A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky health chief tells businesses that masks are key; lawyer tells how to enforce mandate

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state’s top physician often says that basic public-health measures – like washing our hands, staying six feet apart and wearing a mask – are all we have right now to thwart the spread of the novel coronavirus until we get a vaccine. But masks are the most important, he indicated Friday. “That single measure is felt to be really a linchpin...

Latest White House COVID-19 report shows fewer Kentucky counties in danger zones this week

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky got a better report this week from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It has two more counties are in the task force’s “red zone” — for places with more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people, and a positive rate of at least 10 percent in tests for the virus — but a lot fewer in its “yellow zone,” for those with 10 to 100...

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...

Ky. health organizations launch ‘Wear It For Me’ campaign to raise awarenes of importance of masks

A Louisville man who just learned he has brain cancer. A Jessamine County teacher. A Glasgow family physician. A restaurant owner and a firefighter with a young child. All are wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and asking Kentuckians to do the same in a new campaign launched this week by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), and the Kentucky...

Campbellsville University to hold adjusted graduation recognition on campus for May, August graduates

Campbellsville University’s May and August graduates have been invited to return to campus to participate in an adjusted graduation recognition. “It is a time for you to be recognized for your accomplishments and a time for family and friends to cheer you on as you cross the finish line,” said Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University. Carter and his administration invited...

Kentucky Health News: A round-up of COVID-19 news — cases, trends, the surge, masks, stimulus bill and more

From Kentucky Health News, a round-up of COVID-19 news: • Counties with more than five new cases on Friday were Jefferson, 206; Fayette, 76; Warren, 41; Kenton, 27; Boone, 26; Bell, 23; Harlan, 17; Bullitt, 16; Barren, Hardin McCracken and Scott, 15 each; Laurel, 14;  Campbell, Henderson and Shelby, 12 each; Jessamine, 11; Knox, 10 1.25 Pike, 9; Ohio and Oldham, 8; Perry Pulaski and Whitley, 7...

Beshear reports 674 new COVID-19 cases, second-highest daily number, 3 deaths; surge continues

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 674 new COVID cases on Tuesday, 23 of them from children 5 and under, and three new deaths. These cases raised Kentucky’s totals to 24,060 cases and 674 deaths. As of Tuesday there have been at least 549,208 tests performed in Kentucky with a positivity rate of 4.3 percent. The new cases represent the second-highest number of cases in a single day. “Here in Kentucky,...

Beshear reports 426 new COVID-19 cases, eight deaths; urges wearing masks to stop the spread

Gov. Andy Beshear re-emphasized the importance of wearing face coverings in many situations to protect Kentucky lives and the economy and to preserve the Commonwealth’s hard-won but fragile progress in the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). “The more people who wear masks, the more leaders who model wearing masks in any region of the state, the more people there are going to be...

As masks are mandated in Kentucky, Louisville doctor explains why wearing protection is important

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In an effort to get ahead of the rising number of cases of coronavirus in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear issued a statewide mask requirement last week that will be in place for at least 30 days. “It’s no longer voluntary, it’s mandatory,” Beshear said. “I’d hoped that we’d all be willing to do the right thing, but I think...

COVID-19 update: Beshear reports 299 new cases, four deaths; challenges to his restrictions, more

Gov. Andy Beshear reported that Kentucky has 299 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths as of Friday afternoon. This brings the state’s totals to 16,376 cases and 585 deaths. “This Fourth of July weekend, it’s important to keep in mind how committed Kentuckians have been to combatting COVID-19, which spreads easily and quickly between people. Kentuckians’ selflessness was demonstrated over...

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...

Infectious disease specialist offers tips for keeping your family safe and healthy at the pool this summer

Hanging out by the pool is a beloved summer pastime, but COVID-19 has changed the way we live and play in 2020. Still, many Kentuckians are craving a cool dip as summer temperatures rise. In May, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that some public pools could open by the week of June 29, albeit with protocols in place for the safety of swimmers and employees. And home owners who have postponed vacations...

As masks become controversial, evidence mounts that they work in fight against COVID-19

As masks become controversial, evidence is mounting that they work in the battle against COVID-19. This is according to several studies. “Several new studies published this month support wearing masks to curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus,” The Washington Post reports. The broadest piece of research “concluded that data from 172 observational studies indicate wearing face...

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...

UK Cooperative Extension agents help as Kentucky’s farmers markets open with an eye toward safe sales

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky In the United States, about 40 percent of farmers are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s census. Kentucky reflects that demographic, so when the coronavirus started to emerge in the state, some farmers who were in the elevated risk category and typically sell through farmers markets were a little concerned about how they would...

Reopening when not quite ready to thwart COVID-19 means managing risk; four types, health expert writes

No state “has met the metrics to safely reopen,” so the nation “needs to move to the public health strategy of harm reduction,” says former Baltimore health commissioner Leana Wen. “So what does that mean in terms of choices each of us makes — what’s safe to do and what’s not?” Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University’s...

Louisville baseball bat company taking swing at making PPE masks to battle COVID-19

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Louisville company known for making sporting goods equipment hopes to “go yard” against the coronavirus. The global need for personal protective equipment created by COVID-19 has inspired Hillerich & Bradsby Co. to enter the non-medical face mask market. The historic company has introduced Maskonic antibacterial masks, which are reusable, water repellent, and...

UK faculty band together, acquire more than 6,500 masks for UK HealthCare to battle pandemic

By Lindsey Piercy University of Kentucky Many are grappling with a new reality as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to ripple across all facets of economic and social life. For Haoying Sun, the devastating effects hit close to home long before the global pandemic spread to the United States. “I moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, but my parents still live in China,” she said. “When I read...

Lexington reaching out to local businesses for help with production of personal protective equipment

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and Ray Daniels, chair of the Commerce Lexington Board, issued a call to action on Monday to local businesses that can help produce the supplies the city and state will desperately need to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is asking businesses to help provide needed medical supplies for the city and state. During...

Governor vows crackdown if guidelines ignored as Kentucky records 45th coronavirus-related death

Staff report Gov. Andy Beshear reported 38 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing Kentucky’s total cases to 955. Of those at least 306 have recovered. There were five new deaths reported, bringing the total deaths to 45. Click image for CDC information on masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their guidance on the wearing of masks by the general public. According...