suggested state guidelines that require social distancing on school buses, rely on children to wear masks and will disrupt the normal class structure of upper grades. They voiced their concerns to public-health officials and the state education commissioner in an online...