Here’s some of the latest coronavirus news in Kentucky:
- “At least 47 residents and employees of nursing homes in Kentucky have tested positive for the coronavirus, and three residents have died, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,” Bailey Loosemore reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. “The cases were reported at more than a dozen long-term care facilities — most of which are located in or near major metros, including three in Louisville, four in Northern Kentucky and one in Lexington.” The cabinet said 36 residents and 11 staffers had tested positive, results were pending for 15 residents and 10 staff members, and six staffers had tested negative.
- “A nurse at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital said she was suspended for insubordination for refusing to treat covid-19 patients when the hospital would not supply her with a protective respirator, the Courier Journal reports. “She said in an interview Monday that supervisors would only give her a surgical mask, a loose-fitting disposable device that isn’t sealed around the nose and mouth.” Norton Healthcare said it follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which last month said N95 respirator masks should be reserved for the riskiest situations, “such as intubations and respiratory treatments, and that looser-fitting surgical masks be used for routine care,” the CJ reports. “Nursing unions strongly opposed the relaxed guidelines.”
- Walgreens said it will put drive-through virus-testing sites in Kentucky and six other states for people who meet CDC criteria. “It is not clear how many of those 15 sites will be in Kentucky,” the Courier Journal says, but the sites “are planned for places with escalating rates of covid-19 cases, according to a news release. The sites will be activated later this week and, in total, will test 3,000 people per day.”
“A Southern Kentucky man is getting considerable attention for a somber video he posted minutes after the decision to end life support for his father,” David Pitman, Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Dustin Pitman went on Facebook live early on April 2 to describe how his father, David Pitman, quickly deteriorated because of the covid-19 respiratory illness. David Pitman, 62, had survived colon cancer, but the illness caused by the coronavirus overwhelmed him. Doctors gave him little chance of survival, Dustin Pitman said.”
- Florence Mayor Diane Whalen “has told a hotel that it could not rent rooms to more than 40 homeless people because it was a public health hazard and a possible zoning violation,” Beth Musgrave of the Herald-Leader reports in a detailed story.
- Barbourville Mayor David Thompson “and half of the city’s police officers have been ordered to quarantine after they were exposed to the coronavirus” through a department employee, the Herald-Leader reports, citing the assistant police chief. “None of the officers nor the mayor have shown any symptoms of coronavirus . . . The department has 11 officers.”
- A Louisville physician has been placed on leave “over his role in a confrontation” about social distancing “in Louisville’s upper-class Norton Commons neighborhood,” the Courier Journal reports. He “approached the group because the nine people who were there – all older teens – were not engaged in social distancing.” A video shows him “shoving three young women and grabbing the neck of another.”
- University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has started a weekly show focused on the pandemic. “The show — titled ‘Coffee with Cal’ — will be a Facebook Live broadcast on the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience Facebook page,” the Herald Leader reports. “It will air the next 20 Mondays beginning next week.” Calipari said, “I want to do something that’s uplifting and creates hope, and gives people an idea of what to do.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would try to take the unusual step of appropriating money by unanimous consent or voice vote when the Senate next meets, on Thursday, to put more money into the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and their workers. The New York Times reports the Treasury Department is preparing to ask for at least $200 billion.
- Sen. Rand Paul, who has delayed emergency spending bills in the past and missed the vote on the last one because he was quarantined, said he is now free of the coronavirus and is volunteering at an unnamed hospital in Bowling Green.