Corinne Boyer

Ohio Valley ReSource Health Reporter

Corinne Boyer is the health reporter for the ReSource. Previously, she covered western Kansas for the Kansas News Service at High Plains Public Radio. She received two Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards for her reporting on immigrant communities. Before living on the High Plains, Corinne was a newspaper reporter in Oregon. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and interned at KLCC, Eugene’s NPR member station. Corinne grew up near the South Carolina coast and is a graduate of the College of Charleston. She has lived in New York City and South Korea. Corinne loves running, checking out stacks of books and spending time with her rescue cat, Priya.

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Hopkins County Schools

More than 969,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to long-term care workers, teachers, and additional frontline health care workers around the Ohio Valley.  But  a surprising number of workers in some key sectors are hesitant or are refusing to get a shot, including some rural school staff in Kentucky, nursing facility workers in Ohio, and correctional facility employees in West Virginia.

Corinne Boyer

University of Kentucky HealthCare workers began inoculating teachers, Fayette County School employees and front line workers with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. 

UK HealthCare’s vaccine site will be open six days a week to inoculate people who have appointments. 

To sign up for the COVID-19, people must first answer questions before UK HealthCare invites those eligible to schedule a 20 minute appointment.

Cheryl Gerber

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced an expansion of federal aid for state hospitals and a request for more vaccine doses from the federal government on Tuesday as he reported 2,250 new cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Nearly 3,200 people have died from the virus in the Commonwealth. Beshear announced 27 new deaths Tuesday and the state’s positivity rate is down slightly to 11.5%. Cases have decreased compared to recent weeks.

City of Richmond, KY - Community Information Facebook page

A firestorm of controversy arose last week after Richmond City Commissioner Krystin Arnold posted a photo of herself at a large DC Pro-Trump rally protesting the election of Joe Biden.  Extremists at the rally later attacked the U.S. Capitol.  Six deaths have been linked to the attack including two Capitol police officers.

Courtesy Derrick Evans

Owensboro, Kentucky, pastor Brian Gibson spoke at an event in Washington, D.C., Tuesday that combined religion with support for President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the election.  

"How many of you all believe that the people we elected are going to do what's right tomorrow?” Gibson asked the crowd at Washington’s Freedom Plaza, as flags emblazoned with Trump’s name fluttered behind him. “And they are going to stand against all of the injustice and the fake votes?"

richmond.ky.us/richmond-ky-government/

Richmond’s Mayor says the city has received calls and emails expressing concern over a city commissioner hours after she posted a selfie on social media showing her at large Pro-Trump rally in D.C. on Wednesday.

Mayor Robert Blythe says he has not been in contact with City Commissioner Krystin Arnold. On Wednesday, Arnold posted a photo of herself on Facebook within a large crowd of Trump supporters in Washington D.C.

https://www.richmond.ky.us/

As pro-Trump supporters and extremists violently stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday afternoon, Richmond City Commissioner Krystin Arnold posted a photo of herself among Trump supporters on her Facebook page.

Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

In his Tuesday briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reiterated the importance of following COVID-19 protocols to stop the spread of the virus.

“In L.A. County, they have so much COVID that ambulances are no longer doing runs for those in the worst shape,” he said. “I mean we’re at war, and either, you know, you do your patriotic duty and you support this country or you don’t.”  

Cheryl Gerber

The arrival of the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was met with cheers around the Ohio Valley as the first doses were administered to front-line health workers. The Pfizer —  and, soon, Moderna — vaccines bring the promise of relief after months of pandemic-driven closures and a deadly surge in cases.

Suhail Bhat

With holidays approaching, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear asked people to avoid leisure travel as he announced 2,946 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Beshear also met Tuesday with White House appointed Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, who said that Kentucky’s COVID-19 efforts have saved lives.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, said Dr. Birx also discussed the severity of asymptomatic transmissions of the virus.

UK Photo

UK HealthCare announced Monday that it has been testing an intensive care unit telemedicine program for almost a year.

The Enhanced Care through Advanced Technology Intensive Care Unit—or e-CAT ICU, allows nurses to remotely assist ICU staff working in UK hospitals.

The remote team of nurses monitor patients though a television screen with a camera.  The nurses can help ICU medical staff by assessing patients and monitoring vital signs. 

Mark Cornelison / UK Photo

UK HealthCare received a mock shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week as part of a national vaccine distribution exercise.

UK HealthCare pharmacy received shipments on Thursday containing supplies like syringes and alcohol swabs needed to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The shipments did not contain the actual vaccine. 

The vaccine is still waiting on approval by the U.S. Food and Drug administration. That decision is expected on December 10.

Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear hasn’t stopped pleading with the public to stay home, wear face coverings and do whatever it takes to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the state marked its deadliest day yet in the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Beshear announced a record high 4,151 new cases of COVID-19 and the deaths of 35 people. Hospitalizations have sharply risen as well to 1,777, and coronavirus patients occupy 441 ICU beds, another record.

Aaron Payne

Since March, thousands of Kentuckians have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. That has created an even greater need for food in the commonwealth.  

In Kentucky more than 600,000 people face hunger. The pandemic has worsened unemployment and caused even more people to struggle to afford food. 

One form of relief came when the U.S. Department of Agriculture paid farmers for food that didn’t make it to schools and restaurants. Those food boxes were sent to food banks across the country.

Corinne Boyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

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.

Alexandra Kanik/OVR

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. 

Alexandra Kanik / OVR

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Kentucky will restrict visits to long-term care facilities because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Of Kentucky’s 120 counties, 103 are now in the “Red Zone” of critical spread, with more than 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said long-term care facilities will impose new restrictions, including limits on communal dining, group activities, and holiday visits.

Alexandra Kanik / OVR

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced the highest one-day total of new coronavirus cases — 2,700. The new record follows two weeks of sharply escalating spread of the virus.

Jeff Young / Ohio Valley ReSource

On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear delivered his daily briefing on coronavirus, which is surging across the Ohio Valley. Eleven more Kentuckians had died that day. Then the governor provided an update on an especially worrisome outbreak at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center near Lexington, one of four long-term care facilities dedicated to veterans in the state. Since the virus hit the facility in October, he said, 22 veterans have died there.

Cheryl Gerber

The University of Kentucky and Baptist Health in Lexington and Norton Healthcare in Louisville were chosen as testing locations for a coronavirus vaccine now in its phase three trial.

Infectious disease specialist and system epidemiologist Dr. Paul Schulz said this stage of the trial means the vaccine has been through testing making it safer for broader use. 

Corinne Boyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

  

In downtown Lexington, voters lined up outside the Dunbar Center to cast their ballots on Tuesday. Despite the line, Corinne Boyer reports voters say they were in and out. Listen below.

Alexandra Kanik / OVR

On Election Day, Kentucky reported its 6th highest day of COVID-19 cases, which included 255 positive cases among kids under 18. 

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,795 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The commonwealth’s positivity rate is now above 6 percent with 1,037 people hospitalized. Beshear says 11 more people have died from the virus, pushing the total deaths to 1,503. 

Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

In the last weeks of October, parts of the Ohio Valley saw coronavirus records broken almost every day. In the Ohio Valley, Kentucky and Ohio set new records for hospitalizations due to COVID-19, and Kentuckyreported the most positive cases in a single week since the pandemic began — 9,335. West Virginia, which has been insulated from the worst of the pandemic also saw a surge in cases.

Alexandra Kanik

Kentucky broke yet another COVID-19 record on Tuesday. Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,786 new cases of COVID-19 — the single highest Tuesday since the pandemic began. Beshear said he expects this week’s cases to surpass last week’s numbers when the commonwealth set a record for cases reported in a single week. 

Beshear announced 18 new deaths, 913 hospitalizations, 233 people in intensive care units, and 115 people on ventilators. The number of people requiring medical care has been increasing along with the rise in positive cases.

Mark Cornelison / UKphoto

As Kentucky continues to post record high numbers of coronavirus cases, University of Kentucky HealthCare hospitals revealed plans to accommodate an expected spike of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

UK’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington treats COVID-19 patients from the city and some coronavirus patients have been transferred from other Kentucky hospitals. 

Alexandra Kanik / OVR

When the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to move forward with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Senate Democrats boycotted. In their places stood poster-sized photos of people the senators said would lose health care coverage if the court strikes down the Affordable Care Act. 

Creative Commons

Purdue Pharma — manufacturer of OxyContin and other opioids — agreed to plead guilty to three felonies on Wednesday and to pay multi-billion dollar fines.

The Department of Justice announced a resolution to its investigation into opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, which agreed to plead guilty to “defrauding the United States.” The company is currently in bankruptcy court and will pay a reported $8.3 billion in fines and damages to the U.S. But the court must approve the resolution.  

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

As the number of coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., so do cases in Kentucky. It’s one of 31 states where cases continue to rise. 

Gov. Andy Beshear said the state is preparing for another surge in COVID-19 cases as the state saw another record-setting day for new coronavirus cases. 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed Wednesday the state’s highest single-day total of coronavirus cases — 1,346. Beshear says more than 700 Kentuckians are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase, Beshear expects deaths will too.

“So while we still have capacity in our health care system, we are seeing increase in hospitalizations, increase in the ICU, increase on ventilators,” Beshear said. “And sadly, if we continue to have this amount of cases, we will see an increase in deaths.”

Corinne Boyer

Black Faith Leaders of Lexington, Vicinity gathered Tuesday to speak about Lexington Police Department policies and racial inequalities. The group wants no-knock warrants banned, which have temporarily been suspended by Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.

Reverend Clark Williams said LPD rarely uses the warrants, but when used, they endanger people.

“We contend that the potential benefits of executing a no knock warrant are far, far outweighed by the clearly apparent potential for the tragic loss of innocent lives,” Williams said.

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