A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Local health departments have become pandemic’s main flak catchers, especially of social media

Local health departments, often underfunded, have been critical during the pandemic in may ways, one as an information source for the public, journalists, and state and federal agencies. “But as the virus has become more politicized and fringe theories are fanned, including by President Donald Trump, many in public health are finding themselves bumping up against a new, time-consuming demand: correcting...

Grayson County story of a rumor is cautionary tale for small towns in uncertain times of COVID-19

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News When a rumor becomes a news story, it often has a larger story to tell. Such is the case in Grayson County, population 27,000, where local officials held a news conference to quash rumors on social media that an identified man who had tested positive for the coronavirus was not isolating himself at home, when in fact he was as soon as he got the test result. The posts...

Kentucky Health News: Celebrity suicides raise concerns; Kentucky rate higher than most states

“The suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain just days apart . . . have mental health professionals worried about the potential for what’s known as a ‘contagion’ effect, but at the same time they say media coverage may lead people to seek help,” Marek Mazurek and Laney Ruckstuhl report for The Boston Globe. Click to enlarge “Anytime there’s...

Despite student lobbying efforts, move to ban smoking fails to generate support in Grayson County

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The efforts to pass smoking bans in Kentucky continue on three fronts: in the General Assembly, for a statewide ban; with local governments, for city or county bans; and school boards, for campuses free of tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Students have played a role on the school front, and even with local governments. New Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has said smoking...