Berea College

College administrators around the region are weighing their options as the coronavirus makes the lectures, events and dormitories of campus life potential means of transmission of the highly infectious virus. Several schools are opting for distance learning and suspending in-person classes.  

The Ohio Valley ReSource and its partner stations will update this story as more information about area colleges and universities becomes available. 

Laura Ellis | WFPL

Gov. Andy Beshear has issued an executive order waiving coronavirus testing fees for state employees and those with private health insurance.

The order follows a Monday morning press conference where the Beshear Administration confirmed the virus is spreading from person to person in Kentucky.  Beshear said the executive order, effective immediately, impacts more than 460,000 privately insured residents and state employees.

“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our fellow Kentuckians, which is why we have been working together for weeks to prepare for this virus and why we’re in constant contact now to ensure local and state officials are responding promptly and appropriately,” Beshear said.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

After several days of circling off the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at a port in Oakland.

The ship has 3,533 people on board — including at least 21 who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, out of 46 people who were in the first round of testing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State officials warned coronavirus is spreading in Kentucky during a press conference Monday morning.

Gov. Andy Beshear said it is too early to predict how far the virus will spread because of the limited availability of testing. State officials hope to increase testing as private labs make tests more widely available.

“We believe, and this seems to be the case nationally, that this is community spreading, spreading from person to person,” he said. “Again that has been expected, we are ready for it, it is what we always thought that we would see with this novel coronavirus.”

Blake Farmer | WPLN

A mild case of coronavirus was discovered in Nashville over the weekend, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the state up to three.

Health officials say the case was expected and are preparing for more positive cases as they test more people. They told residents not to panic.

How the woman, a Nashville resident, contracted the virus is unclear, but she had not traveled recently, health officials say.

“Now, this obviously comes at a time when Nashville wants and needs to give each other a big hug. Deserves to give each other a big hug,” says Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “And we still need to do that. Public Health will be talking about how we do that safely, with the best practices to keep our community safe.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This post has been updated.

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced three more confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kentucky, making four total cases in the state.

The cases have been documented in Jefferson, Fayette and Harrison counties. All individuals are being treated in isolation, Beshear said during the announcement on Facebook Live Sunday evening.

Beshear said officials had expected the additional cases and that there would likely be more.

“It was going to happen. Folks, we’re going to have more positive tests that come back. As long as we are ready, as long as we work together and as long as we remain calm, we’re going to be okay,” Beshear said.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Indiana has confirmed its first case of coronavirus. Gov. Eric Holcomb has declared a state of emergency, but health officials stressed there was no threat to public health from the confirmed case.

“The question has never been if Indiana would get a case, but when we would see one,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box. “We have been preparing for this possibility, and I want to stress that this is an isolated case at this time.”

The patient, an adult Marion County resident, returned from a trip to Boston on March 4th. They had been working as a contractor associated with a conference, health officials said. The patient is in stable condition and is currently in self-isolation outside of a hospital setting.

So far just a few U.S. higher education students have confirmed exposure to COVID-19, mainly through contact with patients in hospitals.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The state’s public health commissioner has cautioned the coronavirus is likely to reach Kentucky. Dr. Steven Stack’s comments came during a briefing for legislators in Frankfort on Thursday.

“As of now, we have no confirmed cases in Kentucky. I think we can anticipate that will change at some point,” Stack said.

Federal health officials report there are 99 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Lee announced its first case Thursday — a 44-year-old man living in Williamson County on the outskirts of Nashville.


Sergio Martínez-Beltrán/WPLN News

The first case of coronavirus has made its way to Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday.

“As of last night we have our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Tennessee,” Lee said.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said the patient is a 44-year-old man who lives in Williamson County. Piercey said he’d traveled out of state recently — but not internationally — and has been back in Tennessee for four to five days.

“We have been anticipating identification of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee,” Piercey said. “We are now working closely with the CDC and local health care partners to identify this patient’s contacts and contain the spread of this disease in our community.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health department officials say there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. The state has tested three people as of March 3.

Tests for two patients came back negative for the virus after the Kentucky Department for Public Health sent them out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A third patient is still waiting on testing results.“The potential threat of it, we’ve said this all along, is high. But the present threat is very low and most people are unlikely to be exposed to it at this time,” said Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack.

Stack said he does not know how many testing kits the state has, or, if the state is charging patients for the test. At the moment, Stack said the state has enough kits to test anyone who meets CDC and World Health Organization criteria.


Updated at 1:11 a.m. ET, Feb. 29

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Friday that it is "aware of four new presumptive cases of COVID-19."

The new cases were reported in:

  • California (another possible instance of community spread),
  • Oregon (that state's first possible case of community spread),

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About 50 people in Jefferson County are in isolation and are self-monitoring for symptoms of the novel coronavirus after returning from trips to mainland China, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

There are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky and no cases of anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case of the virus, said Rui Zhao, Louisville Metro communicable disease epidemiologist.

“Since we have had no evidence of anyone who has come from the province, the risk is extremely small for all individuals living in Kentucky right now,” Zhao said.