Coronavirus Blog

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 CORONAVIRUS BLOG

Free COVID tests and masks headed to millions of homes

BY Ashley N. Brown

Dr. Sarabeth Hartlage, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’s associate medical director, says increasing access to testing is a great step for the community.

“You can get a test at home just so you know if you're positive and that can guide your actions in terms of going to visit with family members or whether you're attending school or work, things like that,” says Hartlage.

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As omicron surges, lawmakers push anti-vaccine bills in Frankfort

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In the two weeks since the Kentucky General Assembly returned to Frankfort for the 2022 legislative session, COVID-19 has surged in the commonwealth like never before. Despite case counts setting records, school districts returning to nontraditional instruction, and hospital admissions rising, some state legislators are pushing bills that would restrict the best available tool to beat back the pandemic — vaccines.

Republican lawmakers have filed several pieces of legislation that would ban employers, governmental entities, and colleges from mandating COVID-19 vaccines and legislation to ban businesses from requiring customers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Public health officials said these measures would make it more difficult for the state to protect the vulnerable and fight off the pandemic, while also further politicizing what should be a public health issue.

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Hundreds of JCPS staff still in quarantine, district goes NTI for remainder of the week

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hundreds of Jefferson County Public School staff members remain in isolation/quarantine as of Monday, Jan. 17 and as a result, JCPS is extending Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) for the rest of the week, through Jan. 21.

In a letter sent to Spectrum News 1, JCPS said, " As of 2:15 p.m. today, we had 692 staff in isolation/quarantine due to COVID-19, about 30 more than last Sunday. This does not include staff who have approved absences for other reasons."

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Oldham County parents react to school board reviving mask rules

BY Erin Wilson

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — Fifth grader Breylan Florkey can be found most days playing basketball in his driveway. It's his way of unwinding after a long day at school.

His mother, Jordyn Florkey said her children are feeling the impact of masking up again after Oldham County's school board voted to bring the rules back.

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Rising COVID cases in JCPS faculty, staff spurred shift to NTI

BY Katie Forcade

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools shifted to NTI this week due to COVID-19 cases in hundreds of staff members, Superintendent Marty Pollio said Friday.

The district will re-evaluate whether they'll return to in-person classes next week after Monday's day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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Head of Kentucky Nurses Association calls SCOTUS decision to uphold healthcare vaccine mandate 'positive step'

BY Sam Knef
UPDATED 11:05 AM ET Jan. 14, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After the U.S Supreme Court ruled healthcare facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare can mandate their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Kentucky Nurses Association CEO Delanor Manson said the organization was in favor of the decision.

Manson called it a "very positive step" in the fight against COVID-19.

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Doctors suggest N95, KN95 masks to protect from omicron

BY Ashley N. Brown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Since the start of the pandemic, doctors and health officials have stressed the importance of face masks, but they all provide different levels of protection.

Dr. Sarabeth Hartlage, the associate medical director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, said cloth masks provide adequate protection when community transmission is low.

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Your stay-at-home guide: Breaking down the latest on COVID-19 quarantine and isolation

BY Maddie Burakoff

MILWAUKEE — COVID-19 is spreading fast as the year gets underway. And with omicron sending cases to record highs, more and more people are navigating what to do after a positive test.

The CDC recently updated its guidance on quarantine and isolation. The new timelines can get complicated, but taking the right steps is important to help stop the spread.

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COVID long-hauler sheds light on her struggles, treatment

BY Sam Knef

NORTHERN KENTUCKY — Getting sick with COVID-19 and dealing with the symptoms, which vary from person to person, can be a scary proposition on its own for many people.

At least those symptoms eventually go away for the majority of people who are able to recover.

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Emergency Departments in Lexington overwhelmed with COVID testing

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Emergency doctors in Lexington are urging the public to use independent off site COVID-19 testing locations.

As the cases continue to increase in Fayette County, emergency rooms are seeing more people coming to their facilities for more than just emergencies.

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'We're just asking for flexibility': Students, faculty criticize UofL's approach to omicron

BY Adam K. Raymond
UPDATED 2:36 PM ET Jan. 11, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hundreds of students, staff, and faculty members at the University of Louisville, which started spring semester classes Monday, are calling on the school to alter plans for in-person instruction as COVID-19 cases continue to set records in Kentucky.

In a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, members of the UofL community, including alumni and parents, are asking the university to take six steps to “ensure the health and safety of the campus community for all students and workers.”

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Record-shattering reports of new COVID cases in Kentucky

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky reported its highest weekly total ever for new COVID-19 cases with 52,603. The second highest week for new cases was the week ending Sept. 5, 2021 when 30,680 cases were reported.

Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement during a Team Kentucky update Monday. He also announced the state's highest ever positivity rate of 26.33%.

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City of Louisville opens new testing site at Churchill Downs

BY Crystal Sicard

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Kentucky COVID-19 cases increase, Churchill Downs has partnered with the City of Louisville and Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratories to increase testing capabilities in Louisville, a location that can test up to 5,000 daily.



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JCPS offers vaccine clinic aimed at ESL families

BY Erin Wilson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools offered another vaccine clinic this weekend, this time aimed at ESL families, or families who speak English as a second language.

Newcomer Academy was filled with Jefferson County Public School parents like Letecia Brooks on Saturday, eager to get her daughter vaccinated.

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Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 1:32 PM ET Jan. 08, 2022

Ambulances in Kansas speed toward hospitals then suddenly change direction because hospitals are full. Employee shortages in New York City cause delays in trash and subway services and diminish the ranks of firefighters and emergency workers. Airport officials shut down security checkpoints at the biggest terminal in Phoenix and schools across the nation struggle to find teachers for their classrooms.

The current explosion of omicron-fueled coronavirus infections in the U.S. is causing a breakdown in basic functions and services — the latest illustration of how COVID-19 keeps upending life more than two years into the pandemic.

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Louisville Metro Snow Team clearing roads despite COVID benching 14% of Public Works staff

BY Bryce Shreve

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A steady barrage of midday snow blanketed Kentucky on Thursday, and road crews are still working through Friday to clear off roads for safe commuting.

Despite a COVID-related staffing shortage within its Public Works department, the Louisville Metro government has been able to adapt to the situation to ensure its expansive Snow Team can get the job done.

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Appeals court keeps vax mandate ban in place for 3 states

BY Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal appeals court has declined to lift a ban in three states on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers who contract with the federal government.

A judge in Louisville, Kentucky, issued the preliminary injunction in November that blocked the mandate for that state and two others — Tennessee and Ohio.

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Kentucky reports nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day

BY Bryce Shreve

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Commonwealth set another record for new coronavirus cases in a single day as the omicron variant continues to spread like wildfire.

Kentucky reported 9,807 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, a single-day record for the state since the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

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As omicron fears grow, FCPS, UK plan ahead to keep cases low

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As schools in Fayette County start up their spring semester, COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The University of Kentucky and the Fayette County Public School District have decided to keep their students in person for the time being.

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How Kentucky schools are handling omicron

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky school districts have largely returned to in-person classes this week, despite heightened concern over rising COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant.

The decision to prioritize in-school instruction in the commonwealth comes as some districts around the nation have gone virtual in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus or to manage staffing shortages due to sick teachers.

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Surging COVID numbers have one Kentucky university making changes

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — COVID-19 cases are surging and at least one Kentucky university has adjusted the start date of its spring semester as a result.

Northern Kentucky University announced Tuesday it is delaying the start of spring classes one week. All NKU classes will now begin on Jan. 18. In a statement NKU president Dr. Ashish Vaidya said, "Current regional case information is eye-opening, with record infections of 120 per 100,000 per day and higher throughout Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The regional transmission rate has risen to 1.3, which is also as high as we have seen."

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Wild Health boast 20,000 COVID-19 tests administered during week of New Year's Eve

BY Diamond Palmer

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Wild Health says they’ve hit record breaking numbers for COVID-19 tests administered this holiday season across the state. They report over 20,000 COVID-19 tests given this week ahead of the New Year. The testing facility’s goals are efficiency, cleanliness and aim to bring people comfort ahead of the New Year festivities.



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Kentucky Castle one of many businesses planning NYE celebrations with omicron in mind

BY Khyati Patel

VERSAILLES, Ky. — The decorations are coming out. A little over 24 hours from now, people will ring in the New Year across the state.

But the Omicron variant is now the dominant strain and there’s a surge in cases across the nation and here in Kentucky. That's led businesses to plan their festivities with safety at the forefront.

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Kentucky reports over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, record positivity rate Wednesday

BY Bryce Shreve

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Citing the surge and spread spurred by the omicron variant of COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky's positivity rate reached 14.46% on Wednesday, a record high previously set in early September.

“Folks, it’s clear Kentucky is now in a surge from Omicron,” Beshear said in a statement on Twitter. “This is the most contagious variant we’ve seen. Protect yourself and others: get vaccinated and get a booster shot.”

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Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise as omicron spreads

BY Rachel Tillman

An increasing number of young children are being hospitalized with COVID-19 across the United States, thanks in part to the omicron variant sweeping the nation.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 30% between Dec. 18 and Dec. 25, the most recent date for which data is available. That’s an average of about 260 children being admitted to the hospital each day.

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Mad dash for COVID-19 tests turns into hours of waiting

BY Katie Forcade

COVINGTON, Ky. — Driving through Covington, you may have noticed long lines of cars waiting to get into the Gravity Diagnostics test site. Car after car waiting.

“It’s about two and a half to three hours," Logan Kenney, a patient getting tested said.

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Federal program offers cash to cover COVID-19 funeral costs

BY Associated Press

When Wanda Olson’s son-in-law died in March after contracting COVID-19, she and her daughter had to grapple with more than just their sudden grief. They had to come up with money for a cremation.

Even without a funeral, the bill came to nearly $2,000, a hefty sum that Olson initially covered. She and her daughter then learned of a federal program that reimburses families up to $9,000 for funeral costs for loved ones who died of COVID-19.

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Variants 101: Understanding how the coronavirus mutates, and why it matters

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 4:26 PM ET Dec. 26, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Yet another version of the novel coronavirus has swept the world.

Over the past two years of the pandemic, we’ve seen the SARS-CoV-2 virus change up on us quite a few times — from the alpha variant that raised alarm in the spring to the delta variant that fueled our latest surge. Now, omicron is on the rise, and has quickly become the dominant variant in the U.S.

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De Blasio: Times Square to host 'scaled back' NYE celebration

BY Maya Rajamani and Dan Rivoli
UPDATED 12:26 AM ET Dec. 24, 2021

NEW YORK — Times Square will host approximately 43,000 fewer people than normal and require revelers to be fully vaccinated and masked as part of a “scaled back” New Year’s Eve celebration, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.

Around 15,000 people will be allowed to attend this year’s celebration at the Crossroads of the World, down from the usual 58,000, de Blasio said in a press release.

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Omicron in Kentucky: What we know about the COVID variant

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The omicron variant of COVID-19 officially arrived in Kentucky last Friday, with confirmed cases in Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, and Campbell counties. By Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the variant is “probably in every county by now.”

With a surge in cases expected as the new variant sweeps through the state, here’s what we know about omicron in Kentucky so far.

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Kentuckians mask up, jet off for the holidays amid omicron surge

BY Katie Forcade

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. — Many faces are migrating through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport (CVG) for December holidays. CVG officials report that traffic volumes during this time will be up 90% from what they saw in 2019.

Officials warn that busier travel days will likely be Monday, Dec. 20, 2021 and Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. They also reported that busier departure times are between 5-7 a.m. with the most packed arrival times falling between 10-11 p.m.

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Northern Kentucky lab seeing high volume of COVID testing as omicron spreads

BY Sam Knef

NEWPORT, Ky. — With the omicron variant looming and holidays approaching, a lot of people are doing whatever they can to ensure they’re keeping themselves and their family safe.

Dr. Majors Badgett said a lot more people have been coming into Ethos Laboratories in Newport as of late to get tested for the virus.

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Kentucky confirms first cases of COVID-19 omicron variant

BY Bryce Shreve and Katie Forcade
UPDATED 7:00 PM ET Dec. 18, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The omicron variant of COVID-19 has now been found in several areas across Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Friday that positive samples were reported in the Commonwealth. He confirmed on Saturday that cases have been detected in Fayette, Kenton, Jefferson and Campbell counties.

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NFL reduces testing for asymptomatic vaccinated players

BY Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Only unvaccinated players and those experiencing possible symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested, starting Sunday, under the NFL’s revised protocols.

Also, higher risk players have until 2 p.m. Monday to send written notice if they choose to opt out, according to a memo sent to clubs on Saturday and obtained by The Associated Press. The players will not be paid and the notice is irrevocable.

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Kentucky-made: Bardstown research group helped develop Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

BY Joe Ragusa

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — Early in the pandemic, pediatricians like Dr. Stan Block of Bardstown said they weren’t seeing that many kids who were impacted by COVID-19.

“Until the Delta strain hit,” he said. “When the Delta strain hit, we had a whopping number of kids infected with it, and it was very, very different than anything we had seen before.”

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Kentucky universities report high vaccination rates among students, staff, faculty

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Major universities around Kentucky are reporting relatively high COVID-19 vaccination rates among students, faculty and staff.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent an email Monday, Dec. 6, to the campus community praising the school for reaching the 90% mark for partial or full COVID vaccinations.

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Here’s when to get a COVID-19 test if you're having cold, flu or allergy symptoms

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A cough, fatigue and runny nose are all symptoms of COVID-19, but they're also common symptoms of allergies, the flu, the common cold and a sinus infection.

So if you're feeling those symptoms, should you get tested for COVID-19 or the flu? Or is it allergies, which can be helped by over-the-counter medication?

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Gov. Beshear declares Kentucky's chronic nurse shortage an emergency

BY Katie Forcade and Associated Press
UPDATED 7:30 PM ET Dec. 09, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s governor declared the state’s chronic nursing shortage to be an emergency Thursday, taking executive actions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to boost enrollment in nurse-training programs.

Kentucky is projected to need more than 16,000 additional nurses by 2024, to help fill gaps caused by retirements and people leaving the profession, Gov. Andy Beshear said. His new executive order includes “immediate actions that we believe will provide some relief,” the Democratic governor said. “Obviously long term there is a lot to do.”

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Three nonprofits split $90,000 in COVID relief funding to address homelessness

BY Katie Forcade

COVINGTON, Ky. — Temperatures are falling, and it's that time of year where snowfall collects on the sidewalks. While it can be an annoyance to some, it's worse for those who have to spend the night in it.

“Nobody wants to be outside in the freezing weather," said Rhonda Chisenhall, community development vice president of Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (CAC).

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UofL increases wastewater testing to search for omicron

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Researchers at the University of Louisville are ramping up wastewater testing in an effort to identify the omicron COVID-19 variant as quickly as possible, according to Ted Smith, director of UofL’s Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil.

“We stepped up to do daily sampling at Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center, which is our largest wastewater treatment plant in Louisville,” Smith told Spectrum News 1. “That captures about 340,000 households.”

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Multinational farming family hasn't seen relatives from South Africa in years due to COVID-19

BY Erin Wilson

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — Monnington Farm in Simpsonville, Kentucky is known for training and breeding Saddlebreds but what you might not know is the owners unique backstory, one that's now being shaped by the pandemic.

For Lionel and Georgia Ferreira, their love for horses is what brought them together. With roots from South Africa, Lionel traveled to England to train at Georgia's parents' farm.

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Parents relieved as their JCPS students get their second COVID-19 vaccine dose

BY Erin Wilson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It was all smiles and cheers for the shot of hope as Jefferson County Public School hosted their second dose vaccination clinic on Saturday, but the road there wasn’t the easiest.

“We've been pretty careful about contact and the spaces that we go. We don't go out to dinner alot or movies and those are things we’d like to do,” said JCPS parent Amy Whitehead.

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St. Elizabeth nurse opens up about working through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic

BY Katie Forcade

NEWPORT, Ky. — Nurse and infectious disease response team coordinator Lee Ann Ernst said she remembers the day COVID became a harsh reality in her world, and in Northern Kentucky. It was March 18, 2020 to be exact.

When asked if she was ever scared after that day, she said she was. But luckily, she and other healthcare workers in St. Elizabeth were there for each other.

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Minnesota resident tests positive for omicron COVID-19 variant, recently traveled to NYC: officials

BY Justin Izzo and Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 12:47 PM ET Dec. 02, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Health announced on Thursday that a Minnesota resident has tested positive for the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, and said that person recently traveled to New York City.

News Release: Lab testing confirms state’s first COVID-19 case involving Omicron variant https://t.co/kBQwR8XwPc

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The unknowns of the Omicron variant causing concerns

BY Ashley N. Brown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — No cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been reported in the United States, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president says “inevitably, it will be here.”



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Families worried about holiday travel with new omicron COVID-19 variant spreading

BY Erin Wilson
UPDATED 5:15 PM ET Nov. 28, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — U.S. restrictions impacting travel from eight countries in Southern Africa go into effect on Monday.

The Biden administration announced the restrictions on Friday after the World Health Organization reported a new "omicron" variant of COVID-19 is spreading through parts of Southern Africa.

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Increased COVID-19 testing continues into the holiday season

BY Khyati Patel

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Cases of COVID-19 are slowly creeping back up after seeing weeks of a plateau.

Many COVID-19 testing sites remained closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, but a handful of them operated in limited hours to provide many Kentuckians a safe way to celebrate the holiday.

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University of Kentucky students make holiday plans, consider COVID-19 risk factors for gatherings

BY Diamond Palmer
UPDATED 8:30 AM ET Nov. 25, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. — We are less than 24 hours away from being at the dinner table and eating turkey, many college campuses including the University of Kentucky have already begun their Thanksgiving breaks.

University of Kentucky’s campus is practically deserted on the day before Thanksgiving, that is because they have started their Thanksgiving break on the busiest day to travel of the year. UK senior Reagan Smith is not traveling very far because he is from Lexington, he is considering how to safely gathering with his family to avoid contracting the virus.

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Woodford County woman's bell tolls in honor of COVID-19 victims

BY Khyati Patel

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. — It’s a tradition born at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a Woodford County woman is still carrying it on to this day

She lights her home green and rings a bell at 10 a.m. each day by a request made by Gov. Andy Beshear back in March 2020 when churches first closed.

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In counties with low vaccination rates, health officials are 'at a loss'

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As the weather cools and holidays arrive, COVID-19 cases in Kentucky are creeping back up, but vaccination rates in some counties remain alarmingly low, health officials told Spectrum News 1.

“Get vaccinated,” Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday in a press conference where he outlined an increase in cases and hospitalizations across the state. "Everybody at your Thanksgiving dinner should be vaccinated, as long as they're over five."

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Pass the boosters: Gov. Beshear urges COVID-19 vaccines ahead of Thanksgiving

BY Bryce Shreve and Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A week ahead of Thanksgiving, vaccinated Kentuckians should make sure to get a booster shot to help ward off another surge of coronavirus cases, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday.

“We have more tools approaching Thanksgiving than ever before, and more people eligible,” the Democratic governor said at a virtual news briefing. “Make sure that when you sit down at that Thanksgiving table with the people you love, you have the highest level of immunity to protect them.”

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How to ease your kid's fear of needles ahead of their COVID-19 vaccine

BY David Williams

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Now that Kentucky children as young as 5 can get a COVID vaccine, more and more parents have signed their kids up to get the shot. But not every child is thrilled about the idea of that jab.

For some children, just the sight of one of these needles is downright scary. And Dr. Carly Sperzel understands that.

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Gov. Beshear authorizes COVID-19 booster shots for all Kentucky adults

BY Bryce Shreve

KENTUCKY — Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can now be taken by all Kentucky adults. Gov. Beshear on Wednesday signed an executive order qualifying more Kentuckians for the vaccine booster as statewide numbers show new cases are appearing to plateau.

The executive order qualifies those aged 18 and up to get a COVID-19 vaccination booster six months after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or two months after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

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Former Louisville Cardinal and COVID long hauler, Asia Durr cleared to play basketball

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two and a half years after being the second overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, former Louisville Cardinal Asia Durr has been cleared to once again play basketball.

Durr tested positive for COVID-19 in early 2020 and is classified as a long hauler. She has missed two full seasons with the New York Liberty but has finally been given the green light to play.

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Macy’s unveils 6 new floats for Thanksgiving Day Parade, including a 'floalloonicle'

BY Clodagh McGowan
UPDATED 5:16 PM ET Nov. 16, 2021

Moonachie, N.J. — A feast for your stomach — and for your eyes. That’s the theme of a festive creation, the Heinz Gravy Pirate boat, a completely new element for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route.

“It’s a 'floalloonicle.' So it's part float, part 'balloonicle,'” said Will Coss, the executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. "So it’s got an interior structure and sort of s stage for our talent on top. But it also has a balloon element, which is the actual pirate ship itself."

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Crowds to return for Times Square New Year's Eve celebration - but vaccination required

BY Elina Tarkazikis
UPDATED 1:29 PM ET Nov. 16, 2021

NEW YORK — New Year's Eve in Times Square will return with crowds this year - but attendees 5 and older must present proof that they are fully vaccinated and photo ID, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Tuesday.

Spectators under 5 must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult and wear a mask, city officials say.

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Homeschooling becoming more popular thanks to the pandemic

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The COVID-19 pandemic pushed families to rethink their options on how to best educate their children. The U.S. Census Bureau found a sharp increase in families taking up home schooling since the start of the pandemic.

The Hackman's morning routine is different from most. Mom Angela Hackman home-schools all three of her kids.

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Poll: Americans still plan to cautiously celebrate the holidays amid COVID-19

BY Lydia Taylor

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The world is in its second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and although much progress has been made with COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, many U.S. families still plan to cautiously celebrate the holidays, according to a survey from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The online survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of the Wexner Medical Center questioned 2,042 adults 18 and older between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1. Nearly half plan to require friends and family to wear masks during gatherings, which is down 67% compared to OSU's poll last year. Around three-fourths said they plan to celebrate with only members of their household.

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In memoriam: New art installation to honor over 10,000 Kentuckians lost to COVID-19

BY Bryce Shreve and Diamond Palmer

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As Kentucky eclipsed 10,200 COVID-19 deaths, Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday held a memorial ceremony to honor those lost and announce details for the memorial art installation coming to the Capitol soon.

First Lady Britainy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, religious leaders, health care workers and many more also took part in the service. You can watch the full memorial service here.

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Some Oldham County School parents disappointed with optional mask policy

BY Erin Wilson

LAGRANGE, Ky. — The Oldham County Board of Education made adjustments to their COVID-19 plan this week that has some parents turning heads.

For 4-year-old Cooper Reynolds, wearing a mask is not only an extra layer of protection but an accessory. But starting Nov. 29, Cooper may be the only one left wearing a mask in his classroom at Oldham County Preschool. That's because on Monday, the Oldham County Board of Education voted to make masks optional in all school buildings.

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Humana updates its vaccine guidelines to match Biden administration’s order

BY Ashley N. Brown

The order also states that unvaccinated workers must wear face masks indoors at their workplaces starting Dec. 5.

Although a federal appeals court ordered a temporary halt to the mandate, Humana, a health insurance company and one of Louisville’s largest employers, updated rules in its vaccination policy to match those of the order.

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How Kentucky's biggest colleges are approaching the federal vaccine mandates

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dozens of public universities around the country have started requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees following President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates for federal contractors and large employers, but most of Kentucky’s biggest schools have not.

While the University of Kentucky has said all staff will need to either get vaccinated or seek an exemption, the University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, and Western Kentucky University say they are still evaluating the new rules relating to mandates.

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Ed Commons one of many in central Kentucky rolling sleeves up for COVID boosters

BY Diamond Palmer

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dozens more people in Lexington rolled up their sleeves for COVID-19 booster shots on Friday, including Ed Commons, who some may recognize as the host of Red Barn Radio.

Commons is a New York native whose passion is inviting musicians from all over the Commonwealth to preserve the music of Kentucky. Commons rolled up his sleeves for the safety of his production team and future guests that he will host.

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Gov. Beshear, First Lady get their COVID-19 booster shot

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and his wife, First Lady Britainy Beshear, each received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine during Thursday's Team Kentucky update.

“I am convinced that if we have another spike and the severity of what it will be will depend on how many of our people we have gotten boosted,” Gov. Beshear said. “We have seen in recent weeks that waning immunity is real.”

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Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron leads lawsuit to block vaccine mandate for federal contractors

BY Bryce Shreve and Associated Press

KENTUCKY — Just hours after it was announced, President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors is seeing a legal challenge spearheaded by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Cameron on Thursday filed a lawsuit, joined by Ohio and Tennessee, challenging the Biden Administration’s mandate aimed at federal contractors. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, alleges that the mandatory vaccination requirement is unlawful and unconstitutional.

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Consolidated Baptist Church offers Moderna booster shot, worshipper back first time since pandemic started

BY Diamond Palmer

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Consolidated Baptist Church is helping people get booster shots, thanks to a partnership with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. LFCHD is offering their first round of boosters for people immunocompromised, over 65, or a front line worker which is among other qualifications.

Mary Linn received her COVID-19 moderna booster shot Wednesday afternoon in Consolidated Baptist Church, a place of worship she has been going for years. Wednesday was the first time she returned in-person since the beginning of the pandemic. She has been utilizing virtual worship services from the church in order to prevent any potential COVID-19 exposure outside of her home. Linn’s mouth is not visible but from her excitement, it is smiles ear to ear for the Lexington resident and former Fayette County Public School teacher.

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More COVID shot appointments for young kids to go online by Friday

BY Austin Landis

One day after the nation’s top public health agency gave a final green light to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for young kids, federal health officials on Wednesday called the next phase of vaccinations ‘monumental’ and detailed the rollout of children’s vaccines expected over the coming days and weeks.

That includes adding shot appointments for kids 5 to 11 years-old on Vaccines.gov, the federal website where people around the country can find a coronavirus vaccine near them.

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Kids and the COVID vaccine: 10 things to know

BY Charles Duncan

Children as young as 5 can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This week, Pfizer passed the final hurdles to give its coronavirus vaccine to 5 to 11-year-olds. Kids 12 and up were already able to get vaccinated.

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Metro Council preps premium pay, but some workers feel slighted

BY Adam K. Raymond
UPDATED 9:08 AM ET Nov. 03, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On June 1, 2020, nearly three months after COVID shut down Louisville’s libraries, they reopened for curbside pickup. Jo Smiley and other library clerks were an essential part of that process.

“We were the ones delivering people's books, DVDs and library materials,” Smiley said. “We were wearing masks, but a lot of the people in their cars were not.”

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After dealing with long COVID, LaGrange family looks forward to getting their kids vaccinated

BY Erin Wilson

LAGRANGE, Ky. — After battling COVID-19 and still dealing with the long-term effects nearly ten months later, one LaGrange man is hoping to get his youngest children vaccinated to prevent the same outcome he has dealt with.

When the news of the FDA endorsing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 was released, the Queen family could not hide their excitement.

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JCPS high schoolers get their jabs at COVID-19 vaccine drive

BY Joe Ragusa

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Seneca High School sophomore Zachary Koerner has been planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine with his mom, but they just haven’t had the time to do it.

“My mom’s been busy with work. I’ve been busy with work and school,” he said. “So we’ve just kind of had conflicting schedules.”

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LOCAL RESOURCES
Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

(Source: NYS DOH)