A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Local programs in many counties helping Eastern Kentuckians prevent diabetes during pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Local diabetes prevention programs in many eastern Kentucky counties are helping people stay healthy and prevent pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes during the pandemic. Research has shown that diabetes can increase the risk of complications from COVID-19. It’s estimated one in six Eastern Kentuckians has Type 2 diabetes, with many cases undiagnosed. Far more...

Beshear reports from quarantine: 776 cases, 14 deaths, testing negative, masks, schools, red areas

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday reported 776 new COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 81,691 cases and 1,219 deaths. One hundred and eleven of the newly reported cases were from children up to age 18, of which 22 were age 5 and under. The youngest was just 1 month old. Fayette County reported 30 cases. “We’re going to watch this trend through this week because we’ve...

Syringe exchange programs could decrease IV drug-use infections, result in ‘big money saved’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A new analysis of Medicaid claims data suggests that Kentucky counties with syringe-service programs have slightly lower rates of diseases associated with intravenous drug use, such as HIV and hepatitis C. The analysis estimated a progressive reduction of 0.5 percent per month, adding up to a 6 percent increase over a year. That can add up to savings, not only...

Coronavirus is not going away any time soon, state health expert warns General Assembly committee

Members of the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Health and Welfare Committee heard from acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Doug Thoroughman on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They listened with masks and were properly social distanced from each other. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The coronavirus and how long everyone will have to be dealing with it...

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...

Keeneland announces Spring Meet will open on April 2 without spectators; cancels April 7 sales event

After detailed consultations with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department for Public Health and with Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Keeneland is taking the following steps out of an abundance of caution to do its part in containing the spread of COVID-19 while upholding its commitments to the local community, the Thoroughbred industry...

First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Kentucky reported, Gov. Beshear declares state of emergency

KyForward staff The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is reporting Kentucky’s first case of COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus). While the risk to the general public is low, health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the person. Gov....

Department for Public Health promotes free text service to help young Kentuckians quit vaping

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), encourages teens and young adults who want to quit vaping to get free help from This Is Quitting, a nationwide texting service. CHFS and DPH officials say cessation services such as This Is Quitting are critical for young people and emphasized that many will be impacted by the recent federal law...

Pay close attention to good hygiene practices, keep holiday gatherings safe from foodborne illness

Parties, family dinners and seasonal gatherings where food is served are a traditional part of holiday cheer. This holiday season, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), urges consumers to take precautions in purchasing and preparing food items, and to pay close attention to good hygiene practices to combat foodborne illness this Thanksgiving...

Department for Public Health launches free service to help Kentucky teens stop vaping, smoking

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is launching a free service aimed at helping teens quit vaping, smoking, and using other tobacco products. The service is called My Life, My Quit and began across the state Nov. 12. Teenagers who want to stop using e-cigarettes or other tobacco products can text or call the toll-free My Life, My Quit number: 1-855-891-9989. They will then be connected...

Kentuckians should prepare to ‘fall back’ by checking home carbon monoxide detectors

Now that Kentuckians have turned back the clocks, and with temperatures falling, officials are reminding residents to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. “To prepare for colder weather, Kentuckians should make sure their heat sources and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order,” said Dr. Angela Dearinger, Commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health.   On...

KDFWR increasing monitoring of deer and elk for chronic wasting disease as hunting season returns

As hunters return to the woods and fields for the fall seasons, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is increasing its efforts to monitor the state for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the same time. Seventeen years ago, the department recognized an encroaching threat to Kentucky’s deer and elk herds and took steps to prevent the spread of CWD to the state. Now, in 2019, the agency...

Kentucky Health officials urge caution regarding vaping as reported cases of severe lung injury rise

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) continues to monitor and investigate a growing number of cases of severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette use or vaping. DPH is working closely with healthcare providers, local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration and other states to gather information about this outbreak. “As...

Algal bloom recreational public health advisory issued, blooms found at locations on the Ohio River

The Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) have issued a harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational public health advisory for the Ohio River from the McAlpine Dam near Louisville to the Greenup Dam near Greenup. An advisory is also being issued for Briggs Lake near Russellville. A HAB recreational public health advisory means algal toxins have been found at various...

Be prepared, not scared: September is National Preparedness Month for emergency planning

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding the public that households, businesses and communities can increase their preparedness by following this year’s theme of Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters during September – National Preparedness Month (NPM). This nationwide effort is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare...

UK physician Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger appointed commissioner of KY Department for Public Health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has named Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger commissioner of its Department for Public Health. Dearinger, 43, is board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, public health and general preventive medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and is its College of Medicine’s assistant...

DHP reminds Kentuckians to reduce potential rabies exposure by avoiding contact with bats, wild animals

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), along with local health departments across the state, is reminding the public about the potential for rabies exposure from contact with bats and other wildlife. “Bats become active during this time of year and that increases the possibility of exposure to rabies, which is a dangerous and life-threatening condition if contracted,” said Kelly Giesbrecht,...

Food safety regulations amended to improve safety and health; changes reflect national food code

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working to make the general public and business community aware of new changes to the state’s food code which will improve safety and health standards for food storage, preparation and serving. To prepare for upcoming changes, which will take effect in July, DPH conducted regional training for local health departments to educate food inspectors....

Department of Public Health offers tips after E. coli outbreak affects 20 across Commonwealth

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has announced that 20 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of E. coli O103. Public health investigators have not yet identified the source of the outbreak, but have noted that some sort of food distribution is a likely mechanism for this outbreak among many of the individuals afflicted by the sometimes life-threatening bacteria. The reported...

Department for Public Health reminds Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day

As part of its ongoing work to educate the public about tuberculosis (TB) and prevent the spread of the disease, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day. This year’s theme from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “It’s Time,” in an effort to encourage latent TB testing among providers and raise awareness for...