Coronavirus Blog

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 CORONAVIRUS BLOG

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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Mayor's Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program Adds New Location

BY Spectrum News Staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Following increased turnout, the Mayor's Mobile Neighborhood Testing Program will set up an additional site at First Baptist Church Bracktown. Testing will continue at Byrider Auto and Eastland Bowling Lanes.

“Due to increased turnout at the Byrider Auto and Eastland Bowling location on New Circle Road, we will continue our Mayor’s Mobile Testing Program at this location,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “In addition, we will have mobile testing available for one day this week at First Baptist Church of Bracktown. We appreciate the community partnerships that allow these testing sites to move forward.”

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Here's What a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Means

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Last month, not long after President Donald Trump said the U.S. military will help distribute millions of doses of a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine, a conspiracy theory quickly went viral. Stories falsely claiming that the government “plans to force a vaccine on everyone” were quickly debunked by fact-checking websites, but the idea took hold in some of the more paranoid corners of Facebook and YouTube.

For months, conspiracy theories surrounding compulsory COVID-19 vaccination have bounced around social media. The contours of the claims are generally the same, involving forced injections of an unsafe, or in some cases, actively dangerous vaccine. They’ve spread like the virus itself, first within the strident anti-vaccination community and then migrating well outside of it, with fear of “forced” vaccines raised by the likes of tennis superstar Novak Djokovic and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, father of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

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Kentucky Records Highest Number of COVID-19 Patients in ICU Beds Since May

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky reported the highest number of coronavirus patients in the ICU since May on Wednesday as the state heads toward another record-setting week in terms of cases.

Gov. Andy Beshear maintained his stance not to institute any new restrictions to slow down the latest escalation, and instead, he encouraged people to follow the guidance that’s already out there.

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Lexington Man Waiting For Transplant During Pandemic

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky.— A Lexington man has been in isolation for over four months waiting for a phone call that could save his life.

In 2018, Tom Williams was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, and today he is on oxygen 24 hours a day waiting for a lung transplant.

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Results From Co-Immunity Project Show "Sobering" Rate of Infection in West Louisville

BY Spectrum News Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Results from the second round of the University of Louisville's series of studies tracking COVID-19 infections in Metro Louisville are in, showing high levels of infection in the area. However, the virus is more prevalent in some areas compared to others.

The Co-Immunity Project, at UofL'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. The project tests a representative sample of residents from different areas in Louisville, proportionate to the age and race of the population of the area, every eight weeks.

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Beshear Says He Hopes Trump's Illness Leads People to Take More Precautions

BY Joe Ragusa

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear said he wishes President Donald Trump and those around him who have contracted the coronavirus well as they recover from the illness.

“We all ought to want each other to get better. And I’d say to anybody out there, if you’re feeling differently about it, it’s frustration, it’s other emotions,” Beshear said. “Let’s get back to a place where we all want everybody to get better, and I want them to get better.”

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Tens of Thousands of Kentuckians Are Still Owed a Stimulus Payment. Are You One of Them?

BY Adam K. Raymond

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Back in April, when the country was locked down and millions of American found themselves jobless, and in many cases cashless, $1,200 Economic Impact Payments (EIP), widely known as stimulus checks, began arriving in mailboxes and bank accounts across the country.

Six months later, the vast majority of Americans who qualified for the payments have received them. But nine million Americans, including more than 100,000 Kentuckians, have not.

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What's Trump's Treatment Plan? Local Medical Expert Explains

BY Amber Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many are keeping a close eye on how President Donald Trump is doing since going to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Among those paying attention to the treatment plans is Vice Dean of Research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine Dr. Jon Klein. He spoke about the research on some of the treatment plans during a Facebook live question and answer session with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Saturday.

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Kentucky Reports Highest Daily Total of Coronavirus Cases

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky's highest-ever daily total and highest-ever weekly total of new COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, he announced 1,275 new cases.

“I know it's been a tough couple of days, seeing the President, the First Lady, U.S. Senators, Cam Newton and others test positive for COVID-19. But right here in the commonwealth, we now have 1,275 new cases announced today, meaning 1,275 Kentuckians have just tested positive,” said Beshear. “This is our highest number of cases ever. This is the highest number of cases per week ever and we have one more day that will add to the count, and it shows that we have to do better.”

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Kentucky Lawmakers React After President Trump, First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19

BY Spectrum News Staff

KENTUCKY — Early Friday, President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19. The president's announcement came just hours after the news that top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.

Reactions and well wishes have poured in Friday, including messages from Kentucky lawmakers.

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Med Center Health Provides UV Technology to Rural Hospitals to Combat Coronavirus

BY Jamilah Muhammad

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Med Center health has partnered with community organizations to provide cleaning technology, in efforts to combat the coronavirus.

When the virus first appeared in the community, Eric Hagan, Vice President of Rural Hospitals for Med Center Health, said he saw a trend of people coming in when they were a lot sicker due to the concerns of the virus.

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Restaurants Working To Keep Patios Open Through Fall And Winter

BY Crystal Sicard

LEXINGTON, Ky.— As the temperatures drop around Kentucky, some restaurants are finding ways to continue keeping their patio areas open longer because of the limited capacity allowed inside the restaurants.

For J. Render’s Southern Table and Bar expanding their patio has been the key reason their restaurant has survived this pandemic. With winter around the corner, co-owner Gwyn Everly says shutting down the patio is not an option right now.

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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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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)