Kentucky

Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca.

State health leaders are beginning to release their plans for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine — whenever one becomes available. 

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As the U.S. economy has slowed due to the coronavirus threat, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment only weeks after an especially robust job market. These numbers are significantly worse than previous downturns, even in the aftermath of the 2008 market crash. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, hospitals and healthcare workers prepared for a spike in cases by scrambling for masks, ventilators and other equipment.

Here’s more news from the Midwest: 

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Nationwide, supplies of personal protective equipment, including masks, N95 respirators and gowns,  are in short supply. Hospitals are soliciting donations and some people are crafting supplies themselves. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as a last resort masks should be reused or providers could use scarves. 

Here’s more from the Midwest:

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With states such as Indiana and Michigan adding “stay-at-home” orders on Monday, millions of Americans are significantly restricting their lifestyles to slow the coronavirus. Nationwide, there are over 40,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including the head of a large Indiana hospital chain, and the spread doesn’t appear to be slowing.

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The coronavirus death toll in Europe has overtaken China's. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to send mixed signals: Yesterday, President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for COVID-19, shortly after the agency said that was not the case. In the Midwest, case counts continue to rise, as experts say community spread is happening.

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Coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the Midwest, and American’s routines have been significantly disrupted amid the pandemic. President Trump invoked a war-time era law to ramp up production of essential supplies, and some experts and government officials are warning this could be the new normal for as long as 18 months. 

Latest Coronavirus News, Wednesday, March 18

Mar 18, 2020
Madeleine King, Iowa Public Radio

Cancellations continued to rise across the Midwest, as more states took aim at gyms, theaters, hair salons and other places where people gather. The coronavirus also was interfering with planned elections, including the Ohio presidential primary, which is being rescheduled.

Courtesy of Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was postponed and many other events in the Midwest were canceled, as officials tried to stem the spread of coronavirus. Indiana and Kentucky saw their first fatalities this week, as the number and severity of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the Midwest. Here's a state-by-state summary of the news:

Illinois

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Events across the country continue to be cancelled, many schools are closing and the stock market is being shaken dramatically. Now, many public health experts are criticizing the lack of available testing to determine if someone is infected with coronavirus. Here’s the latest news from the Midwest: 

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It’s official: The World Health Organization says COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is a pandemic. Government and industry leaders are moving to cancel events and stem the flow of the disease, even though some experts say it is too late. President Donald Trump announced a travel ban from European countries last night. The NBA has suspended its season and the NCAA will play tournament games -- including some scheduled for Indianapolis -- without fans. 

The coronavirus' impact continues to deepen with the National Guard enforcing a one-mile containment area in a New York City suburb and officials in Italy ordering a nationwide lockdown. In the U.S. Midwest, major universities are shutting their doors and pivoting to online learning. Several jails and prisons are also suspending visits amid the outbreak

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Cases of the novel coronavirus –– or the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19 -- continue to mount throughout the Midwest. Some states have turned to closing K-12 schools or colleges.

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In 2011, Alex Randolph was in Iraq, in the middle of a tour of duty with the Army. What happened one evening would haunt him for years, and change the way his friends back home saw him. Those memories eventually led Randolph to think about killing himself.


How One Woman Vaped And Wound Up In A Coma

Oct 10, 2019
Lisa Gillespie/Side Effects Public Media

Rashelle Bernal never expected to end up in the hospital because she vaped. But she could be part of a nationwide outbreak of a severe lung illness that’s sickened more than 1,000 people. Researchers suspect those illnesses, and some deaths, are linked to vaping. Now, they're trying to find the precise cause.

Isaiah Seibert, Side Effects Public Media

There’s an endless stream of advice online about how to make friends as an adult. The listicles and blog posts often mention that it’s harder for twentysomethings to form meaningful friendships. 

Making friends can be even harder if you’re on the autism spectrum, especially if you don’t live in a major city. But one group is trying to build those connections in rural America.

'Dopesick' Author Beth Macy On Opioids, Trump And More

Aug 30, 2019

Journalist Beth Macy has chronicled the origins of the opioid crisis in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

In the new paperback edition's discussion guide, she argues again for greater emphasis on medical treatment for addicts.And she discussed President Trump, lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and other issues in an interview with The Daily Yonder, which covers rural America. For some excerpts, read on.

Graphic by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Four Midwestern states have infant mortality rates “significantly higher” than the U.S. average, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says.


Why This Group Hands Out Free 'Morning After' Pills

Jul 9, 2019
Lisa Gillespie/Side Effects Public Media

Rows of silver and pink plastic packages sit on the bathroom counter inside Bean, a Louisville coffee shop. Each package carries these words: emergency contraception.

The medication? It’s called Preventeza, from the company that also makes Vagisil. It was on the market for less than a year and didn’t do well – pills worth $2 million were sent to advocacy groups in Kentucky, Indiana and other states. 

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Dennis Pond doesn’t tell his psychiatrist about his thoughts of suicide.  But he has them. He often feels useless, in large part because his diabetes has caused terrible pain and numbness in his feet, and that affects his ability to drive, to help out around the house, to even go out in the yard.

Lisa Gillespie/Side Effects Public Media

Getting to Anne Polston’s house is a journey: first, you have to get to Liberty, a town about two hours southeast of Louisville. Then, there’s a winding eight-mile road that’s largely one-lane, and sometimes just gravel.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell said he will introduce a bill raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes, vaping devices and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 across the country.

During a news conference in Louisville Thursday, McConnell said he will introduce the legislation in May.

“By raising the age you could legally purchase to 21, tobacco won’t be in most high schools, presenting fewer opportunities for children to get their hands on vaping devices,” McConnell said.

Photo by Gary Cassel is licensed under CC0. https://pixabay.com/en/phoropter-refraction-2297282/

Kentucky plans to restore vision and dental insurance to nearly half a million Medicaid recipients who lost coverage this month. The state cut coverage after a federal judge’s decision to deny its Medicaid waiver, but the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services said Friday those who lost their coverage should have it back by Aug.1.

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Nearly half a million low-income Kentuckians lost their dental and vision insurance this month after a federal judge halted Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver program.

Judge Blocks Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirement

Jun 29, 2018
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A federal judge on Friday struck down a Trump administration decision allowing states to force low-income adults to work to qualify for Medicaid.

The 60-page ruling, which is likely to be appealed, was hailed by advocates for the poor. But it could limit the number of states expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Jacob Sippel / US Navy

After letting funding lapse for 114 days, the United States has reached an agreement for funding CHIP, the federally-run health insurance program for children and pregnant mothers.

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