A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Fast virus spread raises fear U.S. has developed more contagious strain; White House says get tested

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The novel coronavirus is spreading so fast among Americans that federal officials suspect a new, more contagious strain of the virus has evolved in the U.S., in addition to the more virulent strain that has already spread here from the United Kingdom. That possibility is mentioned in the latest report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Kentucky version...

Keven Moore: Ho, ho, ho, Santa Claus is on his way and doesn’t want to bring the virus along

A few days ago, our nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, declared that Santa Claus was exempt from COVID-19 because of all the good qualities that he possesses, as well as his innate immunity. But then we later we learn in the New York Post this past Monday that Santa visited a nursing home in Belgium and was responsible for spreading more than his good cheer with his visit...

Bill Straub: Rand Paul continues to attract attention with his curious — and potentially harmful – views

Sen. Rand Paul is laboring furiously these days to attract attention to his consistently curious views. The effort comes at an inconvenient time as President Donald J. Trump, aka Loser, is stealing headlines while further undermining the republic and Paul’s fellow Kentuckian, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, follows suit. There’s plenty of competition for the...

Kentucky Supreme Court amends court operations statewide to address escalating COVID-19 cases

The Supreme Court has issued new mandates to govern court operations as nearly all 120 Kentucky counties are now in the COVID-19 red zone. Citing the news that 250,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and health-care resources are becoming overwhelmed, Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said in an email to court personnel on Friday that it is imperative to restrict court activities now...

AAA: Majority of Kentuckians not traveling for Thanksgiving; virus keeping families at home

A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Kentucky residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and 36 percent of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns. “Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” said Lori...

Closure of three driver licensing offices — Lexington, Columbia, Florence — extended due to virus

Three Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) driver license offices that were closed last week due to cases of COVID-19 will remain closed longer than had been expected. The offices are KYTC Regional Driver Licensing offices at Lexington and Columbia and a smaller, temporary field office at Florence. Four other offices that were closed at the same time – in Jackson, Catlettsburg, Bowling Green and...

Calipari says date set for UK-Louisville game; UK coach has other options if Mack, UofL opt out

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The date and time is set for Kentucky’s annual rivalry game with Louisville this season. “We have the date and the time and unless that changes, if they choose not to play, then we’ll plug in another team,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “We already had that team set. So, where we are, you guys know I like to be ahead of this. You’re not going...

Aaron Thompson: As fall semester begins statewide, student responsibility crucial to campus health

As the fall semester kicks off at colleges and universities across Kentucky, there is still much uncertainty. The spread of the virus is accelerating at exactly the wrong moment, threatening to undo months of planning. The decision to resume in-person operations is truly a Sophie’s choice. There is no perfect solution, and for every person happy with the decision, someone else is not. As president...

Kentucky reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases in single day with 293, four additional deaths

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky had its highest single-day number of cases of the coronavirus reported on Sunday, with 293, bringing the total to at least 2,960. There were also four deaths reported Sunday, one each in Graves, Hopkins, Jackson and Jefferson counties. There have now been 148 Kentuckians who have lost their lives due to the pandemic. Nationwide, there have been over 762,000 confirmed...

Constance Alexander: ‘Joy is always imperiled’ the fictional doctor said, but Gov. Beshear delivers hope

On December 30, a Chinese physician, Dr. Li Wenliang, 34, tried to alert fellow medics about the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan Province. His message to fellow doctors in a chat group warned them about the disease and advised that they wear protective clothing to avoid infection. Three days later police paid him a visit and told him to stop, as if it were a crime to inform the public of impending...

Governor Andy Beshear says state prepared and ready to address coronavirus issue head-on

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There have no confirmed cases in Kentucky of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, and Gov. Andy Beshear has addressed the state’s efforts to keep it that way. “I want to reassure everyone that your state government, your local health departments, everyone, is prepared and is ready to address this issue head-on, and I feel very strongly that our work will have us prepared,...

Pharmacies could help Ky. teens get vaccinated for virus that causes sex-related cancers

There’s a vaccine for a virus that causes sex-related cancer, but rural teens are less likely to get it or know about it. Rural pharmacies could help improve vaccination rates, writes Casey Daniel, a Ph.D. pharmacist who teaches in the family medicine department at the University of South Alabama. “Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with 80 million...

Hepatitis A outbreaks shadowing growing opioid epidemic as number of cases rises across country

By Laura Ungar Kaiser Health News AKRON, Ohio — Just before the Fourth of July, Trenton Burrell began feeling run-down and achy. Soon he could barely muster the energy to walk from one room to another. A friend shared an alarming observation: “You’re turning yellow.” Within days, the 40-year-old landed in the hospital, diagnosed with the highly contagious liver virus hepatitis A, which in Ohio...

Don’t let flu ruin your holiday plans, health officials urge vaccinations for everyone six months and older

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service With the holiday season here, health officials in Kentucky are urging people to take steps to help prevent spreading the flu. During last year’s flu season, 325 adults and five children died in Kentucky due to flu or complications from the virus, and there were a record number of hospitalizations. Christa Mitchell from Central Kentucky says she spent 49 days...

Kentucky health officials are warning of rare polio-like virus AFM after a case found in the state

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today. Health officials are warning of a rare but serious virus with polio-like symptoms affecting mostly children, a case of which has recently occurred in Kentucky. Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From August...