A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Health commissioner worried that too many Kentuckians think COVID-19 doesn’t pose danger

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Dr. Steven Stack, the state commissioner of public health, said in an interview recorded Friday and broadcast Monday night that he fears Kentuckians aren’t taking the coronavirus seriously enough. “I’m very worried that the public is becoming comfortable that this is not a danger,” and does not realize that only about 5 percent of Kentuckians...

Kentucky will begin additional reopening of economy May 11; everyone will be required to wear masks

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear said on Monday that additional reopening of the economy will start on May 11 and everyone will be required to wear masks. Beshear said he will give more details on Wednesday about what businesses would be allowed to open. Eighty-seven new cases of the coronavirus were reported to state health officials on Monday, along with five additional deaths. Kentucky...

Gov. Beshear anounces seven more Kentucky deaths from COVID-19; ‘It’s just us versus the virus’

Staff report Gov. Andy Behear announced Tuesday seven more Kentucky deaths from COVID-19 and urged Kentuckians to continue to take precautions and sacrifice to stop the spread. “Today, we lost seven Kentuckians, which is something I never thought I would have to announce,” said Beshear. “This is why we were working so hard to reduce our contacts and protect the people around us. This is a virus...

KY’s Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Steven Stack, says we could be seeing ‘calm before the storm’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today In a video interview with the American Medical Association, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said if a large part of the population gets sick and becomes critically ill in a short period of time, the health care industry will run out of supplies. 
“Most of us rely on a supply chain that often as short as a three-day, just in time, logistics supply...

Gov. Beshear, health officials continue state response efforts for Coronavirus Disease 2020; warn of scams

Governor Andy Beshear, joined by officials from the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), discussed the state’s response efforts to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Gov. Beshear and other officials emphasized that there are no COVID-19 cases in the state and provided updates on the state’s testing, prevention, coordination, monitoring...

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...

American Medical Association calls gun violence a public health crisis, endorses background checks

The American Medical Association, led by a Kentucky emergency-room physician, declared gun violence a public-health crisis last week and endorsed waiting periods an background checks for purchases of all firearms, not just handguns. “The AMA, the country’s largest doctor group, also vowed to lobby Congress to overturn a decades-old ban on gun violence research by the Centers for Disease...