COVID-19

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."

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.

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.

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.

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, laid out a grim vision of the future.

The best computer models, she said, predict that between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 during the coming months, even if the country continues the strict social distancing measures that most states have adopted. Relaxing those restrictions would send the toll much higher.

WPLN News

Non-essential businesses across the state have been ordered to close as part of Gov. Bill Lee’s latest executive order.

Lee says this will strengthen the recommended social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But the governor stopped short of requiring people to stay at home.

“This is not a mandate for people to shelter in place,” Lee told reporters in a videoconference Monday. “This is an urging for citizens to not utilize non-essential businesses.”

Governor Orders Residents To Remain In Kentucky

Mar 31, 2020
Ryan Van Velzer

A new order by Gov. Andy Beshear forbids Kentuckians from leaving the state, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

At the governor’s daily press briefing on Monday, Chief of Staff La Tasha Buckner said the new rule would permit residents to leave Kentucky only for work, necessary supplies, to see a doctor or take care of a family member, or if travel is required by a court. Beshear said law enforcement or county judges could enforce the order, but its effectiveness relies on Kentuckians.

“The reality is, the only way that we’re going to get people doing the right thing is because they agree to — is because they see it as their duty, and they know that their actions can harm other people,” Beshear said. “The moment that you go across the border […] and you have that extra contact, you can bring it back to a person in your family that’s working in a nursing home.”

When infectious pathogens have threatened the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been front and center. During the H1N1 flu of 2009, the Ebola crisis in 2014 and the mosquito-borne outbreak of Zika in 2015, the CDC has led the federal response.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Kentucky will receive about $1.7 billion from from the federal government as part of the coronavirus relief bill signed into law on Friday, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

State government will receive about $1.6 billion and Louisville will receive an additional $134 million under a provision that gives extra funding to cities with populations over 500,000. It’s the only city in the state big enough to qualify.

The money is intended to relieve immediate budget problems state and local governments face as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Kentucky had 394 confirmed coronavirus cases, and nine deaths associated with the disease, as of Saturday evening.

Ryan Van Velzer

Gov. Andy Beshear says there were 45 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total to 439.

During an evening update Sunday, Beshear reported no new deaths associated with the disease, which has killed nine in Kentucky so far. The daily increase of cases is less than half of the increase reported yesterday — which was the largest to date at 92 — but Beshear said that the state and country are escalating right now.

“It’s going to continue. There are going to be days where we have more positive tests than we did yesterday, when we had ninety-something,” Beshear said.

Randomized Coronavirus Testing May Be Tried In Louisville

Mar 30, 2020
Ryan Van Velzer

Federal guidelines have so far prioritized the sick, the vulnerable and health care workers for coronavirus testing. That’s vital for directing care and resources right now, but as the pandemic continues and testing capacity grows, practices will need to change if we want to understand how far this virus has spread.

If we only test targeted populations, then we skew the data set and ultimately, our understanding. That’s why Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, professor of medicine at University of Louisville, says the city should consider randomized testing. And the city of Louisville may give it a try.

President Trump is repeating his claim that the United States is doing more testing for the coronavirus than any other country.

"We have more cases because we're doing far more testing than anybody in the world," the president said in a White House briefing on Sunday.

The U.S has ramped up testing, but still lags other countries like Italy and South Korea, when it comes to testing on a per capita basis.

The nation's leading expert on infectious diseases and member of the White House's coronavirus task force says the pandemic could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans and infect millions.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said based on modeling of the current pace of the coronavirus' spread in the U.S., "between 100,000 and 200,000" people may die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

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