Discussing Reopening KY’s Schools

Some Kentucky school superintendents are wary about reopening school buildings in the fall, skeptical that they can meet social distancing requirements to curb the spread of COVID-19:“Unless the social distancing rules change, we’re not able to have school,” said Scott County Superintendent Kevin Hub. “You just can’t social distance in a classroom.” More discussion is continuing.

Lexington Pharmaceutical Company Developing COVID-19 Spray

A Lexington pharmaceutical company is working to produce a nasal spray that could prevent one from catching COVID-19, as well as keep symptoms at bay in patients who have already tested positive for the highly contagious virus.Summit Biosciences, Inc. announced this week it had been awarded a contract from a Seattle-based pharmaceutical company, Atossa Therapeutics, Inc., to fast track the development of a nasal spray to be used on patients who’ve been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus but who “have not yet exhibited symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization,” according to the press release.

Gubernatorial Candidate Pleads Not Guilty

A Kentucky lawmaker who ran for governor last year has pleaded not guilty after he was accused of choking a woman with an ethernet cable and trying to “hog tie” her during a domestic dispute, says his lawyer. Attorney Conrad Cessna told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday that Republican state Rep. Robert Goforth denied the allegations. He is charged with strangulation, assault and terroristic threatening, according to court records.

Driver’s License Permit Testing

Driver’s license permit testing will now resume in specific counties across Kentucky.The announcement was made recently by the KSP Driver Testing Branch. In order to better follow CDC/Health at Work guidelines, a new registration process was created. Starting on Tuesday, KSP will be taking appointments by phone. KSP encourages you to visit their website often for updates on when more testing will become available. They expect an announcement will be made about road testing sometime in July.

Census Filing

Have you filled out your census report yet? Some parts of Eastern Kentucky don’t have a lot of access to broadband and that is exacerbated by the fact that libraries are closed during the COVID-19 crisis. There aren’t a lot of hotspots that people can go to to get Internet access at this point according to a census media specialist. She says a couple of counties are as low as 19 or 20%. Owsley county is at 19.5 and Leslie is at 20.8. We have a bunch that are in the 30s and some in the 40s. Kentucky’s overall response is above 64%. The last day to complete the census form is October 31st.You can fill out the Census by mail, phone, or online.

COVID-19 Death In KY

Officials with the Cumberland Valley Health Department confirm a Clay County woman has died due to complications from COVID-19.Not many details were released, but we do know the patient was a 69 year old woman who had underlying health conditions.Clay County has had six positive cases so far. Three of those are still active and two have recovered.

Education Commissioner Discussion

The Kentucky Board of Education plans to hold a virtual meeting to discuss applicants for education commissioner.The board plans a video teleconference on June 4 to review and discuss applications in a closed session, a statement from the Department of Education said. An open session will follow, which could include discussion and action on the next steps in selecting a commissioner.Submissions for the position were accepted through May 31.

Kids And Hot Cars

Kentucky State Police are working to bring attention to the problem of children being left behind in hot cars.The police cite information from the National Safety Council that shows 52 children died last year of vehicular heatstroke, including two in Kentucky. Sgt. Josh Lawson says never leave a child unattended in a car. Also, check before locking the car, and open the back door when parking to ensure no one is inside.

Governor Beshear Defends COVID-19 Decisions

Gov. Andy Beshear has forcefully defended his coronavirus-related restrictions, saying they spared Kentucky from a more devastating outbreak and now have the state primed to move ahead with business reopenings.The Democratic governor said his “drastic and significant” actions of recent months to contain the virus worked, putting Kentucky in a strong position going forward.“Kentuckians came together,” Beshear said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “We sacrificed. We did what it took. We put our dreams on hold and we stopped that pandemic curve.”

Insurance Companies Awarded Contracts

Five insurance companies were awarded contracts worth nearly $8 billion a year to manage most of Kentucky’s Medicaid business, Gov. Andy Beshear made the recent announcement.Landing the contracts were Aetna, Humana, Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare, Beshear said. About 1.4 million people in Kentucky receive health coverage through Medicaid.The Democratic governor refers to health care as a “basic human right.” He said Friday that ensuring coverage for Medicaid recipients is “of the utmost importance to my administration.”