coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

We’ll continue to update this post as we learn new information.

There are at least 1,149 cases throughout Kentucky as of Tuesday afternoon. Sixty-five people have died in the state as a result of the coronavirus.

In Indiana, there are 5,943 cases as of Wednesday. The number of deaths in the state is 203. 

In Tennessee there are 4,362 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday,  and 79 people have died as a result of the virus.

Wednesday, April 8

Tennessee Reports Seven COVID-19 Deaths

Tennessee is reporting 224 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday and 7 additional deaths. The state now has 4,362 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths from the virus. Nearly 600 Tennessee residents have recovered from coronavirus.

Jataun Isenhower FB

A Kentucky nurse is at the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.  More than 15,000 patients in New York City alone are overwhelming hospitals and creating the need for more frontline workers. 

Jataun Isenhower is a nurse at the Medical Center in Bowling Green.  She left her job and family behind to work at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens for at least three weeks. 

"We talked about the risk, and I said if I worked in Bowling Green, Louisville, or Nashville, I would be exposed to the same thing," Isenhower said in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "The difference is, I'd be bringing it home to you guys everyday, so this seemed like a better option for the family overall."

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Auto giant General Motors will build 30,000 medical ventilators for the national stockpile, at a cost of $489.4 million, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

Multiple U.S. senators are sounding the alarm about the solvency of a recently enacted $350 billion emergency lending program for small businesses, calling for Congress to pass another wave of funding as soon as this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to get the Senate to approve, without objection, another influx of cash on Thursday.

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Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order last week releasing 186 inmates from state prisons who were vulnerable to the coronavirus. Advocates are calling on the state to take similar steps to protect juveniles who are incarcerated.

The ACLU of Kentucky has sent a letter to Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner LaShana Harris, asking her to release as many children as possible, and publicly share the department’s emergency response plan for addressing the pandemic.

“Even in the best of circumstances, infection control presents a significant challenge in these situations because incarcerated youth…often congregate in large groups and live [in] communal settings with shared bathrooms, dining areas, and more,” the letter reads.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kentucky will pay Covington-based private lab Gravity Diagnostics to test for the coronavirus at a rate of $51 per test, according to the Master Agreement between the state and company.

That’s the same rate that labs can bill Medicare for coronavirus tests.

The initial term of the contract runs April 7 through April 31. Gravity Diagnostics has agreed to test 50,000 samples during that time period. That amounts to 2,000 samples a day, 6 days a week and a total cost of $2.55 million.

J. Tyler Franklin

Weeks into the pandemic, COVID-19 testing is still only available to a small portion of the population, including those with the most severe symptoms. That leaves those who suspect they have the disease but aren’t sick enough to be hospitalized with few choices to be tested.

That might lead some people to try to get a test however they can, even if the source is not clear.

In Louisville, that became a concern last week when drive-through coronavirus testing sites briefly popped up around town. The companies running them are now under investigation by state and federal authorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aggressively advocating for a second wave of legislation on top of the recently enacted $2 trillion rescue package to confront the coronavirus pandemic, but her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is advocating for a more cautious wait-and-see approach.

Your Coronavirus Questions, Answered

Apr 6, 2020
Alexandra Kanik I Ohio Valley ReSource

The coronavirus pandemic has already infected thousands in the Ohio Valley and upended life and work for nearly all of us. In such a fast-moving pandemic, it can be hard to keep all the information straight. The Ohio Valley ReSource and its partner stations asked you what you wanted to know, and took your questions to someone with answers. 

Dr. Gerald Keusch is a professor of medicine and international health at Boston University, and the director of the Collaborative Research Core at BU’s National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory. I posed your questions to him Wednesday. His responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. 


Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says his administration is doing everything it can to prepare hospitals to be inundated with cases of COVID-19, but nearly every time the state has placed an order for medical protective gear, the federal government has prevented its transfer.

Kentucky is scaling up the number of hospital beds, enlisting state manufacturers to make protective equipment and doing its best to acquire supplies for medical workers amid a critical shortage.

State officials have also requested additional gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and through private contracts.

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Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed the voter ID bill that passed out of the legislature last month.

The bill would have required Kentucky voters to show an ID before casting a ballot, or else show a social security card or credit card and sign an affidavit promising they are who they claim to be.

It would have also created a way for people to get an ID for free at their local county clerk’s office.

Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET

Just days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Americans to brace for sobering death tolls, the administration is vowing to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus.

One of the nation's most important medical testing companies has acknowledged that it has a backlog of at least 115,000 coronavirus tests, which helps explain why so many desperate doctors and patients haven't been able to get tested.

Quest Diagnostics of Secaucus, N.J., says the backlog occurred because a company lab in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where the company's coronavirus testing started, got overwhelmed when testing started to ramp up.

Office of U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie

U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie is urging Kentucky’s small business owners to take advantage of relief funds in the CARES Act approved by Congress last week. 

The Bowling Green Republican held a conference call with reporters on Thursday to highlight some of the financial aid in the coronavirus stimulus package. 

The relief package includes a Payroll Protection Program to help small businesses continue to pay their workers through the pandemic. Guthrie says the aim is to prevent companies from going out of business.

“They can still write checks to their employees, pay rent to the person who owns their building, or if they own their building, pay interest on their mortgage, and pay their utilities, so they just don’t have to shut down," Guthrie said. "When we open this up, they’re ready to start business."

Steven Lilley; Flickr Creative Commons

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear and other public officials are asking Kentuckians to maintain strict social distancing and stay “Healthy At Home.”

But in a state that leads the nation in rates of child abuse and neglect, home is not always a safe place, especially for children. According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Kentucky has the highest rate of child maltreatment in the nation: 23.5 child victims for every 1,000 children. That’s more than double the national rate of 9.2 per 1,000.

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