Since the first case of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed in Kentucky, Governor Beshear taken the following actions:
3/6/2020: Declared a State of Emergency.
3/6/2020: Activated the Emergency Management Operations Center.
3/7/2020: Activated the State Health Operations Center.
3/7/2020: Announced Kentucky's COVID-19 hotline, 1-800-722-5725.
3/7/2020: Announced Kentucky's COVID-19 informational website, kycovid19.ky.gov
3/7/2020: Issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging. Asked Attorney General Daniel Cameron to enforce the price-gouging laws. If anyone has information regarding possible price gouging, they should contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257.
3/7/2020: Adjusted state government sick leave policy to ensure state employees who are sick can stay home – even for new employees who have not accrued leave time.
3/7/2020: Encouraged businesses to implement sick leave policy so sick employees, do not come to work and expose others because of financial concerns.
3/7/2020: Published the CDC guidelines with warnings for high-risk individuals. Those include:
- Individuals over 60, do not go places where there are large crowds
- Individuals that have heart, lung, or kidney disease, or have compromised immune systems, do not go to places where there are large crowds
- For both of these vulnerable populations, do not fly, and whatever you do, do not get on a cruise ship.
3/9/2020: Issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees. The Governor is also telling providers to expand their network to patients that may go outside their normal providers.
3/9/2020: Shared a when-to-seek-care infographic.
3/9/2020: Called all the 120 county judges to update them, and to discuss the emergency management network so that it is up and running.
3/9/2020: Initiated changes to Medicaid, including eliminating prior authorization and any type of fees associated with testing or treatment for the coronavirus.
3/10/2020: Limited visits to long-term care facilities and nursing homes, except in an end-of-life situation.
3/10/2020: Signed an executive order that allows pharmacists to refill prescriptions for up to 30 days.
3/10/2020: Closed all state prisons to visitors.
3/11/2020: Cancelled the Governor's Prayer Breakfast.
3/11/2020: Recommended social distancing for everyone. For a complete list of guidance on social distancing, click here.
3/11/2020: Instructed school districts to be prepared to close on short notice, as short as 72 hours.
3/11/2020: Advised that all community gatherings should be cancelled or postponed.
3/11/2020: Suspended out-of-state travel for state employees.
3/11/2020: Encouraged all businesses to allow employees to work from home if at all possible. If not possible, people should spread out in meeting and work spaces by increasing distance between seats.
3/12/2020: Recommended that all school superintendents in Kentucky cease in-person classes for an extended period of time beginning Monday, March 16.
3/13/2020: Recommended the temporary closure of senior centers to help halt the spread of the virus for those most vulnerable. Meals will still be available at many senior centers via drive through pick-up or delivery.
3/13/2020: Announced effective immediately that Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance (KEMI) will provide wage replacement benefits for first responders and medical personnel who have been quarantined for COVID-19 as a result of their increased risk of exposure in the course of their work.
3/13/2020: Announced Boards and Commissions will cancel any scheduled in-person meetings, and instead use video teleconference technology. Boards and commissions will provide the public with a link to access the meeting remotely.
3/14/2020: Followed the emergency declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which provides regulatory relief for commercial drivers who are providing direct assistance to COVID-19 relief efforts.
3/14/2020: The USDA approved our waiver to be able to serve meals to students during Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI).
3/14/2020: Issued guidance to state agencies to decrease on-site staffing by at least 50 percent to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
3/14/2020: Asked Kentucky hospitals to cease elective procedures by close of business Wednesday, March 18th.
3/14/2020: Guaranteed that COVID-19 testing would be free to all Kentuckians, even if they are uninsured.
3/14/2020: Asked the childcare centers of Kentucky to create plans for closure that they could implement within 72 hours if it is deemed necessary.
3/14/2020: Took the steps to force a home isolation when the COVID-19 patient initially refused to self-quarantine.
3/14/2020: Issued tips and guidance to help support good mental health and relieve anxiety.
3/15/2020: Brought Kentuckians on the Grand Princess cruise ship back home.
3/16/2020: Moved the Emergency Operations Center to level 3. That helps us with preparation and response.
3/16/2020: Signed an executive order to close all restaurants and bars to in-person traffic. Exceptions for drive-through, delivery, and in some instances, take out.
3/16/2020: Waived the waiting period for unemployment for people that are losing their jobs due to coronavirus, and will waive any work search requirements while the state of emergency is in effect.
3/16/2020: Asked childcare centers across Kentucky to close by end of business on Friday, with some exceptions in the policy for health care workers and on-site employers.
3/16/2020: Provided a three month extension on driver's licenses.
3/16/2020: Applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration.The U.S. Small Business Association is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses (private and non-profit organizations) suffering from substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus.
3/16/2020: With the recommendation from our Secretary of State, postponed the primary elections by the 35 days allowed under state law. That means they will be moved to June 23, 2020.
3/17/2020: Closed the State Capitol to non-essential personnel.
3/17/2020: Closed state government buildings across Kentucky to in-person services.
3/17/2020: Signed an executive order that by 5 p.m. Wednesday March 18, all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation or that by the nature of their service to the public cannot comply with the CDC guidelines concerning social distancing are going to have to cease their operations. These businesses must include: entertainment and recreational facilities, community and recreation centers, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, and sporting event facilities.
There are some businesses that are exempt: food providers, food processors, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, retail, groceries, consumer goods, home repair, hardware, auto repair, pharmacies, other medical facilities, biomedical, health care, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging can all remain open at this point, but must follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. Malls are considered retail, so they are not a part of the executive order at the moment.
3/17/2020: The state is working with federal partners to continue the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payments on behalf of qualified families for centers during the mandatory closure period. The state will also be covering co-payments typically covered by families.
3/17/2020: Acute facilities should be discouraging all visitors at this time except for end-of-life circumstances.
3/17/2020: Psychiatric facilities should restrict visitation and only allow it if deemed medically necessary by the attending physician, administrator, and medical director.
3/17/2020: Senior care facilities and intermediate care facilities should limit visitation only to loved ones of those who are receiving end-of-life care, and for those residents they should expect to shelter in place.
3/17/2020: Issued interim guidance for adult day care centers that requires the temporary closure of all licensed adult day care centers beginning on March 20th.
3/17/2020: Posted on our website different examples of how state government is shutting down in-person services. We will work with Kentuckians to provide services remotely.
3/18/2020: The Department of Community Based Services will extend certification periods for all recipients of all public assistance programs for three months.
3/18/2020: Made changes so that any of those who are now unemployed, who have lost benefits, can immediately apply for Medicaid.
3/18/2020: Suspended all charitable gaming licenses. (Bingo halls must close.)
3/18/2020: Announced that repository institutions (banks) are financially strong, well-capitalized, and well-managed. There is no need to make a run on them. There is going to be a reduction of lobby access, and a change of hours; they will accept loan applications online or by phone, and they are going to perform transactions electronically.
3/18/2020: Announced that our food chain is safe, there is going to be enough out there for everyone
3/19/2020: Issued interim guidance for establishing partnerships between approved health care facilities and limited-duration child care programs to support child care for employees of health care entities, first responders (Law Enforcement, EMS, Fire Departments), corrections officers and Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) workers. The guidance is online at chfs.ky.gov.
- Interim Guidance for Verification of Employment for Child Care within a Limited Duration Center
- Interim Guidance for Limited Duration Child Care Programs
- Requirements for Approved Child Care Programs During Emergency Period
- Temporary Emergency Child Care Notification content example
3/19/2020: Announced that restaurants that have an active liquor license, that are also doing food delivery or carry out, may also deliver sealed alcoholic beverages, in their original containers to customers.
3/19/2020: Issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings. The measure states what Gov. Beshear has previously recommended, including:
- All mass gatherings are hereby prohibited.
- Mass gatherings include any event or convening that brings together groups of individuals, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.
3/20/2020: Recommended Kentucky schools cease in-person instruction until at least April 20.
3/20/2020: Successfully qualified the entire state for Small Business Administration disaster certification. Now, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Businesses should also work with their banks, credit unions and other lenders. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has encouraged financial institutions to assist and work with customers in a “prudent manner,” especially borrowers and customers from the most affected industries.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at www.sba.gov/disaster. The SBA is also mobilizing call centers to assist in the loan-application process. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3/20/2020: Announced that those who have started their unemployment applications this week should finish them by Saturday March 21, at 11:59 p.m. to ensure their data is saved for the week. Otherwise, the application process will have to be redone.
3/20/2020: Mirrored the federal government by delaying the tax filing deadline by three months from April 15 to July 15.
3/20/2020: Announced that Kentucky’s bourbon distillers are working with the state to produce and distribute hand sanitizer.
3/20/2020: Announced that businesses have stepped up to donate N95 masks: Toyota (1,827 masks), Gray Construction (50 masks), AE Electrical Solutions (40 masks). Plumbers and pipefitters have also donated respirators.
3/21/2020: Extended executive order to prohibit price gouging for 15 more days. The order can continue to be renewed as needed. If anyone has information regarding possible price gouging, contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257 or fill out the complaint form online.
3/22/2020: Gov. Beshear announced that all in-person retail businesses that are not life sustaining will close effective Monday, March 23, 2020, at 8 p.m.
- Life-sustaining retail businesses that will stay open include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, gas stations and other businesses that provide staple goods. A full list of categories of life-sustaining, in-person retail businesses is attached to the order.
- Entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, shoe, jewelry and furniture stores, florists, bookstores and auto dealers are among those business that will close. Non-essential retail businesses, while they cannot allow Kentuckians into stores, can still fill phone and online orders through curbside services or delivery.
- Retail businesses that remain open must follow, to the fullest extent practicable, social distancing and hygiene guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, which includes ensuring physical separation of employees and customers by at least six feet when possible; ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures and ordering sick individuals to leave the premises. Failure to follow the order could subject a business to closure.
3/23/2020: Gov. Beshear signed an executive order to cease all elective medical procedures. He previously recommended ceasing them, but additional action was necessary since some groups did not follow the original guidance.