coronavirus

Douglas Frederick

A Hardin County man who recovered from COVID-19 is urging other survivors to donate plasma to help in research and healing. 

Douglas Frederick, 63, of Elizabethtown, spent nearly 30 days in the hospital during October and November.  He doesn't know where or how he contracted the virus, despite taking precautions. 

The U.S. Army veteran received convaslescent plasma as part of his treatment. Recovered patients have developed antibodies, which researchers think can more quickly fight the infection in sick patients.  Frederick, who is retired from the Elizabethtown Independent School District, says he thinks plasma helped save his life.

“Someone who was very gracious enough to donate so that I could get two bags of plasma, which I believe wholeheartedly helped me out," Frederick told WKU Public Radio. "If they can donate, if they’ve had COVID and recovered from it, then by all means, donate and help someone else.”

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers revealed Tuesday a $908 billion legislative framework to try to break a months-long impasse between congressional leadership and the White House on a new round of pandemic-related relief measures.

"We're battling COVID-19 more fiercely now than we ever have before, and we recognize that it's inexcusable for us to leave town and not have an agreement," said Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia.

Bowling Green Neighborhood & Community Services

The city of Bowling Green is beginning to send out code enforcement officers to assist in monitoring restaurants and bars for compliance with Kentucky's COVID-19 regulations. 

The four officers will serve only in an outreach and education capacity to assist the Barren River District Health Department.

Bowling Green City Manager Jeff Meisel said that will include site visits to provide bars and restaurants with information on requirements for masks, social distancing and outdoor dining.

“A lot of restaurants are trying to still do outdoor dining with putting up some tents and enclosing some areas," said Meisel. "But with that, there are still rules of leaving two sides open and things like that, so there’s air circulating and it doesn’t become indoor dining with a tent.”


Health care workers are expected to be first in line to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

It makes sense: Getting a safe, effective vaccine would help keep them and their patients healthy. Seeing doctors, nurses and medical aides getting COVID-19 vaccines would also set an example for the community.

Kate Howard

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Sunday’s ruling from the 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals and block Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order that closed private religious K-12 schools.

Beshear’s order, meant to curb the surge in coronavirus, bars all K-12 schools, private and public, from holding in-person classes. Danville Christian Academy filed suit and a federal district court judge granted a request for a preliminary injunction preventing the order from impacting private religious schools. Cameron joined the suit on behalf of Danville Christian and private religious schools across the state.

The district court agreed with Danville Christian and Cameron that the order harmed religious freedoms.

Marty Osbourn, Kentucky Pediatric/Adult Research COO

Kentucky expects to receive about 115,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in two shipments beginning in December.

The commonwealth recorded more cases of COVID-19 in November than at any other point in the pandemic. Medical experts expect those numbers will climb even higher in the coming weeks due to holiday travel, but it appears fortune has begun to turn in the state’s favor.

Kentucky is set to receive 38,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in its first shipment and another roughly 76,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine later in December, said Gov. Andy Beshear. That’s about three times fewer doses than the state initially expected to get.

A coronavirus vaccine consists of an initial injection, followed by a booster shot. Beshear said boosters should arrive three weeks after the first batch of shots. Together, medical experts have found these vaccines to be more than 90 percent effective.

Thinkstock

After the 2008 recession revealed the weaknesses of the nation’s unemployment insurance systems, most states got to work upgrading their technology.

The need for such an overhaul was obvious, and the reason the federal government set aside $7 billion in 2009 to modernize the nation’s unemployment systems.

Forty states took the free money. But Kentucky left it on the table.

The commonwealth missed out on a cool $90 million back then. But experts say the failure to bring Kentucky’s unemployment insurance system into the 21st century is costing Kentucky to this day.


Mark Cornelison

Dr. Kirk Tucker, chief clinical officer of Adena Health Systems in Chillicothe, Ohio, said a week before Thanksgiving that the health system’s three hospitals in southern Ohio were bombarded with coronavirus patients. But it isn’t just the patients testing positive. The virus has also sickened 65 of his fellow caregivers.

Recently, Tucker said, a doctor there in his 60s tested positive for COVID-19 and died the same day of a sudden cardiac event.

“This physician, to my knowledge, did not feel bad,” Tucker said. “As a matter of fact, I saw him the day that this happened.” Tucker said one of the many dangerous things about COVID-19 is that the virus is prothrombotic, meaning it can cause blood clots.


The biotech company Moderna released new data Monday morning that strengthens the case for its COVID-19 vaccine. It concludes the vaccine is 94% effective — and strongly protects against serious illness. Based on these latest findings, the company plans to submit an application for emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration today.

J. Tyler Franklin

Private religious K-12 schools will be expected to close Monday, along with public ones, under a ruling from the U.S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down on Sunday. The panel of judges overturned a lower court decision that blocked Beshear’s executive order from affecting private religious schools.

The appellate court ruling overturns a prior ruling from U.S. District Court judge Gregory Van Tatenhove that had found Beshear’s order impinged on First Amendment rights to religious freedom. Van Tatenhove had sided with Danville Christian Academy and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron in their request for a preliminary injunction blocking the order from impacting private religious schools.

In the Sunday ruling, the appellate court disagreed, on the grounds that the order did not specifically target religious schools.

Lisa Autry

If you eventually get vaccinated against the coronavirus, a Western Kentucky University professor had a small hand in helping researchers learn more about how to create an effective vaccine.

Psychological Sciences Professor Matt Woodward took part in biotech company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Woodward said he's been touched personally by the virus.  His parents and one set of grandparents, living in different states, contracted the virus at the same time shortly after he began participating in the trial.

Woodward took part in the study through Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.  He says he got two injections one month apart this fall, and has had no side effects.  He's unaware of whether he received the actual vaccine or was in the placebo group.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Thanksgiving, Kentucky again reported its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 3,870 more people testing positive for the virus.

The state also had its second highest number of new deaths, with 32 more Kentuckians lost to the virus on Thursday.

Gov. Andy Beshear advised people to avoid busy shopping areas to try and slow the spread of coronavirus, despite Black Friday deals.

“These new case reports are truly alarming. Please be careful when you’re shopping and consider safer options, like purchasing gifts online for delivery or curbside pick-up,” Beshear said.

“Wash your hands, stay six feet apart from other shoppers and wear a mask at all times. Now is the time we need everyone to buckle down, stay strong and stop this surge in cases.”

Creative Commons

Gov. Andy Beshear has appealed a federal court’s decision that he can’t order religious schools to close as a coronavirus precaution.

Attorneys for the state on Thursday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for an emergency stay stopping the injunction granted by U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Wednesday. The judge agreed with Danville Christian Academy and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying Beshear overstepped when he included religious schools in his order that schools statewide stop in-person instruction for three weeks.

Van Tatenhove expanded the injunction from Danville Christian Academy to all private religious schools in the state. The battle comes as coronavirus cases are at an all-time high, and increasing exponentially.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kentucky has a website and hotline where anyone can report complaints about businesses, organizations or community gatherings that are not in compliance with state guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19.

So far, more than 100,000 complaints have been filed through KYSAFER.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet complaint forms can include observations about non-compliance with state directives on work-from-home instructions, social distancing or other guidance related to the pandemic. 

J. Tyler Franklin

A federal judge has blocked Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order halting in-person classes at private religious schools. Beshear issued the executive order last week, closing both public and private K-12 schools to in-person classes as a way to curb a surge of the coronavirus.

One private school, Danville Christian Academy, sued, backed by Attorney General Daniel Cameron, saying the governor infringed on the community’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion. In a Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove agreed Beshear had overstepped.

“In an effort to do the right thing to fight the virus, the Governor cannot do the wrong thing by infringing protected values,” Van Tatenhove wrote. He granted Danville Christian Academy’s request for a preliminary injunction, blocking the school closure order from taking effect on private religious schools across the state until the court issues a full ruling.

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