A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear reports 227 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths; in battle against pandemic, wear the mask

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continued efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), reporting 227 new cases and three deaths. “Folks, this is serious. So what we need everybody to do is wear that mask. It’s a requirement, just like wearing your seatbelt. At every store, it’s no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” said Beshear. “This is just...

Boone Circuit judge issues temporary restraining order to keep Beshear administration from enforcing some executive orders

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Northern Kentucky judge has issued a temporary restraining order to keep the Beshear administration from enforcing some of their executive orders issued to control the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, a hearing was held on a lawsuit filed in Boone Circuit Court by Florence Speedway (a half-mile dirt track, not to be confused with Kentucky Speedway in Sparta), and Little...

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...

Gov. Andy Beshear says Kentucky remains a ‘very fragile place’ as coronavirus cases top 13,000

(Click for larger image) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky has now had more than 13,000 cases of the coronavirus, according to figures released Thursday by Gov. Andy Beshear. A total of 234 new cases were reported to state public health officials, bringing the total to 13,197. “We have to make sure that we can keep our number of new cases in this type of range,” Beshear stated. “To give...

Ky. surpasses 2,000 coronavirus cases, 100 deaths; Beshear says first day of drive-thru testing a success

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky has topped 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, with more than 100 deaths, it was announced at Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily press conference on Monday. Eighty-seven new cases were reported, bringing the total to 2,048. The seven deaths mean 104 Kentuckians have now lost their lives due to the disease, also known as COVID-19. Of the seven deaths, five of them occurred...

Richard Nelson: Open letter to Church– do you want to spread a virus or be a force for good?

I just got off the phone with a pastor friend in Eastern Kentucky who shared some sad and disappointing news. A person in his community traveled out of state, contracted COVID-19, and attended a church service shortly thereafter where other congregants contracted it. I just learned that one of them died.  This happened before the travel ban and large meeting prohibitions were put in place. This person...

Estimates of COVID-19’s effects on health-care system, and lives, show Ky. compares favorably

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky compares favorably to its major bordering states in the first public estimates of the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. health-care system and the number of deaths expected from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus. However, some estimates for Kentucky have wider possible ranges than for the other states, illustrating the shortage of data that public-health...

Pew Trusts: Libraries are becoming key to improving public health as hospitals shutter in rural areas

By Sarah Baird Pew Charitable Trusts It’s a sweltering Wednesday morning in Somerset, but at 9 a.m., the Pulaski County Public Library is already bustling. From the community room, the hum of sewing machines echoes into the entryway, as the “pedal pushers” club stitch up their latest creations. An elderly man in sneakers examines a sign advertising a free nutrition workshop for October, which...

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...

Commentary: Public health is where science, politics meet but that doesn’t change need for vaccinations

By F. Douglas Scutchfield and Al Cross Special to KyForward Public health is the nexus of science and politics. Unfortunately, the two frequently do not mix well. A recent example involving childhood immunizations prompts real concern for the erosion of science in the name of politics.  State Sen. Ralph Alvarado, physician and lieutenant governor candidate with Gov. Matt Bevin, recently declared: “I...

Al Cross: Gov. Bevin is reckless to disregard the science on chickenpox; public health matters

When Gov. Matt Bevin volunteered to a Southern Kentucky radio audience March 19 that he had exposed his nine children to chickenpox, and questioned the need for vaccinations and laws requiring them, it was more than the latest example of him being reckless with his mouth. It was a new low in public officials’ willful ignorance or disregard of science, an alarming trend that is taking us to new highs...

CDC, Alzheimer’s Association release Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map, how to deal with dementia

In an effort to help state and local health departments address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alzheimer’s Association have released the third edition of the Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map. State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia, The 2018-2023 Road Map, provides public health officials with a set of strategies...

Pew Trusts: Overdose deaths have declined in 14 states; Kentucky records a 14 percent increase

By Christine Vestal Special to KyForward New provisional data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drug overdose deaths declined in 14 states during the 12-month period that ended July 2017, a potentially hopeful sign that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working. In an opioid epidemic that began in the late 1990s, drug deaths have been climbing...