Coronavirus Blog

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 CORONAVIRUS BLOG

Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits to End in Kentucky

BY Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Payments that are part of a federal program to aid those unemployed because of the ongoing pandemic will end this weekend under federal rules, affecting roughly 4,700 Kentuckians, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet said Tuesday in a news release.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor notified the state agency that the number of people receiving extended benefit unemployment insurance as a percentage of the labor force had fallen below the qualifying threshold for the state to continue dispersing funds under the program. As a result, the state will be barred from such payments for a minimum of 13 weeks.

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A COVID-19 Vaccine Is Coming. Who Will Get it First?

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — By this time next month, one or more COVID-19 vaccines will likely be available. The federal government says 20 million people could be vaccinated against the deadly corovnaivus by the end of the year. But who will be the first (and second, and third) to get the shots?

It’s a question that public health officials, bioethicists, and political leaders have grappled with for months. With confirmation last week that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are more than 90% effective, it’s also more releavant now than ever. Official word on the protocol for distribution and prioritization is still weeks away, but here’s what we know now:

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Paducah Father Says Breaking through Bureaucracy is a Challenge in Accessing Housing Services

BY Eva McKend

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With his two children, 44-year old Quentin Fayne has spent the last four days in a hotel room, paid for by his wife’s employer as she trains for a new job. Once her training is over, his family will return to a shelter and he’ll go back to his car where he’s been living for more than a month after losing his apartment. A confluence of events led to Fayne winding up homeless and jobless in the middle of a pandemic.

"My kids are in a shelter. My wife is in a shelter and I’m sleeping in a car. Everybody wants to put us on a list and nobody wants to help us," said Fayne.

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Co-Immunity Project Finds COVID-19 Infection Rate Increased Ten-Fold in Louisville Since September

BY Haeli Spears

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Coronavirus infection rates in Metro Louisville have increased ten-fold since September, according to the latest results from the Co-Immunity Project. Released Tuesday, the new results show the infection rate rose from .2% to 2% between September and November.

The Co-Immunity Project, at the University of Louisville's Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, is a series of studies looking to estimate the prevalance of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, in Jefferson County.

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Safety Modifications in Place to Present 12 Balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

BY Frank DiLella

NEW YORK - One of the most highly anticipated elements of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the inflated balloons. This year, there will be 12 large character balloons, but with some modifications on how they are presented, all with safety in mind.

"This parade is something that everybody, every Thanksgiving across the country, they can rely on. They can depend on. They know that in the morning when they're making their Thanksgiving dinner, they can turn on the TV, they can see the balloons, they can see the floats and they'll be able to do all of that this year," said Susan Tercero, the Executive Director of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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A Look at Student Homelessness in Ky. During COVID-19

BY Ashleigh Mills
UPDATED 6:06 AM ET Nov. 24, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Between roughly 20,000 and 25,000 students in Kentucky are considered homeless. That's about 4%, according to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). During November, National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, light is shed on the help with education that's available to families.

In Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), the state's largest district, there are between roughly 5,000 and 6,000 homeless students. However, Giselle Danger-Mercaderes feels the number isn't an adequate measure.

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Rupp Arena to Reopen This Month With New Safety Protocols

BY Haeli Spears

LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the first time in eight months, Rupp Arena will welcome back fans.

The arena is hosting a limited number of live events in 2020 and 2021, the first one being the UK Men's Basketball Bluegrass Showcase MTE Nov. 25.

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Bowman Field Driver Testing Facility Closed Following Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis

BY Haeli Spears

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Bowman Field Driver Testing Facilitiy has closed due to a staff member's positive coronavirus diagnosis, Kentucky State Police (KSP) announced on Twitter.

🚨ALERT: Jefferson County🚨 KSP has closed the Bowman Field Driver Testing Facility (Louisville) due to a positive COVID diagnosis. The facility will be closed Mon., Nov. 23 - Fri., Nov. 27. Individuals scheduled for tests will be contacted by KSP to reschedule@KYTCDistrict5 pic.twitter.com/cBl01r1nbf

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Some Products Now Have Purchasing Limits As Second Wave Of Stockpiling Begins

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A worsening COVID-19 pandemic that has created more restrictions just before the Thanksgiving holiday has people again stockpiling certain products resulting in empty shelves and some grocery store chains placing limits on purchasing certain items.

Kroger issued a statement Monday, Nov. 16, announcing a “two per customer” limit on toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, and hand soap in-store and online.

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Kentucky Sees Highest Week Ever for COVID-19 Cases

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The coronavirus numbers of Kentucky are in and this was the highest week ever for new COVID-19 cases shattering the previous record by 3,766 cases. Sunday Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,194 new cases.

“This upcoming holiday week is a special time for all of our families, and I know everyone wants to have a normal Thanksgiving after such a difficult year,” said Gov. Beshear. “I wish more than anything that we could go back to normal safely, but we can’t. In order to protect our only line of health care workers and all of our fellow Kentuckians, keep gatherings small (eight people or fewer and two households at most), wear a mask, wash your hands and stay six feet apart.

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First US COVID-19 Immunizations Could Arrive on Dec. 12

BY Rachel Tillman and Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The head of the U.S. effort to produce a coronavirus vaccine says the first immunizations could happen on Dec. 12.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer Inc.’s request for an emergency use authorization for its developing COVID-19 vaccine.

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FDA Allows Emergency Use of Regeneron Antibody Drug

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press

U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

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Doctors Weigh in on New Coronavirus Restrictions

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Following a record week of new cases, Kentucky is under new coronavirus restrictions. One of the new orders limits private gatherings to a max of eight people with only your household and one other. Dr. Jon Klein, Vice Dean for Research at UofL School of Medicine, said this comes at a time when experts are urging people to cancel Thanksgiving plans and instead eat the holiday meal with just your household.

“We have a series of weeks ahead of us that are going to be very bad. There is no getting around that, when we look nationally and at the region, just 150 miles north of us in Indianapolis, the hospitals are under tremendous pressure at the moment. That can be our future or it doesn’t have to be our future," Dr. Klein said.

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Cardinals Football Schedule Shuffled Again Because of Coronavirus

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Days after the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) shuffled upcoming football games because of positive coronavirus tests, it has done it again.

Saturday the ACC announced a pair of schedule changes for the University of Louisville. The Cardinals were scheduled to travel to Boston College on Dec. 12, but now the Cards and Eagles will meet up Saturday, Nov. 28. The ACC will announce game time and television network Sunday, Nov. 22.

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Donald Trump Jr. Tests Positive for COVID-19

BY Rachel Tillman and Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday.

The spokesperson says the younger Trump learned his diagnosis earlier this week, has no symptoms and has been quarantining.

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Schools Move to Remote Learning, But CDC Director Says COVID-19 is Not Spreading on Campuses

BY Khyati Patel

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. — Starting Monday, schools across Kentucky move to remote learning as part of a set of new restrictions put in place by Gov. Andy Beshear (D) to combat a wave of new COVID-19 cases.

But this week, the Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told the nation the coronavirus is not spreading in schools.

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Ky. Supreme Court Adjusts Court Operations as COVID-19 Cases Surge

BY Haeli Spears

KENTUCKY — As COVID-19 continues to surge in Kentucky, the state Supreme Court issued new mandates for court operations.

In an email to court personnel Friday, Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said the courts have a responsibility to protect people from the virus, citing the "involuntary nature" of most court proceedings.

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Here's Why Kentucky Is Closing Indoor Dining at Bars and Restaurants

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bars and restaurants in Kentucky must cease in-person service for three weeks starting Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced this week. It was one of a handful of restrictions aimed at slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, but it may be the most controversial.

“I don’t feel good about it,” Kentucky Restaurant Association president Stacy Roof told Spectrum News 1 after Beshear’s announcement Wednesday. Republican Congressman Thomas Massie tweeted that the order will “bankrupt many” restaurants and Republican leaders in Frankfort said Beshear failed to provide them with “any contact tracing based data on where cases are spreading in Kentucky.” The implication was that bars and restaurants are being unfairly targeted.

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What to Expect of the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

BY Frank DiLella and Spectrum News Staff

NEW YORK - Since 1924, the employees of Macy’s Department store have been putting on a Thanksgiving Day parade that takes place in the streets of New York City. This annual event has ballooned into a national celebration that, to many, marks the official start of the holiday season.

“We can look at a parade and say, oh, it's just a parade, but I think it's more than, and that's why I think we're so passionate this year of keeping the tradition alive,” said Wesley Whatley, creative producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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At First Briefing in Months, Coronavirus Task Force Addresses COVID-19 Vaccine, Surge in Cases

BY Austin Landis
UPDATED 6:54 PM ET Nov. 19, 2020

In their first official briefing since July, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force addressed the nation on Thursday, publicly acknowledging the current surge in coronavirus cases as a group for the first time.

A number of familiar faces spoke in the briefing room, including Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronovirus Response Coordinator, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

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Expiration of Pandemic-Related Benefits to Impact 100,000+ Kentuckians

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With many forms of assistance provided through the CARES Act and other relief packages expiring in December, Kentuckians will need more federal aid before the new year.

As COVID-19 cases surge and economic hardship deepens, several federal and state assistance programs, such as unemployment benefits, rental and utility assistance, eviction moratoriums, and student loan debt relief are set to expire, which could affect hundreds of thousands of residents across the Commonwealth. Jessica Klein, a policy associate at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said the expiration of these programs will affect Kentuckians already struggling to make ends meet, and providing additional relief could prevent “substantial harm” to residents and keep the state’s economy from weakening further. More than 100,000 Kentuckians will lose unemployment benefits at a time when the state’s unemployment rate is at an historical high level, economic recovery is slowing down, and low-wage jobs are far below pre-pandemic levels, Klein said. “October data shows 30% of Kentuckians are struggling to meet basic needs like food, heat, or rent,” she said. “Despite that, unemployment benefits are ending for many thousands of Kentuckians.”

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COVID-19 Surge Testing Now Available at Keeneland

BY Haeli Spears

LEXINGTON — Keeneland Race Course is now a site for COVID-19 surge testing, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday.

“We are seeing an alarming rise in coronavirus cases across the commonwealth and, unfortunately, Fayette County has emerged as one of the hardest-hit areas,” Beshear said. “We need everyone to do their part as a member of Team Kentucky to slow the spread of this deadly virus. Surge testing gives us a real chance to halt this spread. These tests are free, so there are no barriers. Get tested: Do it for yourself, for your family and for your community.”

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Governor Outlines New Coronavirus Restrictions for the Commonwealth

BY Deborah Harbsmeier
UPDATED 6:30 PM ET Nov. 18, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Continually rising coronavirus cases in every county in Kentucky has Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issuing new restrictions.

Beshear said, "It is time for Kentucky's third attack against the coronavirus. There will not be a shutdown. Our economy is open. These are significant, surgical, and targeted steps to slow the virus ."

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Storage, Transportation, Distribution Of Vaccines Could Pose Problem In Rural Kentucky

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – While the recent announcement that two COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available, getting those vaccines to the people who statistically need them the most could pose some challenges because of storage and transportation.

It could be difficult distributing the vaccine to residents in rural Kentucky because many hospitals and health departments in those areas lack the necessary cold storage capability and the funds to purchase or lease the required ultra-cold freezers.

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Traveling for Thanksgiving? These Tools Can Help You Stay Safe

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The best way to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus this Thanksgiving is to stay home. Public health officials and government leaders have made that clear. But if Americans do choose to travel and gather next week, and they will, several tools can help assess the risk of those choices, along with the risks of the activities they partake in.

An interactive map from researchers at Georgia Tech allows users to drill down on any county in the country and determine the risk of attending a gathering there. Just pull the slider to adjust the size of the group and it will show the percentage chance that at least one COVID-19 positive person will be present.

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3-Week Curfew Starts Thursday for Ohio, DeWine Says

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio will be under a curfew starting Thursday that will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and last for three weeks, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday.

DeWine said he will not close any businesses today. His current approach to the surging coronavirus cases in Ohio is a "slowdown" not a shutdown.

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Kentucky National Guard Mobilized to Assist Long-Term Care Facilities

BY Haeli Spears

KENTUCKY — Fifty members of the Kentucky National Guard have been mobilized by Gov. Andy Beshear to assist the Commonwealth's long-term care facilities as COVID-19 cases reach record-breaking highs. They will be part of 10 different non-clinical support teams spread throughout Kentucky.

Public health districts will send requests for help to Kentucky's emergency management office.

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Three Driver License Offices Extend Closure Following COVID-19 Cases

BY Haeli Spears

KENTUCKY — After seven Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) driver license offices closed last week due to COVID-19 cases, three will take longer than originally expected to reopen.

The KYTC Regional Driver Licensing offices in Lexington and Columbia, in addition to a smaller, temporary field office in Florence, will remain closed. The other four offices in Jackson, Catlettsburg, Bowling Green, and Owensboro, reopened today following sanitization.

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Beshear Says "Additional Steps" to Slow COVID-19 Spread Could Come Wednesday

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear said he may take additional steps to stop a record surge in new coronavirus cases.

“None of that would be necessary if people would wear their masks, if our establishments would go back to enforcing many of those mandates, and if people would just do the right thing to care about those around them,” Beshear said. “We have a lot of people that are doing that right now, we just need more.”

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The Trickle-Down Effect Caused by COVID-19. UofL Football Schedule is Changing

BY Deborah Harbsmeier

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced changes to upcoming football games, including those involving Louisville, after student-athletes at the University of Miami tested positive for the coronavirus.

A pair of UofL games were rescheduled. The Black Friday game at Boston College is now taking place on Sat., Dec. 12. Wake Forest was set to play the Cards at Cardinal Stadium on Dec. 5 is now taking place Sat., Nov. 28. This leaves the Cardinals with an open week on Dec. 5.

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"Teetering on the Edge": Louisville Business Owner Calls for Another Stimulus

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In late May, after more than two months of only offering carry out service, Primo’s Pizzeria owner Ankit Chudgar re-opened his dining room to customers. He also brought back some of the employees who, like much of the country, had spent the past several months quarantined at home.

Chudgar soon found that the economics of that situation were out of balance. “My own preference is to always have two employees here when we have people coming in and out of the restaurant, but our sales did not allow for that,” he said.

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"Help Them Steady the Ship": Mayor Fischer Proposes $10M Initiative to Help Those Behind on Utility Bills

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As thousands of Louisville residents have struggled to keep up with their utility bills due to COVID-19-related financial hardship, Mayor Greg Fischer (D) proposed a $10 million initiative to help those Louisvillians in need.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the economy and employment both nationwide and locally — over 22 million Americans lost their jobs at the height of the pandemic, including 36,000 in the Louisville metropolitan area. Fischer noted that nearly 8,000 residents lost their jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry alone.

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Dry Cleaners Put Through the Wringer During Pandemic

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Businesses like restaurants and bars have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, but plenty of other industries have also been struggling since March.

“The dry cleaners has been a really lonely guy since March,” said Michael Jones, the owner of Highland Cleaners. Jones said that 2020 has dealt crushing blows to the dry cleaning business.

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Tips to Keep Families Safe and Happy During the Holiday Season

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, KY. — Kentucky’s COVID-19 count is climbing. Local hospital systems like Norton Healthcare say that with the holidays just around the corner, cases could jump even higher.

“I think we should definitely be concerned with Thanksgiving and Christmas. As we tend to see these holidays, they tend to be gatherings. That’s what the holidays are about is getting together with family and friends,” said Dr. Steven Hester, the chief medical officer at Norton Healthcare. "So, I think you’ll find that people need to be responsible, protecting themselves during these holidays.”

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Kentucky Reports Highest Number of New COVID-19 Cases Two Days in a Row

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — Kentucky reported it highest number of COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row with 3,303 new cases Saturday.

“If we don’t grab ahold of those red zone county reduction recommendations, if we don’t see those steps being done and ultimately see those numbers coming down, we are going to have no choice but to take additional steps as we move forward,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Please take this seriously. You are either a part of the solution fighting the good fight to help other people or you’re helping to spread this virus.”

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Kentucky Reports 3,000+ New COVID-19 Cases, 25 Deaths

BY Associated Press

KENTUCKY (AP) — Kentucky reported 3,173 new COVID-19 cases and 25 more virus-related deaths Friday, the highest recorded since the pandemic began.

The new highs are part of a grim, sustained uptick in the severity of the pandemic, warned Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who urged Kentuckians to wear masks and follow public health recommendations.

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7 Driver Licensing Offices Briefly Close due to COVID-19 Cases

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — Seven driver licensing offices operated by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are temporarily closing down due to COVID-19 cases.

Three regional driver licensing offices and four smaller field offices are being impacted. The driver licensing offices in Lexington, Jackson, and Columbia are briefly closing while the field offices in Florence, Catlettsburg, Bowling Green, and Owensboro do the same.

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Louisville Small Businesses Receive $27M in COVID-19 Relief Grants

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 824 small businesses in Louisville have received some much-needed economic assistance thanks to the city's Louisville Forward Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. The grant dollars, totaling $27.1 million, aim to help mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Louisville small businesses have seen an average decline in revenue of 25.8% according to Harvard University's Opportunity Insights, a non-partisan research institute. Nationally, small business revenue has dropped 23.2%.

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"In The Red": JCPS Puts Some Sports on Hold Due to Coronavirus Spike

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) is keeping some fall and winter sports on hold for another week due to the county's rising COVID-19 numbers, according to an email from JCPS.

The announcement was sent to parents via email on Friday morning.

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Can Louisville Shame Businesses into Enforcing COVID-19 Safety Measures?

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As COVID-19 cases surge in Louisville and public health officials seek out new ways to slow the spread of the virus, the city will begin public naming businesses, large employers, and other public-facing organizations that are found to be non-compliant with measures meant to keep the pandemic at bay.

“We need some accountability,” said Nick Hart, Environmental Health Manager for Louisville Health and Public Wellness.

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Treatments for Coronavirus Continue to Improve

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, KY - With Kentucky’s COVID-19 case count climbing, Dr. Paul Schulz, an infectious disease specialist with the Norton Infectious Disease Institute says frontline healthcare workers have more tools in their arsenal to combat the pandemic.

“If you’re coming into a hospital in November 2020, you’re getting a much different and much better care model than if you’re coming in March,” he said.

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Statistics Show COVID-19 Mortality Rates Could Surge In Kentucky’s Rural Counties

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – As the number of new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky continue breaking single-day records, the surge has made its way to the state’s rural counties and has also sparked an increase in mortality rates.

Gov. Andy Beshear said during his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Nov. 11, Kentuckians are in significantly greater danger of contracting COVID-19 now than they were in March or April; on Wednesday, the governor reported 2,700 new cases, the state’s highest daily total. In addition, the positivity rate has increased to 8.12%, the highest since May 5.

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Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds Beshear's COVID-19 Orders

BY Joe Ragusa and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 12:04 PM ET Nov. 12, 2020

KENTUCKY — The Kentucky Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled in favor of Gov. Andy Beshear's coronavirus orders. The decision comes just one day after the Commonwealth reported its highest ever daily total of new cases.

The ruling follows a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Northern Kentucky businesses, and joined by Attorney General Daniel Cameron, that argued the governor's virus-related orders had unfairly harmed them. Cameron claimed the orders were unconstitutional.

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American Red Cross Encouraging Kentuckians to Donate Plasma

BY Brennon Gurley

KENTUCKY — Blood banks across the Commonwealth are asking for the community’s help as they experience a shortage of plasma that might assist current COVID-19 patients.

“I didn’t even really know that I had it at first. I thought I just had a cold or coming down with the flu but when the body aches started and the chills and the loss of taste and smell I started to get a little nervous, explains Arlene Bird, a survivor of COVID-19.

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Kentucky Hospitals Prepare For Surge Of COVID-19 Patients

BY Brandon Roberts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gov. Andy Behsear continues warning Kentuckians about the significant danger posed by COVID-19 as deaths and hospitalizations continue to increase rapidly.

Eighty of Kentucky’s 120 counties are in the “red zone” as positivity rates as of Monday, Nov. 9, were the highest in the Commonwealth since May 5.

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Louisville Metro Doubles Down on COVID-19 Compliance, Enforcement Activity

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As COVID-19 cases rise in Jefferson County and across Kentucky, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness is doubling down on compliance and enforcement activity across the city.

“We want our community to know we are taking it seriously. COVID is the primary concern that we have in our community that is affecting our public health right now,” said Environmental Health Manager Nick Hart.

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COVID-19 Vaccine on the Horizon, But Will People Get It?

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Drug manufacturer Pfizer said early data shows its COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective. This does not mean a vaccine release is imminent, but it does mean the company is on track to request Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration soon.

If the FDA grants that EUA, the White House Coronavirus Task Force decides how it will be rolled out. That task force has already said the first round of vaccines would go to health care workers, first responders, and nursing home patients. Even when a vaccine becomes available for others, experts warn the pandemic won't go away overnight.

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Veterans Finally Honored with Proper Goodbyes

BY Brennon Gurley

RADCLIFF, Ky.— After several months of waiting for honors, families of veterans gathered at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff to give one final salute to those who served our nation as COVID-19 continues to grip our nation.

For months, Kentucky Veterans Cemetery has stood silent because the military had suspended funerals with full honors for veterans, amid the pandemic.

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Here's Where Coronavirus Stands Across the U.S. Right Now

BY Austin Landis

As states across the U.S. count votes amid a close election, COVID-19 counts continue to break records. As of Thursday morning, more than 52,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus, and more than 100,000 new cases were reported Wednesday, the highest single-day total so far.



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Be Concerned Helps Out Community with COVID-19 Safety Boxes

BY Khyati Patel

COVINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky is seeing a huge spike in coronavirus cases. Thursday Gov. Andy Beshear announced 80 of Kentucky's 120 counties are in the red zone.

This includes the Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell. Counties just to the South are trending towards the red status as well.

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Want to Be Part of the Race for a Vaccine? Ky. COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Recruiting Participants

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky, in partnership with Baptist Health Lexington and Norton Healthcare in Louisville, has been selected as a testing site for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The university will serve as a testing site for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson's Phase 3 clinical research study, called the ENSEMBLE trial, to evaluate Jansenn's investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735, also known as Ad26.COV2.S.

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Positive COVID-19 Tests Force UofL to Postpone Game

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Positive COVID-19 tests among the University of Louisville football team has the school canceling Saturday's scheduled game against the University of Virginia.

Vice-President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced 10 players and five members of the support staff tested positive for coronavirus. Five other players and two other staff members are also in quarantine due to contact tracing. No members of the coaching staff have the virus. It is limited to players and members of the training staff. Tyra said the symptoms of all of those affected are very mild.

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Kentucky Sees Highest Week of New COVID-19 Cases

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — This week saw Kentucky's highest number of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday.

“If you’re not alarmed by these record numbers of COVID-19 cases, you should be,” said Beshear. “I know we’re tired, but if we do not get the spread of this disease under control, we risk a darker, more deadly period this winter than we ever experienced in the spring.”

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Experts: Little Need to Sanitize Halloween Candy Wrappers

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Parents across the county will get home after trick-or-treating Saturday night and before allowing the kids to dig in the candy they'll break out the sanitizing wipes. Out of an abundance of caution, they’ll disinfect Butterfingers and Tottsie Rolls. In some states, including Kentucky, they'll be following the advice of their governor. They'll also be wasting their time, according to several virologists who spoke to Spectrum News 1.

“It's really not necessary and it’s potentially harmful,” said Craig Hedberg, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota.

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Teens, Politics, and Fatigue: Why Midwest COVID Cases Have Surged

BY Maddie Burakoff , Adam K. Raymond and Pete Grieve

The first wave of COVID-19 swept through the Northeast this spring and the second wave, over the summer, was concentrated in the Southeast. Now, as temperatures drop, the Midwest has become the latest frontier for the coronavirus, with five states among the top 10 nationally for new infections.

Wisconsin’s recent numbers have turned the state into one of the nation’s hottest COVID-19 hotspots. Cases more than doubled in the past month and a half, hospitals are filling up, and deaths are setting new record highs.

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Poll Shows Returning To Normal May Take At Least A Year

BY Khyati Patel

FLORENCE, Ky. — Seven months ago, a statewide mandate ordered certified and registered daycare centers in Kentucky to close due to the pandemic.

Spectrum News/Ipsos poll recently asked 1,001 Kentuckians in light of the current circumstances, how long do you think it will be before life in your city or community will get back to normal? 40% said it would be more than a year.

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Georgetown College Uses Cutting-Edge Method to Track COVID-19

BY Brandon Roberts

GEORGETOWN, Ky. – Faculty members from the biology and chemistry departments at Georgetown College in Scott County have partnered to utilize the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method of testing students for COVID-19. LAMP testing is known for being a rapid, accurate, and low-cost method of pool testing using saliva and urine.

Georgetown College biology professor Dr. Tracy Livingston and assistant professor of biology Dr. Caleb Fischer worked to develop the LAMP test because they “wanted to combine our love of and expertise in science with the practical goal of making our community as safe as possible” as the pandemic rages on, Livingston said.

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"I Did What I Was Told": Unemployment Filers Face Debt Over Improper Benefits

BY Joe Ragusa

GLASGOW, Ky. — Thirteen years after she left Western Kentucky University with an undergraduate degree, Tracy Hays of Glasgow is going back for her Master’s Degree in social work, all while trying to juggle two jobs and two kids in the middle of a pandemic.

She says she’s just trying to make her situation better.

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Lawmakers Hear Update on Contact Tracing in Kentucky, Bill on Paid Parental Leave

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Since the statewide contact tracing and tracking system went live in May, investigators have made contact with more than 50,000 COVID-19 patients.

The numbers come from an update the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) provided to state lawmakers Tuesday. Sixty of the state’s 61 local health departments have now synced up with the state’s system in some fashion.

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New COVID-19 Testing Site Aims to Mitigate Spread in Red Zone Counties

BY Eileen Street

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — As coronavirus cases rise in Kentucky, counties are being added to the White House Task Force’s "red zone" list.

As of Monday, Kentucky has 55 counties on that list. Lincoln Trail District Health Department covers public health for six counties, five of them in the red zone. To help mitigate the spread, their administrative office’s parking lot is now a testing site, which opened Monday.

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Coronavirus Deaths Are Rising Again in the US

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff

Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the U.S. are on the rise again, just as health experts had feared, and cases are climbing in nearly every state, despite assurances from President Donald Trump over the weekend that “we’re rounding the turn, we’re doing great.”



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A Child's Perspective on the Pandemic

BY Michael Cadigan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville girl put pen to paper and eventually wound up becoming an author. Prisha Hedau released her first book, PANDEMIC 2020: A 9 Year Old’s Perspective.

“Every perspective has its own unique touch,” said Hedau.

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Students in Bullitt, Meade Counties to Return to Remote Learning Next Week

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 1:33 PM ET Oct. 23, 2020

KENTUCKY — Two Kentucky school districts will transition to remote learning next week as coronavirus cases in Kentucky rise.

Students in both Bullitt and Meade counties will be learning from home from Oct. 26-30. The two counties are categorized as "red," meaning their coronavirus incident rates are 25 or more, representing the average number of new COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people over the last seven days.

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JCPS Puts Most Sports on Pause as COVID-19 Cases Rise

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) will put a hold on most fall sports as COVID-19 cases rise in Louisville, announced Superintendent Marty Pollio in an email sent to JCPS families Friday morning.

"Our coaches and student-athletes have taken tremendous precautions to create the safest environment possible while following all of the guidelines established by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA)," said Pollio in the email. "The health and safety of everyone in our JCPS community is central to our planning and decisions made now and in the future."

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After Her Son Recovered From COVID Complications, Mother Reflects on Her Child's Battle

BY Ashleigh Mills

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some children in Kentucky have been diagnosed with coronavirus, but a portion of these children also end up facing something potentially more serious: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), where vital organs are inflamed weeks to months after recovering from COVID-19.

Doctors at Norton Healthcare have successfully treated 14 patients with MIS-C. One of them was 11-year-old Carmelo Blaine, who was also the first child diagnosed in Kentucky.

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FDA Gives Gilead’s Remdesivir Stamp of Approval as COVID Treatment

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug Remdesivir as an effective treatment against coronavirus.

The move makes Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, the first and only fully approved COVID treatment in the country. The drug will be used “for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization,” a statement on Gilead’s website read.

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As COVID Cases Decrease on Fayette County Campuses, Cases Rise in Long Term Care Facilities

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, along with the Urban County Council, held the weekly COVID-19 update for Fayette County Wednesday morning. As of Oct. 21, Fayette County has recorded over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 91 deaths.

Over the past few weeks, Lexington has seen a decrease in case numbers. Kevin Hall with the Fayette County Health Department says this has a lot to do with the positive cases decreasing on college campuses.

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Two-Thirds of Kentuckians Approve of Beshear's COVID-19 Response Poll Finds

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — How are Kentuckians coping with COVID-19? How are their kids doing in virtual school? And when do they think we’ll be done with all of this?

An exclusive Spectrum Networks/IPSOS Poll posed those questions, and many more, to 1,001 adults across the Commonwealth. The poll was conducted online from Oct. 7-15 and was released Wednesday.

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Despite Criticism, Beshear Receives High Approval Marks For Coronavirus Response

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s first case of the coronavirus was reported on March 6, and Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency the same day, allowing him to take several actions to slow the spread.

The earliest orders focused on healthcare and price-gouging protections but within a few days, the closures started: schools, childcare centers, bars, and restaurants. He also struck a deal with Secretary of State Michael Adams to move the May primary to June.

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Kentucky Hospitals See Impact of Rising COVID-19 Cases

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As coronavirus cases rise in Kentucky, it comes as no surprise that hospital stays for COVID-19 are also climbing. Kentucky Hospital Association president Nancy Galvagni said our hospitals are preparing for a potential surge, but are in no danger of reaching capacity any time soon.



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Kentucky Blood Center Expands Coronavirus Antibody Testing

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) is once again testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

This comes after KBC offered COVID-19 antibody testing for three weeks earlier this fall. While testing was initially available for donations just made at KBC donor centers, it will now include all mobile blood drives through Nov. 7.

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UK to Infect Healthy Volunteers With Coronavirus in Vaccine Research Trial

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press

LONDON — Danica Marcos wants to be infected with COVID-19.

While other people are wearing masks and staying home to avoid the disease, the 22-year-old Londoner has volunteered to contract the new coronavirus as part of a controversial study that hopes to speed development of a vaccine.

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House Budget Chair Argues Federal Deficit Shouldn't Factor into COVID Relief Negotiations

BY Eva McKend

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Budget Committee released a new report using the words of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve among others to minimize the national debt and highlight the need for another COVID relief bill. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently said, "Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses." House Budget Chair John Yarmuth agrees.



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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)