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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Andy Beshear reported more than 3,400 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and continued his push for Kentuckians to abide by coronavirus restrictions during Thanksgiving celebrations.

Kentucky had a record-breaking weekly total of more than 20,000 cases moving into the holiday week. The 3,408 new cases reported Wednesday continued a weeks-long period of uncontrolled spread in most of the state, including a record 3,825 new cases Nov. 20.

Beshear urged Kentuckians to follow CDC guidelines and avoid traveling for Thanksgiving. Additional guidance from the Kentucky Department for Public Health listed celebration ideas that comply with coronavirus restrictions, including virtual dinners and online shopping.

Kentucky Hospital Association

Kentucky’s surge in coronavirus cases has caused some hospitals to reduce other health care services to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,690 new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday and 1,658 COVID-19 hospitalizations — a sharp increase over the past two weeks. 

Gov. Beshear said hospitals have already adjusted services to handle more COVID-19 patients.

Rebecca Kiger

New research shows that deaths due to the mix of substance abuse and suicides known as “diseases of despair” declined slightly in 2018. But the mortality rates throughout the Ohio Valley and Appalachian region are still higher than the national average.

A report from the Appalachian Regional Commission found that overall mortality rates from diseases of despair, which include suicide, liver disease, and overdoses, decreased between 2017 and 2018 — the first decline since 2012.

But the research, done by the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and Center for Rural Health Research at East Tennessee State University, shows those mortality rates are still disproportionately higher for Appalachia compared to the rest of the United States.

Exponential COVID-19 Spread Continues In Kentucky

Nov 24, 2020
Alexandra Kanik

Gov. Andy Beshear reported two records for COVID-19 cases in Kentucky on Monday, continuing a surge that led to his enactment of public safety restrictions last week.

The 2,135 new daily cases marked the highest total for a Monday since the pandemic started. Mondays typically have lower case totals due to labs not operating on weekends.

But recent weeks have seen Monday figures consistently rise.

“I’m tired of having to report that,” Beshear said. “I’m tired of watching our people suffer, knowing that every day we have a new record, more people are going to need to go to the hospital, and more people are going to die.”