Coronavirus Blog

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 CORONAVIRUS BLOG

JCPS Families: Prepare for More NTI

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students have at least a few more weeks of Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI).

Tuesday night, the Jefferson County Board of Education approved Superintendent Marty Pollio's recommendation to extend NTI for all students through late October. Pollio made his recommendation last week, where he also outlined a plan for a staggered return to in-person classes should COVID-19 numbers improve.

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Barren County Schools Extend Hybrid Learning Through December

BY Jamilah Muhammad

BARREN COUNTY, Ky. — The Barren County School District sits in a red zone, meaning for every 100,000 residents, 25+ test positive for coronavirus. These numbers have left some parents and students concerned about returning to in-person instruction.

The school adopted two models of learning in August, giving students the option to learn virtually or be a part of the in-person hybrid model, where they attend school Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday, and every other Friday.

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A Visit to Equus Vineyard Provides a Beautiful Break

BY Spectrum News Staff

MIDWAY, Ky. — It all started with a passion for something traditional in a non-traditional place - grape growing in horse country.

Cynthia Bohn is the owner of Equus Run Vineyards and she wanted to do something other than tobacco farming. She said, “Our dream was really to take these 38 acres and transform them from tobacco to something different, and a very niche market of the winery.”

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Senator Gerald Neal Shares His Personal Experience after Battling COVID-19

BY Chelsea Washington

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gerald Neal, the longest-serving African American in the Kentucky Senate, recently faced a healthcare scare that proved to be his toughest battle yet: COVID-19.

This summer Neal fell ill. He went to the hospital twice, and Doctors suspected he had COVID-19 but did not provide a conclusive diagnosis and his condition was not improving.

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Superintendent Pollio Recommends Continuing NTI Into Late October

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Marty Pollio recommended that JCPS continue NTI 2.0 into late October.

During his announcement Friday afternoon, Pollio said he was making that recommendation based on state guidance. Jefferson County is listed as an orange county according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, meaning there are 10-25 positive COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people. The guidance for orange counties, Pollio said, is to continue with NTI.

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EKU Releases Guidelines for Stadium This Season

BY Spectrum News Staff

RICHMOND, Ky. — New guidelines are in place at Roy Kidd Stadium this season, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) athletics announced.

In all outdoor seating areas, Roy Kidd Stadium will allow a capacity of 20 percent, unless evolving information or local, state and national public health developments warrant changes. Box seating will also allow a capacity of 20 percent, or a maximum of 10 people, depending on which is greater. EKU says season ticket holders and students will be accomodated for the season.

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COVID-19 Outbreak at Barren County Detention Center

BY Jamilah Muhammad

BARREN COUNTY, Ky — Sixty three residents of the Barren County Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19.

Concern began to take hold last Tuesday when two contractors and one deputy jailer reported testing positive. The following day, all jail personnel got tested, resulting in a total of six contractors and four jailers coming down with the virus. Reporting ten cases, the detention center began working with emergency services, the local health department, and the Barren County Judge Executive’s Office.

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Layoffs Across the State Due to Pandemic

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — Employers from across the state, in various fields, have sent letters to mayors, city governments, and others to notify them they need to layoff employees due to coronavirus.



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WIC Waivers to Help Those in Need Through Pandemic

BY Spectrum News Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension that will ensure participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will continue receiving the food and health care they need during the pandemic.

“USDA has been extremely steadfast in offering flexibilities to ensure Americans in need continue to receive food assistance during COVID-19,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “WIC provides vital services to new and expectant mothers, infants, and children and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for them to receive the support they need during the pandemic,” Perdue added.

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P.F. Chang's to Layoff Employees From Louisville, Lexington Locations

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — P.F. Chang's announced it will lay off employees from the company's Louisville and Lexington locations. In letters to Mayors Greg Fischer and Linda Gorton, the company said that, while it remains unclear, it anticipates laying off 75 employees from each location.

P.F. Chang's cited the coronavirus as its reason for the layoffs, specifically reduced hours and operation due to coronavirus orders from state and local officials.

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Common Kentucky Plant Studied as Potential COVID-19 Treatment

BY Brandon Roberts
UPDATED 12:24 PM ET Sep. 21, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A treatment for coronavirus could be growing on the sides of Kentucky's roads.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are conducting clinical trials on an extract from the leaves of the Artemisia annua L plant, also known as sweet wormwood, that is active against SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. The extract being used as a potential coronavirus treatment has been added to UK’s clinical trial for experimental COVID-19 therapies, which was launched this past May by leaders from the school’s Markey Cancer Center, College of Medicine, and College of Pharmacy and is the only such trial in the United States. The new arms of the clinical trial will test the effectiveness of Artemisia annua extract as well as artesunate, a derivative of the plant that is a standard treatment for malaria in many parts of the world.

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Losing the "Quarantine 15": Tips for Staying Healthy

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s paramount to be as healthy as possible during a pandemic, but for many Kentuckians, social distancing and working from home have caused some people to pack on quarantine weight.

Despite it being fish fry day at the cafeteria, Devin Gehrke brought a salad to her job as a clinical nurse at Norton Women and Children’s Hospital. She said she has gained 20 pounds since March.

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University of Kentucky to Randomly Test Students for COVID-19

BY Crystal Sicard
UPDATED 12:26 PM ET Sep. 20, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky is now testing random students on campus for COVID-19 as an extra precaution.

Around 400 students at the university will receive an email telling them they have been selected at random to retake their COVID-19 test. The students will have from Sunday through Wednesday to retake their test, with any of the on-campus testing sites at their disposal.

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After COVID-19 Delays, Kentucky's Road Projects Get Green Light

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Reduced revenue because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on the operation and maintenance of the country’s transportation networks, forcing delays of road projects. Kentucky is no exception.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet canceled putting projects out for bid in May and June.

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Explaining the Supreme Court Challenge to Beshear's Coronavirus Orders

BY Adam K. Raymond

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The seven justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday over the constitutionality of some of Gov. Andy Beshear’s pandemic-related executive orders.

The dispute stems from a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Northern Kentucky businesses — a bakery, a race track, and a child care center — in mid-June. It argued that Beshear’s orders, put in place to slow the spread of a virus that has now killed more than 1,100 people in Kentucky, have unfairly harmed them.

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Kentucky School Boards Association Helps Keep Kids Covered

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 12:36 PM ET Sep. 17, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), along with several partners, is making a donation of 80,000 cloth face masks for students in Kentucky's public schools.

The donation, in partnership with the National School Boards Association and the KSBA Educational Foundation, will be made directly to Kentucky's Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC), a division of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

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Beshear Allows Bars And Restaurants To Stay Open An Hour Later

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Bars and restaurants in Kentucky will be allowed to stay open an hour later under new guidance issued by Governor Andy Beshear Tuesday.

The new rules allow those businesses to serve customers until 11 p.m. and close completely by midnight.

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Antigen vs. Molecular COVID-19 Tests: Which Should You Take and Why?

BY Eileen Street

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Some coronavirus tests can take up to two weeks to get results, which is more than the 10 days the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a positive COVID-19 case needs to isolate.

On the other end, a Rapid COVID-19 Antigen test provides results in as little as 15 minutes, but the test is not as easily accessible in Kentucky because there aren’t many locations that offer it. Centers that do usually have certain requirements to take it, from being a healthcare worker to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. However, in central Kentucky, 12 Urgent Care Centers of Kentucky offer this rapid test to anyone.

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Dr. Birx Talks Coronavirus During University of Kentucky Visit

BY David Guildford

LEXINGTON, Ky. — One of the faces of America's response to the coronavirus came to the University of Kentucky's campus Monday to give the state a report card and answer questions from the press.

Marking her first trip to the Bluegrass state since July, Dr. Deborah Birx met with reporters after a closed-door meeting with UK administrators. The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Birx praised Kentucky’s progress in bringing positive results down over the summer.

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Beshear Says He Won't Recommend Delaying In-Person Classes After Sept. 28

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear says he won’t recommend delaying in-person classes beyond Sept. 28, the date he requested schools delay those lessons last month.

“Let me be clear that there is not be another overall recommendation coming from me or my office post-Sept. 28,” Beshear said. “What’s going to be provided is the information to make a week-by-week decision in our various school districts and counties based on [coronavirus] prevalence and what public health experts believe is the right course based on that prevalence.”

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Not Be Live, Mayor Says

BY Spectrum News Staff , Kathleen Culliton and Shannan Ferry
UPDATED 11:44 PM ET Sep. 14, 2020

NEW YORK — There won't be a live Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

Concerns about novel coronavirus spurred organizers to move the iconic celebration online, the mayor said.

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Ford Donates Two Million Masks to Kentucky

BY Spectrum News Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear welcomed a donation from Ford Motor Co. of two million masks Monday, among the latest corporate donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state.

“Even before this global health crisis arrived in Kentucky more than six months ago, we were working to secure the personal protective equipment needed to keep our people safe,” Beshear said. “The many great companies that do business in the commonwealth have been key partners in these efforts. Today, we’re happy to announce that the Ford Motor Co. has generously donated 2 million masks to the commonwealth, which is among the largest gifts we have received. This donation undoubtedly will help save Kentuckians’ lives.”

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Bowling Green Infectious Disease Specialist Loses Battle with COVID-19

BY Spectrum News Staff

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Rebecca Shadowen was a top specialist in the field of infectious diseases at Med Center Health in Bowling Green. She contracted COVID-19 in May and lost her fight with the virus on Friday, September 11.

Connie Smith, President, and CEO of Med Center Health stated, “We are grieving the loss of Dr. Rebecca Shadowen. There are really no words to describe the pain felt by her family, physician colleagues and Med Center Health teammates. Dr. Shadowen will forever be remembered as a nationally recognized expert who provided the very best care for our patients and community. She was a dear friend to many.”

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Covington Announces $100,000 for Emergency Food Distribution

BY Spectrum News Staff

COVINGTON, Ky. — Covington has $100,00 in CARES Act funds to spend on food for those impacted by COVID-19. The city is asking for proposals from organizations to distribute and handle the funds.

"Basically we have the money, but we need the expertise," said Jeremy Wallace, the City's federal grants manager. "By disrupting incomes and forcing social distancing requirements, COVID-19 has created a lot of food insecurity among Covington residents, and we want to do what we can meet that need."

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Kentucky Blood Center to Test Donations for COVID-19 Antibodies

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Donations made to the Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies through Oct. 3, part of an effort to recruit donors for convalescent plasma donation.

“Testing for antibodies will help us identify donors who have COVID-19 antibodies present, whether they were symptomatic or not,” said Bill Reed, CEO of KBC. “Identifying donors with the antibodies will help us build our supply of convalescent plasma and will allow Kentucky hospitals the ability to treat COVID-19 patients for many months to come.”

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One Veteran Says Engagement Is Key to Suicide Prevention

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jeremy Harrell is a veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now his mission is with the Veteran’s Club, an organization that provides outreach and resources to veterans who return to the Commonwealth.

He says that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a particularly trying time for veterans.

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Oktoberfest Newport Won't Be on Tap This Year

BY Spectrum News Staff

NEWPORT, Ky. — Pour one out for Oktoberfest Newport.

The three-day event, which celebrates German food, music, and beverages, announced it would be canceled this year due to coronavirus.

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Want to See the Cats Play This Fall? Here's What to Expect at Kroger Field

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Big Blue Nation will be met with new safety requirements at Kroger Field this season.

University of Kentucky Athletics announced new guidelines, including a reduced capacity of 20 percent at Kroger Field with a distanced seating plan in place. UK Athletics said all plans are subject to change.

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149 COVID-19 Cases: Lexington's New One-Day High

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington saw its largest one-day total of reported coronavirus cases yesterday with 149 new cases. The city's total of cases is now at 6,833 and 66 deaths since March.

Lexington's list of one-day highs are now:

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Beshear: "We Cannot Let This Virus Drive Us Apart"

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As Kentucky hit the highest single-day death toll from COVID-19 Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear praised Kentuckians for not letting the coronavirus claim even more lives.

“We beat every prediction. The actions of our people, your actions, saved thousands of lives. For that, I will always be eternally grateful,” Beshear said. “And this summer, when cases started increasing at alarming levels, you did it again, ensuring that we were not the next Florida, where over 10,000 people have now lost their lives. None of you chose this fight, but you have showed up to battle.”

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Oldham County Reflects on Loss of Longtime EMT Due to Coronavirus

BY Jonathon Gregg

LA GRANGE, Ky. — An Oldham County man who dedicated his life to helping others has passed away due to complications caused by the coronavirus.

“He risked his life everyday,” David Mike said of his brother EJ Mike, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 58. “Being a paramedic was his true love and I believe that’s what he loved at heart."

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COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc on Hotel Industry in Kentucky and Beyond

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The hotel industry may have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and struggling or closed hotels have a far-reaching economic effect on a community.

A record one-fourth of hotels in America being behind on their mortgage payments has forced the industry to ask Congress for a lifeline to avoid a potential collapse.

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New Rules to Greet Fans at Louisville Opener

BY David Guildford

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After many questions, concerns, and conversations, college football returns to Kentucky this week.

Louisville Athletic Director Vince Tyra gave reporters a tour of Cardinal Stadium ahead of Saturday’s season opener. He says fans, at 20 percent capacity and likely all season ticket holders, will follow new rules aimed at avoiding COVID-19 spread, such as:

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Beshear Announces Over 1,000 Kentuckians Have Died From COVID-19

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky hit a “painful” milestone Wednesday, passing 1,000 deaths from COVID-19.

“Over the last six months, we’ve had over 1,000 families going through something that’s far, far too hard,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “And not being able to do it in that normal way of full funerals, of families being able to get together to grieve.”

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'Patient Zero': Meet Kentucky's First Coronavirus Patient

BY Khyati Patel

CYNTHIANA, Ky. — The first patient to test positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky is sharing her story with Spectrum News 1.

Julia Donohue, 28, is recorded as "Patient Zero" in the Commonwealth and was the first here to battle the virus in March.

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A Dangerous Season is Ahead with COVID and the Flu

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members discuss COVID-19 updates in Lexington and how it may impact this year's flu season.

“We don't want somebody to really have COVID-19 and think they have the flu and not get treated, it's going to be a very interesting flu season.” The spokesperson for the Fayette County Health Department, Kevin Hall said.

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As COVID-19 Worsens Opioid Problem, Demand for Narcan Rises

BY Ashleigh Mills

HILLVIEW, Ky. — The coronavirus pandemic has further complicated another sweeping health problem in the Commonwealth: the opioid epidemic.

It's been six months since COVID-19 struck the state, and Hillview Mayor Jim Eadens says opioid use hasn't let up in his city. In fact, the pandemic has made it more difficult for volunteers and specialists to help those with addictions by administering the Naloxone overdose antidote, Narcan.

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People Petition for Prison Visits to Resume Amid Pandemic

BY Ashleigh Mills

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The pandemic knows no boundaries; coronavirus has reached behind bars, infecting Kentucky inmates as well as prison staff. The Green River Correctional Complex was hit hard early on, with positive COVID-19 cases announced. Visitation is suspended there, and at all prisons, "until further notice." Family members of the people in prison are petitioning for visits to be allowed to resume.

The last time Leslee Winstead was able to see her son, who is at Green River, was back in February. That was before the pandemic began. She's hardly had phone calls since then. The contact she's been able to have has been brief calls, spanning 10 minutes at most. She longs to see her son again.

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Coronavirus in the Classroom: How Air Flow May be Key to Safely Reopen Schools

BY Erin Billups - National Health Reporter
UPDATED 11:00 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020

As more is understood about how the coronavirus spreads, greater attention is being paid to the air inside schools. National Health Reporter Erin Billups takes a look at the latest recommendations and why it matters.

The indoor air quality of educational institutions has come into laser focus, because we now know that the coronavirus can transmit through aerosols.

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McConnell Unveils $500 Billion Coronavirus Relief Package. Beshear Says More Needs to Be Done

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) says he’s concerned about parts of the $500 billion coronavirus relief package Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) unveiled Tuesday.

Beshear said he didn’t have a chance to read the entire proposal as it was just being rolled out during his regular coronavirus update Tuesday. However, he criticized the extra $300 per week unemployment benefit included in the bill, a cut from the $600 per week passed in the original CARES Act, and the $400 per week President Donald Trump authorized in August.

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UofL Students Gain Real World Experience As Contact Tracers

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Contact tracing is a tool Kentucky health departments use to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. For University of Louisville senior, Lydia Tanque, it’s now a job that’s teaching her real-life experience in working in public health, which is her major.

"I remember last year when we were learning about pandemic so it’s actually interesting to be in a pandemic now,” Tanque said. The senior is in her fifth and final year at the University of Louisville studying public health.

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State Sen. Gerald Neal Tests Positive for Coronavirus

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — State Sen. Gerald Neal (D-33), who represents part of Louisville, tested positive for coronavirus. According to a statement from Senate Democratic Leadership, he received the diagnosis late Monday evening.

After experiencing mild symptoms, Neal admitted himself to the hospital.

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Labor Day Town Hall Focuses on Support for Workers

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth (D-Louisville), the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky’s AFL-CIO, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, and Kentuckians working or who have lost jobs due to the pandemic joined in for a virtual town hall. The topic was about the need for government and companies to step-up to support and protect workers during this abnormal time.

“Usually our union workers smell like hot dogs right now as they serve them at the zoo to show great appreciation for labor,” said President Bob Blair of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227 in Louisville.

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Research Roundup: Here's What We Have Learned About Coronavirus Recently

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 2:37 PM ET Sep. 04, 2020

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — In recent months, the scientific world has seen a steady flow of research updating what we know about the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and how it affects humans. Because the virus is so new, researchers are still grappling with many questions about its function. And because of the nature of the scientific process, no single study can completely answer those questions. Instead, new research is constantly challenging our understanding of the pandemic.

Here, we explore some recent studies that have shed new light on the virus.

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Cardinal Stadium Capacity Reduced to 20 Percent

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A few thousand less fans will be in the stands at Cardinal Stadium for the upcoming football season.

The University of Louisville announced its governor-approved plan for reopening the stadium. The plan includes reducing the stadium's capacity to 20 percent, meaning roughly 12,000 people will spread out amongst 60,800 seats.

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COVID-19 Cases Spike In Lexington

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — COVID-19 cases in Lexington are on the rise. Mayor Linda Gorton announced fewer people are being tested despite positive cases increasing in the area.



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Children Make Up 16% of New COVID-19 Cases the Past 10 Days

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) began including the number of people 18 and under who tested positive for coronavirus in his daily briefings. Wednesday was no exception.

Beshear announced 816 new cases of COVID-19, 116 of which were within people 18 and under. Children age 18 and under account for 16%, or roughly one-sixth, of all new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky over the past ten days.

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House Republicans Criticize Board of Education, Push for Fall High School Sports

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Several members of the Kentucky House Republican caucus want the Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) to move forward as planned with high school sports in the fall.

In the letter, the group blasted the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) for requesting more guidelines from the KHSAA following its decision last month to allow fall sports.

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Report: CDC Tells States to Prepare for COVID-19 Vaccine by Late October or Early November

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 5:45 AM ET Sep. 03, 2020

NATIONWIDE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified health officials in all 50 states and five large cities last week to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by late October or early November, according to a report Wednesday.

The guidance distributed by the CDC outlines detailed scenarios for distributing two unnamed vaccine candidates — each requiring two doses a few weeks apart — to hospitals, mobile clinics and other facilities, The New York Times reported. Health care professionals, other essential workers and national security employees will be the first to receive the vaccine under the agency’s plan.

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Patients Will Receive Medication Thanks to a Much Needed Grant

BY Khyati Patel

FLORENCE, Ky. — A Northern Kentucky charitable pharmacy reports they have serviced 30 percent more patients during the pandemic than last year.

“Our numbers are rising, the need is rising,” said Aaron Broomall, Executive Director of Faith Community Pharmacy in Florence.

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UK Launches COVID-19 Dashboard

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky launched a coronavirus dashboard to provide daily updates on the virus's campus impact.

The dashboard's data comes from 25,373 UK students who, as of Sept. 1, were required to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Students who don't physically go to campus aren't required to take a test.

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Permanent Coronavirus Testing Site Opens in West Louisville

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Tuesday Norton Healthcare opened its brand new COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of the YMCA in West Louisville. It’s not a temporary one only in town for a few weeks but a permanent testing site.



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Atlanta Organization Helps Fight Hunger in Louisville With 200,000 Meals

BY Jonathon Gregg
UPDATED 7:16 AM ET Sep. 01, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has placed more Kentucky families in need of food assistance. Beginning Monday, an international aid organization has partnered with a local food bank to help fight hunger.

Dare to Care in Louisville has now joined forces with an Atlanta-based organization simply named Care.

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Beshear Eases Restrictions on Child Care Facilities

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky will ease restrictions on child care services.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced a series of steps Monday, including the expansion of classes at child care facilities to 15 kids per group.

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Classrooms Without Walls: A Fresh Take on Learning

BY Jamilah Muhammad

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Alvaton and Willliam H. Natcher Elementary adopted new classrooms for their schools. Offering outdoor seating areas, both schools have been working on the project for the past year and a half.

Natcher has an outdoor area behind their school, that consists of re-purposed logs for seating and a concrete platform for performances or presentations. Alvaton, calls their outdoor classroom "The Nest," offering students picnic-style tables and chairs to work on.

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Beshear Reacts to CDC Clarification On Coronavirus Testing

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with new testing guidelines Monday, telling people who were exposed to the coronavirus that they don’t necessarily need to be tested if they don’t have symptoms.

CDC Director Robert Redfield issued a statement late Wednesday night clarifying the guidance.

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Time's Almost Up to Apply for P-EBT


UPDATED 3:40 PM ET Aug. 27, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Time is running out to receive food benefits for children.

The deadline to apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is Monday, Aug. 31.

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How Contact Tracing Works and What You Can Expect

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If you test positive for the coronavirus you will likely get a phone call from a contact tracer, but you also might get a phone call if a contact tracer learns that you have come in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

Louisville’s contact tracers call 1,200 to 1,700 people per day.

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FDA Green Lights COVID-19 At-Home Test

BY Khyati Patel

NEWPORT, Ky. — The concern of a possible COVID-19 outbreak looms as more colleges bring students back to campus.

That's where a Northern Kentucky lab is stepping in to help.

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JCPS Board Votes to Delay Football

BY Ashleigh Mills

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The state's largest school district will delay some fall sports.

In a special meeting on Monday, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to push back some high-contact sports, like football, delaying the first game by one week. Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio recommended this, saying it will give staff more time to monitor coronavirus.

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Governor Won't Overturn KHSAA Fall Sports Decision

BY Joe Ragusa
UPDATED 9:34 PM ET Aug. 24, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky high schools can continue with fall sports this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced Monday that he wasn’t going to overturn a decision by the Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) last week to allows fall sports.

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McConnell on Kentucky's Role in COVID-19 Vaccine

BY Khyati Patel

COVINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky is playing a major role in the battle against coronavirus.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with leaders of a Northern Kentucky lab on Monday doing innovative work on a vaccine.

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Using Convalescent Plasma to Treat COVID-19 in Kentucky

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 24-year-old Hannah Jones doesn't know if she would be here today without a convalescent plasma treatment. She spent weeks in the hospital on a ventilator battling COVID-19, but a plasma donation at Norton Healthcare turned everything around.

"I was able to recover in, like, two days. It actually did its work, and I am very thankful for the person who gave it to me," Jones said.

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UofL to Require Coronavirus Tests for On-Campus Students, Faculty, Staff

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville will now require coronavirus tests for faculty, staff, and students who have a presence on campus, the university announced via email today. The new policy is effective Monday, Aug. 24.

"We are pivoting from at-will to mandatory testing because we need more comprehensive data to ensure we are controlling any spread on campus, allowing us to continue to offer classes as designed for the duration of fall semester," read the email from university officials.

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Greek Life Goes Virtual This Fall

BY Mario Anderson

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Rising COVID-19 numbers on the University of Kentucky campus have prompted student leaders in the Greek community to move all of their fall fraternity and sorority recruitment events online this fall.

Potential new members of Greek organizations at the state’s flagship university will participate in virtual rush activities instead of the traditional in-person recruitment. On average, the university’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) says about 1,000 men participate in fall recruitment, but this year, they expect about 600 potential new members.

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KSU President Ends Events After Video of Gathering

BY David Guildford

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky State University welcomed students to campus one week ago. A student gathering has already prompted President M. Christopher Brown II to shut down all non-class-related in-person events until further notice.

The decision came after Brown says he was shown a video on Thursday of a campus gathering where, he says, nearly all students were wearing masks and appearing responsible, but some obvious exceptions put the entire group at risk.

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Teacher Reacts to Essential Worker Designation by White House

BY Ashleigh Mills
UPDATED 9:00 AM ET Aug. 22, 2020

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. — The White House Administration designated teachers as essential workers, but what does that mean?

Teachers are deemed "critical infrastructure workers" like law enforcement and doctors and can continue to work even after being exposed to COVID-19, if asymptomatic.

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How Northern Kentucky Is Using Its CARES Act Reimbursements

BY Khyati Patel

EDGEWOOD, Ky. — Eleven local governments received more than $9 million in Northern Kentucky from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

These funds will cover payroll expenses, personal protective equipment (PPE), and sanitization of telework supplies.

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Kentucky's New Eviction Plan to Come Monday

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Thousands of families are at risk of being evicted in Kentucky.

“We don’t just have to deal with the current, right, which is we don’t want people put on the street, not during COVID-19,” Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said. “But I also don’t want them emerging from this when we get through it with so much debt piled up that they’re going to be evicted in large numbers afterwards.”

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KHSAA Proceeds With Current Fall Sports Plan

BY Mario Anderson

KENTUCKY — High school students will still be able to play sports, at least for now.

Thursday, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) voted 16-2, deciding to move forward as planned with a shortened fall sports season. Practices will start at some schools as early as next week.

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Kentucky to Apply For New Pandemic Unemployment Benefit

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) says Kentucky will apply for the new unemployment benefit created by President Donald Trump (R) in a recent executive order.

When the $600 per week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit expired, Trump issued an order creating a $300 per week benefit paid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The money will be in addition to the recipient's regular unemployment benefit.

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How Telehealth Is Proving Successful For Addiction Treatment

BY Ashleigh Mills

LEXINGTON, Ky. — One Kentucky doctor hopes some of the changes brought on by coronavirus stick around after the pandemic. With Kentucky's telehealth regulations eased and new rules more relaxed, Dr. Michelle Lofwall at the University of Kentucky says the changes make opioid treatments more accessible.

Long before the coronavirus, the opioid epidemic proved deadly for many Kentuckians. Unfortunately, Lofwall says that's continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Fayette County is on track for a record number of overdose deaths in 2020.

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New Transy Initiative Offers Students a Tuition-Free Fifth Year

BY Mario Anderson

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Many colleges and universities nationwide, and in the bluegrass state, are looking at ways to give students more options to expand their college experience.

The start of Transylvania University's fall semester is like most schools: anything but normal.

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UK Researcher Looks at COVID-19's Impact on Kids

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Researchers at the University of Kentucky are participating in an international study to collect data on how the pandemic is impacting children.

Meghan Marsac, an associate professor at UK, is inviting families with children between the ages of 1 and 5 to participate in the study.

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Cancer and COVID-19: How the Virus Impacts Patient Care

BY Amber Smith

KENTUCKY — In a recent survey by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), an overwhelming majority of cancer patients said their health care has been impacted by the pandemic. Wednesday, the ACS CAN brought panelists together for a virtual forum to discuss policy that could improve health outcomes.

Lori Mangum of Gilda's Club Kentuckiana works with cancer patients and their families. She said the pandemic has added stress to an already difficult time for those families.

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Lexington Private School Welcomes Back Over 1,000 Students Wednesday

BY Mario Anderson

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Several private schools in Kentucky are opting to start the school year with in-person classes despite Gov. Andy Beshear's recommended start date of Sept. 28 for in-person learning.

Starting Wednesday, more than 1000 students will return to the campus at Lexington Christian Academy (LCA), and school administrators say they have several new safety measures in place to keep students and staff safe on the first day of school and beyond.

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"It’s Not Safe for Anybody Right Now": Beshear Responds to School Critics

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear (D) wants schools to hold off on in-person classes until Sept. 28, a date he feels confident about despite Kentucky's coronavirus cases.

“But if we can continue to do these good practices, we should see that plateau eventually starting to dip and our positivity rate starting to dip,” Beshear said.

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How WKU Is Keeping Track of Coronavirus Cases on Campus

BY Jamilah Muhammad

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — As part of their Healthy on the Hill initiative, Western Kentucky University now offers a COVID-19 dashboard which gives a weekly update on positive coronavirus cases. The university has worked with the Graves Gilbert Clinic at WKU along with Med Center Health to collect the data.

The running total of virtual tests performed for WKU students, faculty, and staff is 462 since July 1, with 132 tests conducted between Aug. 7 and 13. The campus reported 206 positive cases since July 1 with 19 reported from Aug. 7 to Aug. 13. Of those 19 cases, 14 were students and five were faculty, staff, or on-campus contractors.

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Homesteading: The Old Practice Makes a Comeback During Pandemic

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – While the pandemic has forced people to alter their way of life, some people have changed by choice.

Homesteading, a lifestyle of self-sufficiency characterized by subsistence agriculture and home preservation of food, has increased significantly during the pandemic and not just with rural landowners. Homesteading, which may also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale, is being practiced, in many cases, in the middle of major cities.

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No Spectators at Kentucky Downs Upcoming Meet

BY Spectrum News Staff

FRANKLIN, Ky. — Churchill Downs isn't Kentucky's only racetrack hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky Downs, which sits on Kentucky's southern border, will conduct racing without spectators at its upcoming meet from Sept. 7 to Sept. 16 due to rising coronavirus cases in the region.

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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)