A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pandemic, job losses and easy eligibility push Medicaid enrollment in Kentucky to a record high

More Kentuckians than ever are on Medicaid, due to job losses caused by the pandemic and the resulting relaxation of eligibility rules for the program, John Cheves reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “After slowly falling for two years, the number of Kentuckians enrolled in Medicaid shot up by 10 percent to 1.45 million as tens of thousands of people lost their jobs — and typically, their...

Daily Yonder: Due to pandemic, 2020 Census rural count has become even more challenging

By Donna Kallner Special to KyForward For most people, replying to the 2020 Census is surprisingly quick and easy. Except when it’s not. And rural areas are particularly prone to conditions that can hinder getting a complete and accurate count — things like limited high-speed internet access, addressing and mail delivery challenges, and resistance to perceived government nosiness. As if that isn’t...

Gov. Andy Beshear promises more action will be taken to curb spread as coronavirus cases spike

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The number of new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky continues to spike, reaching nearly 18,000 and prompting Gov. Andy Beshear to promise new action will be taken to halt the recent trend. “The rising case numbers are cause for concern, so on Thursday we’re going to announce some new requirements that are going to be mandatory,” he said. “Given what we are seeing...

We miss hugs. But while it’s our natural way of connecting, we have to pass during this pandemic

By Maridith Yahl Special to KyFoward During this pandemic, there has been little to no physical contact, except for those we have quarantined with. We miss hugs. Having a “connection between humans is a natural thing. Most people, with a few exceptions, want to connect to other people and what way we do that is through touch,” says Karen Byerly-Lamm, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor...

Beshear reports 282 new virus cases, five deaths; help for state’s unemployed on the way

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Kentucky reported 282 new cases of COVID-19 and five more people who died with the virus on Tuesday. A statewide total is now at 15,624 and the statewide death toll sits at 565. “While we are not seeing the type of very concerning spike in so many other states, it’s something we’ve got to watch very carefully,” said Gov. Andy Beshear at his daily briefing. Gov....

Beshear reports 117 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths; Robertson County reports first case

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 117 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths as of Monday afternoon. “Kentucky has been leading with compassion for our fellow citizens throughout this global pandemic,” Beshear said. “We’ve made the changes and sacrifices to keep the most vulnerable among us safe from the coronavirus. Together, our efforts have saved thousands of lives in the commonwealth and now are allowing...

UFCW Union calls for action in protecting health, lives of frontline workers as COVID-19 cases increase

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers – including more than 25,100 Kentucky workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants and other essential businesses across the state, called on Gov. Andy Beshear for action to protect workers and consumers. UFCW announced that among its members, 238 frontline workers have died and nearly 29,000...

Kentucky records only 90 new coronavirus cases Monday, with no new deaths reported

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A low number of new cases of the coronavirus was reported on Monday and, for the first time in a number of days, no new deaths. During a press briefing held in the House Chamber of the Old State Capitol in Frankfort, Gov. Andy Beshear said there were 90 cases reported to state health officials on Monday. “This is one of the lowest Mondays we’ve had in a while. We’re...

Study cites benefits of telehealth; authors say mental teleheath ‘clinically equivalent to in-person care’

As people across the nation have been asked to shelter in place because of the novel coronavirus, never before has the importance of telehealth, especially for mental-health care, become more evident, says a commentary in The Journal of Rural Health. The authors assert that mental-health therapy over video platforms “has been demonstrated as clinically equivalent to in-person care.” Before...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association cancels Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame ceremony due to pandemic

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Friday that its Board of Directors has unanimously decided to cancel this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame induction and ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Created by the KDA in conjunction with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in 2001, the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant and...

Baptist Health offers employers online COVID-19 tools aimed at getting Kentuckians back to work

Baptist Health is sharing a page from its COVID-19 playbook with area employers anxious about safely reopening. The health system has a web-based solution to the state requirement to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms before they report for work. “Baptist Health is helping to get Kentucky and Southern Indiana back to work by offering customized COVID-19 testing solutions and digital tools...

Analysis of social media shows ‘confusion reigns’ around COVID-19 in rural swing state communities

By Tim Marema The Daily Yonder Social-media users in rural areas are increasingly confused by contradictory information about Covid-19, including whether the disease is as deadly as reported, how effective protective gear is, and whether untested treatments are effective. But the confusion has not decreased the large proportion of social-media posts that criticize President Donald Trump for the way...

Stuart Sanders: Post-World War II ‘Greatest Generation’ teaches resilience amid pandemic

For some of us, our resolve is cracking. Weeks spent at home avoiding the coronavirus has been tiring. We’re depressed. Our resilience is fading. To bolster my patience, I remember the Americans who endured the Great Depression and the shortages and horrors of World War II. Specifically, I think about my wife’s paternal grandfather and how he spent the first twenty years of his life. D. C. Neighbors...

Al Cross: As Trump’s virus work drags them down, Republicans seem frantic

Republicans facing an election amid a century-rank catastrophe made worse by their president are throwing anything they can against the political wall to see what sticks. Some of what they’re throwing is pretty slippery – trying to discredit experts, shifting the blame to China, or, well, just making stuff up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been a voice of reason, repeatedly volunteering...

AAA: Pandemic to suppress Memorial Day travel, but vacationers already planning future trips

For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19. The annual forecast — which estimates the number of people traveling over the holiday weekend — will return next year. Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past for what is considered...

Louisville football coach ‘sitting in limbo’ as pandemic disrupts normalcy for college athletics

By Rocco Gasparro University of Louisville Everyone would love to see football back soon, but no one wants it to return more than University of Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield. Since heading home after spring break in mid-March, the second-year head coach hasn’t seen his squad in almost two months, but he hopes that will end soon as most of the country returns back to work in...

Lynn James: A long, isolated month of ‘firsts,’ thanks to pandemic, stay-at-homing, too much thinking

When we started this new decade, I envisioned the year 2020 as an exciting one. Did you? Little did we know how memorable this year will be for all the wrong reasons for the rest of our lives. The first quarter flew by with its normal ups and downs, some good times and some bad times. Then April came and went as time seemed to stand still with more bad than good for most of us. As the month of April...

Outbreak in correctional facilities leads to record day as Kentucky reports 625 new coronavirus cases

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky reported the highest single-day total of new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday with 625, bringing the pandemic total to 5,822, although there was a reason for the record number, said Gov. Andy Beshear. “The way that number breaks down is 309 of those new cases are from Green River Correctional Facility alone,” he said. The state has tested some 1,000 people...

Kentuckians encouraged to make communication inclusive during Better Hearing and Speech Month

With more than 700,000 people in Kentucky currently experiencing some degree of hearing loss, the coronavirus outbreak has prompted businesses, organizations and community leaders across the country to take stock and begin changing their methods of communication to be more inclusive. May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month, is the perfect time for the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard...

Kentucky surpasses 5,000 coronavirus cases; five additional deaths Saturday, none reported Sunday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear returned to holding his daily press briefing on the coronavirus Sunday after taking the first day off since early March on Saturday. He announced there were 173 new cases reported to state health officials on Saturday and another 80 on Sunday, bringing the pandemic total to at least 5,130. There were five deaths reported on Saturday, two each in Adair...