Corfonavirus Blog

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 CORONAVIRUS BLOG

COVID-19 cases rising in Jefferson County

BY Erin Kelly

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two weeks after the Kentucky Derby returned to full capacity for the first time in three years, Jefferson County health data show COVID-19 cases are on the rise.



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Kentucky preschoolers could soon get their COVID shot. Here's what one day care thinks

BY Diamond Palmer

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Moderna is seeking authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a vaccine that would be available for children 6 months to 5 years old. If approved, it would mean the youngest group of the U.S. population would now be eligible to receive a vaccine.

Milk and Honey Preschool, a child care facility in Lexington, weighed in about it.

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Health authorities decline COVID-19 exposure notification phone alerts

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days after Divya Samu, 27, flew from Cincinnati back home to New York last week, she took a COVID-19 home rapid test because she was feeling ill and tested positive.

The next morning, she received an alert on her iPhone informing her she had been exposed on April 14 or 15, which gave her more confidence in her positive result.

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Face masks now optional in Kentucky airports, bus systems

BY Mason Brighton and Bryce Shreve
UPDATED 4:01 PM ET Apr. 19, 2022

KENTUCKY — Face masks are now optional for travelers in Kentucky. All of Kentucky's major airports and several public transit systems announced Tuesday that masks are no longer required, effective immediately.

Louisville's TARC and Muhammad Ali International airport cited the latest change in TSA guidance following a federal judge in Florida's ruling that effectively struck down the Biden administration's travel mask mandate.

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Mayor Greg Fischer returns home after testing positive for COVID-19



LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer safely returned home to Kentucky from Israel on Saturday following his positive COVID-19 test last Sunday.

Mayor Fischer tested positive for COVID-19 while on a trip in Israel for U.S. mayors that was sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.

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Governor calls on lawmakers to pass “Hero Pay”

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Democrats in Frankfort wanted $400 million for “Hero Pay” bonuses for people like nurses, paramedics, grocery store employees and others deemed “essential” workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A proposal to give essential workers a bonus failed to gain traction during the legislative session this year

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Lawmakers debate COVID relief funds and Title 42

BY Julia Benbrook

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are attaching a condition to passing another $10 billion in COVID relief funds saying they want to force a Senate vote on the Biden Administration’s plan to end two years of pandemic restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum at the border.

The Biden Administration said Friday that it will lift Title 42, a policy first enacted by President Donald Trump that essentially closed down the United States asylum system at the border because of the pandemic.

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Mayor Greg Fischer tests positive for COVID-19



LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a tweet that contained a statement from Mayor Fischer's Press Office, it was stated that he tested positive while participating in an educational program for U.S. mayors abroad in Israel.

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The quest is on for a 'universal' COVID-19 vaccine, is it possible?

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Health authorities and vaccine researchers are increasingly interested in the pursuit of a “universal” COVID-19 vaccine that is resistant to variants.

After the omicron wave demonstrated that the virus’s ability to mutate can jeopardize the efficacy of existing vaccines, U.S. health officials have acknowledged that creating more durable vaccines will be key to a successful long-term vaccine strategy.

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'Put politics aside and do what's right': Beshear vetoes measure that would end COVID state of emergency

BY Bryce Shreve

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed SJR 150, a measure that would prematurely end Kentucky's COVID-19 state of emergency, citing concerns that millions would lose emergency food benefits.

The joint resolution passed with enough support to override a gubernatorial veto, but Beshear urged lawmakers to "put politics aside and do what's right for our families."

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Day of Remembrance to honor those lost to COVID-19

BY Deborah Harbsmeier and Ashley N. Brown
UPDATED 7:00 PM ET Mar. 15, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the first time in two years, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, gave an in-person update on COVID-19.



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Beshear: Measure ending COVID emergency would cost Kentucky millions in food aid

BY Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Struggling Kentuckians would lose extra food stamp benefits if a Republican-backed measure to end the COVID-19 state of emergency early becomes law, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

The state’s GOP-dominated legislature finished work on the measure last week, sending it to the Democratic governor. Beshear hasn’t taken action on the measure but condemned it as “politics at its worst.” The resolution cleared the legislature with enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto.

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St. Aloysius hosts annual fish fry after year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic

BY Erin Wilson

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — The season of Lent has begun as members of the Catholic Church abstain from meat on Fridays. That means fish fries have returned.

“Being with the guys, a good bunch of people, a good bunch of people,” David Haight, a volunteer, said. “Realizing what we're doing is a worthwhile endeavor.”

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UK researchers expand COVID-19 wastewater testing with mobile labs

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — For over a year now, University of Kentucky researchers have been testing wastewater to detect early signs of COVID-19.

Over the last year, researchers at the University of Kentucky have been testing wastewater both on campus and around the state, looking for early signs of COVID-19 outbreaks.

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JCPS drops mask mandate for school buildings, buses

BY Erin Wilson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Beginning on Thursday, March 10, masks will no longer be required to be worn in the largest school district in Kentucky.

“I want to say once again that I follow the guidance the locally elected board gives me, they are the 7 people that hire me and supervise me as an employee,” superintendent Dr. Mary Polio said. “Last night it was pretty clear on that guidance.”

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Waning COVID-19 numbers inspire optimism, but health officials urge caution with unmasking

BY Bryce Shreve and Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — As COVID-19 cases drop, Kentuckians should resist feeling pressure to peel off masks if they think it’s best for them to keep wearing facial coverings in public, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

Beshear reported that the number of new coronavirus cases, the test positivity rate and virus-related hospitalizations declined again last week in Kentucky.

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High Fat Tuesday turnout good sign for restaurants

BY Jonathon Gregg

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fat Tuesday promotions are helping Louisville restaurants turn the corner.

As restaurants around Kentucky celebrated Fat Tuesday, it could be the strongest indication yet that the country has finally turned the corner in its fight against coronavirus.

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Pandemic to endemic: Learning to live with COVID-19 two years later

BY Diamond Palmer

FRANKFORT, Ky. — March 6, 2022 marks the two year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky. As the virus began to spread, it shifted how people lived their daily lives at work, school and even at their places of business.

COVID-19 didn’t make its way to Kentucky until March 6, 2020, which was months after it was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Governor Andy Beshear immediately briefed the people of Kentucky.

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Fry Daddy's reopens after staffing shortage closure

BY Brennon Gurley

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be eased, many restaurants across the state are working hard to hire more people.

A Louisville restaurant in the Clifton neighborhood that temporarily closed its doors last year because of limited staffing is back in business.

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Bridal shop discusses how business has changed from 2020 to 2022

BY Katie Forcade

COVINGTON, Ky. — Anne Beran said she’s been working with brides for 11 years. Two years ago, things she never expected came to life as the coronavirus pandemic made its way into the area.

“I mean I had a whole setup at my kitchen table for two months where I FaceTimed people to get them measured, people were still ordering bridesmaid dresses, I even sold a bridal gown from my kitchen table. So while things came to a halt, they were still kind of going and I think that was something I didn’t expect,” Beran said.

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Metro Louisville lifts mask mandate

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The daily incident rate of COVID-19 is declining and the number of vaccinated residents in Louisville is rising. Mayor Greg Fischer announced masks are no longer required in Louisville Metro Government buildings and vehicles beginning Friday, March 4.

In a statement, Fischer said, “We’re making masks optional for people working and doing business in Metro Government facilities because the virus is declining in our community. But make no mistake — COVID-19 is still very present in our community and is still sending residents, mostly the unvaccinated, to hospitals. Our progress against COVID-19 wouldn’t be possible without so many residents making the obvious choice to get a free and safe vaccine and boosters offering strong protection against serious illness from the virus.”

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The People's Convoy is on a mission to protect constitutional rights

BY Katie Forcade

DRY RIDGE, Ky. — Tommy Weber, a member of The People’s Convoy, said the group’s goal to have truckers ride up to Indianapolis and then out to Washington, D.C. is to protest COVID-19 mandates and protect Constitutional rights.

“We demand the declaration of national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic be lifted immediately and our cherished constitution reign supreme,” Weber said.

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Kentucky governor talks of a new era of living with COVID-19

BY Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Nearly two years into its fight against COVID-19, Kentucky is pivoting into an era of “personal empowerment” with people making their own health decisions as coronavirus cases decline and tools to treat it emerge, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday.

“We believe that we’re moving toward living with COVID but not ignoring COVID,” the Democratic governor said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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Nearly half of Biden’s 500M free COVID tests still unclaimed

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press

Nearly half of the 500 million free COVID-19 tests the Biden administration recently made available to the public still have not been claimed as virus cases plummet and people feel less urgency to test.

Wild demand swings have been a subplot in the pandemic, from vaccines to hand sanitizer, along with tests. On the first day of the White House test giveaway in January, COVIDtests.gov received over 45 million orders. Now officials say fewer than 100,000 orders a day are coming in for the packages of four free rapid tests per household, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

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WKU lifts on-campus mask requirement following new CDC guidance



BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University announced on Friday in a message from university president Tim Caboni that their mask requirement would be lifted, effective immediately.

According to the message, WKU’s number of positive cases has dropped by 96.9% since the start of the semester. That, combined with the announcement of the CDC’s revised masking guidance that relaxes requirements for schools, spurred the university’s decision.

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Senators file resolution to end COVID-19 state of emergency in Kentucky

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican Senators filed a resolution Friday that, if passed, would end the COVID-19 state of emergency in Kentucky.

When Kentucky reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 6, 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency that paved the way for several restrictions aimed at slowing the pandemic.

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Health care professional recalls tears wept, emotional strain caused by COVID pandemic

BY Khyati Patel

RICHMOND, Ky. — For nearly two years, health care professionals have battled COVID-19 day in and day out. The pandemic brought along stresses and challenges, but many, like Dr. Taylor Dunn, are actively working to balance their lives between home and work.

During her off time, Dunn often bakes. As she prepped some of her mother-in-law’s famous no-bake cookies in the kitchen, she recalled the balance that her husband brings to her home life.

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Young Americans for Liberty take anti-vaccine mandate message to people's front door

BY Brandon Roberts
UPDATED 5:55 PM ET Feb. 16, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Some central Kentucky residents have received a door hanger at their residence opposing vaccine mandates by President Joe Biden.

The hanger is paid for by Washington, D.C.-based Young Americans for Liberty Inc. (YAL), a nonprofit Libertarian youth organization focused on advancing its views on college campuses and in electoral politics funded through private donations. The group defines its four-step mission as identifying, educating, training and mobilizing youth activists.

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With no federal tracking system in place, how school districts spend COVID relief funds could go unnoticed

BY Brandon Roberts
UPDATED 3:01 PM ET Feb. 09, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The federal government sent billions of dollars to local schools intending to protect students from the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms by upgrading ventilation and filtration systems. It has been difficult, however, to determine exactly how schools and districts spent that money and if they used it for its intended purpose.

In the year and a half since millions of children were sent home, the U.S. Department of Education has done limited tracking only of how the money has been spent. That has left officials in Washington largely in the dark about how effective the aid has been in helping students, especially those whose schools and communities were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, according to a report by ProPublica.

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Research roundup: Shedding new light on COVID-19

BY Maddie Burakoff
UPDATED 10:43 AM ET Feb. 09, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Over the past two years, 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.

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Follow COVID-19 self-test's directions to avoid false negative result

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Every home in the United States is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests.

Plus, if you have health insurance, via an employer or marketplace, they can reimburse you for up to eight at-⁠home tests each month for each person on your plan. The tests are simple to use and convenient, but they require you to pay close attention to the instructions because a misstep could cause a false negative test.

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Louisville health experts: Worst of omicron is ‘likely behind us’

BY Adam K. Raymond
UPDATED 4:01 PM ET Feb. 01, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On the first day of February, after over two weeks of declining COVID-19 cases in Louisville, the “worst of the omicron wave is likely behind us,” Dr. Sarah Beth Hartledge, Associate Medical Director of Louisville’s Public Health Department, said Tuesday.

The past seven days have seen 12,213 new COVID cases in Louisville, compared to roughly 14,000 last week and 16,000 the week before that.

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Lexington health officials sound the alarm on soaring COVID-19 cases

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington has seen the highest numbers of cases they have ever seen during the pandemic in a single day, with over 1,000 cases.

Overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, Christina King with the Lexington Fayette County Health Department says as of Friday morning there were over 1,000 new cases in Fayette County.

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Lexington mayor and husband receive negative COVID-19 results

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Negative. That was the result of of Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and her husband’s COVID-19 test Wednesday.

Gorton and her husband Charlie tested positive Jan. 20. In a statement Wednesday Gorton wrote, “I believe being fully vaccinated and boosted helped keep our COVID-19 symptoms fairly minor.”

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Hospitals cancel procedures because of surge in omicron

BY Khyati Patel and Deborah Harbsmeier
UPDATED 11:27 AM ET Jan. 26, 2022

RICHMOND, Ky. — COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kentucky and now at least one area hospital is suspending elective procedures because of the escalating cases.



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Increased demand creates more counterfeiting of genuine COVID-19 masks

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized thousands of counterfeit 3M masks around the country. The selling of fake masks has increased along with the demand after medical experts suggested using N95 or KN95 masks as protection from the highly contagious COVID-19 omicron variant.

“Criminal enterprises continue to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to sell counterfeit, unapproved, and unsafe PPE and pharmaceuticals,” said Steve Bansbach, public affairs specialist at the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection for Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Pennsylvania (Erie), Minnesota and Nebraska. “But U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has remained focused on its mission to protect consumers, reduce trading costs and promote a level playing field for American businesses.”

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What it's been like to be a restaurant owner during the pandemic

BY Sam Knef

COVINGTON, Ky. — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses throughout Kentucky over the last few years. While many have succumbed to the mounting pressure and financial hardships, others have persevered, adapted and managed to stay afloat.



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Amid Omicron, CDC says COVID-19 booster helps keep elderly out of hospitals

BY Katie Forcade
UPDATED 9:30 AM ET Jan. 23, 2022

COVINGTON, Ky. — Older Kentuckians are a more vulnerable population when it comes to COVID-19, but booster shots may be the key to staying safe.

CDC research shows that amid the Omicron wave, those 65 and older who haven't received that booster shot are 49 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to their boosted counterparts.

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Louisville wastewater shows omicron surge has likely plateaued

BY Adam K. Raymond
UPDATED 1:40 PM ET Jan. 21, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After weeks of ripping through Louisville, the COVID-19 omicron variant appears to have plateaued in Kentucky’s largest city, according to samples of wastewater taken by researchers at the University of Louisville.

“The wastewater data from this week indicates that we have not yet turned the corner — levels are high and flat,” Dr. Ted Smith, director of UofL’s Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, wrote in an email. “The good news is that we are not seeing any further increase in the community as a whole.”

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Lexington mayor, husband test positive for COVID-19

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and her husband Charlie have tested positive for COVID-19.

The mayor's office released a notice Thursday saying that both the mayor and her husband have received both vaccinations as well as their booster shots.

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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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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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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)