Beshear Issues Executive Order Limiting In-store Shopping To One Person Per Household

Apr 8, 2020

Credit Screenshot of Governor Andy Beshear's Facebook Live

 

Governor Andy Beshear announced 204 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky today. That brings the state’s official total to 1,346. 

The cases are from Daviess, Fayette, Hopkins, Kenton, Jefferson, Campbell, Pulaski, Muhlenberg, Hardin, Henderson, Jackson, McCracken, Adair, Boone, Graves, Jessamine, Laurel, Madison, Marshall, Ohio, Oldham, Rockcastle, Russel, Shelby, Warren, Ballard, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Clark, Crittenden, Franklin, Grant, Hancock, Harrison, Hart, Henry, Logan, Marion, Mason, McCreary, McClain, Nelson, Pendleton, Scott, Taylor, Todd, Union, Washington, Whitley and Woodford counties.

Beshear said 339 people in the state have fully recovered from the virus. He said state officials believe currently 205 people are hospitalized and 93 are in intensive care units. 

Beshear confirmed eight new deaths today from Jefferson, Calloway and Christian counties.

“So let’s light our houses and our places of business and our institutions up green tonight,” he said. 

Credit Screenshot of Governor Andy Beshear's Facebook Live

Beshear said 17 additional residents and 13 staff members have tested positive in Kentucky’s nursing homes. He said two residents have died and the number of affected homes has increased to 25. He said at least 10 of those homes haven’t had residents test positive. 

Beshear urged Kentuckians who haven’t already done so to fill out their Census. Beshear said Kentucky is doing well compared to other states but “I’ve never been excited about being 10th or 11th or 12th in the country at something.”

“We can be number one at this if we also view it as our duty.”

Beshear said Kentucky is in “our surge” but nowhere in the country has seen direct evidence of a peak.

“They think they might be getting it in New York but I wanna see that data.”

Chief of Staff LaTasha Bucker said the governor’s office has issued a new executive order. The order limits in-store shopping to one person per household. She said the order will help businesses and individuals to practice better social distancing because fewer people will be in the stores and more people can stay healthy at home. She said the order applies to life-sustaining businesses such as pharmacies, grocery stores and hardware stores. 

“Going to go get groceries shouldn’t turn into a default date night,” Buckner said.

Exceptions include those who can’t remain healthy at home without their carer’s supervision. 

“So if you’re the adult in the household and you need to go out and get groceries but you have minor children or other adults who have physical or mental impairments and they can’t be on their own, they can still accompany you to the grocery store,” Buckner said.

She said the governor’s office is asking these life-sustaining businesses affected by the order to help enforce it. Buckner also said the order prohibits “honeybees” or door-to door solicitation, as well as allows pharmacists to employ telehealth to renew subscriptions.

Beshear said prisoners in the state are working to manufacture masks. He said the first use will go to prisoners to protect them from potential coronavirus infection.

“Our folks that are currently incarcerated made these and we want to make sure they get the pride out of that but also the protection.”

He said the mask will also go out to state employees and others across the commonwealth. 

Beshear said wearing masks in public is more about asymptomatic people not spreading the virus to others. He said even though someone is wearing a mask, that doesn’t mean they can stop social distancing. He said people still need to maintain six feet of distance between them and others.

 

First Cohort Of Kentucky Medical Student Volunteers To Deploy

Beshear said officials are activating Kentucky’s first state park, Kentucky Dam Village, for volunteer stay. Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said a facility is in need of help and has had a number of individuals infected with the coronavirus. He said the first cohort of volunteers include four, third-year medical students from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He said they will be deployed tomorrow.

“I was informed the local community was very grateful and described them as angels coming to help,” Stack said.

The students come from a pool of nearly 700 students from healthcare profession schools who have identified themselves as volunteers. He said all volunteers should check their email tonight as Stack is hosting a webinar tomorrow.

“Everyone who volunteered, I need to have you on standby. We may be needing to use you as we go forward,” he said.

 

Unemployment Insurance Update

Beshear announced that Kentucky has received access to the funding stream for the additional $600 payment for unemployment from the federal government. He said the state will start payments tomorrow evening.

Field Hospital Update

Beshear said Kentucky officials have ordered beds for the field hospital at the Louisville Fairgrounds.

“We’re working the plan,” he said. “Our hope is to have 250 active beds if needed in about two weeks and being able to scale up from there.”

Beshear said once primary facilities that are treating coronavirus patients reach a certain capacity, officials want to make sure people are pushed out to other facilities across the state. 

“It will only be when across the state we see a certain capacity hitting all of our potential beds, that’s when we turn on the solutions like the Fairgrounds or others.”

 Steps The State Has Taken To Address COVID-19

  • The state is increasing unemployment hotline operators from 12 to more than 1,000.

  • The Department of Public Health is introducing a tiered system to streamline COVID-19 testing. Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack announced a partnership with 32 Kentucky hospitals to expand access to testing, especially in the rural parts of the commonwealth. 

  • Beshear issued an executive order commuting the sentences for 186 C and D felons. 

  • Beshear has issued a 14-day quarantine for returning Kentucky residents who have left the state for reasons other than: caring for a loved one, going to the closest grocery store for supplies, parental visitation, going to work

  • State officials are moving ahead with plans to convert the Louisville Fairgrounds into a field hospital with at least 2,000 beds. Beshear said the state is working in conjunction with the National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers.

  • State officials banned overnight stays in state parks. Beshear said this includes campgrounds and lodges.

  • Beshear extended the policy of no in-person instruction in schools through at least Friday, May 1.

  • Beshear announced an executive order expanding travel restrictions to where out-of-state people travelling into Kentucky need to quarantine for fourteen days “wherever they’re coming.” People who are just stopping for gas in the state are not included in the order.

  • Beshear issued an executive order allowing critical workforce sectors to rehire previously retired workers to fill key roles.

  • Beshear issued an executive order easing restrictions on nurses who live out of state and making it quicker to obtain a license.

  • Beshear announced a new website portal to connect businesses interested in donating services or supplies with Kentuckians and Kentucky medical facilities in need.

  • Beshear asked mayors and county judge-executives to monitor people gathering in public places such as parks and stop them if people are not practicing social distancing and risking the spread of COVID-19.

  • Unemployment eligibility has been expanded to include individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance. This includes self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers and childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and nonprofits.

  • ​State officials have suspended evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency.

  • Beshear established a Team Kentucky fund to help provide financial assistance to Kentuckians whose employment has been affected by this virus. People can donate to the fund that will be overseen by the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet. Beshear said the fund will work like most popular fundraising platforms where people can “click a couple buttons and give instantly.” He said donations are tax-deductible. 

  • State officials created a COVID-19 reporting hotline for people to report situations and groups or organizations they believe are dangerous. Beshear said this could be groups not engaging in social distancing or businesses not abiding by CDC guidelines. The hotline is 1-833-KYSAFERor 1-833-597-2337. The hotline will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. by labor cabinet employees. People can also leave messages after hours. He said the hotline received roughly 2,000 last night.

  • Beshear said the state is taking “security measures” around hospitals to ensure safety. He said people will see additional law enforcement and National Guard around hospitals.

  • Beshear encouraged all radio and TV stations to do public service announcements. He said Kentucky needs more encouragement about social distancing and recommended stations pull information from the kycovid19.ky.gov website.

  • The state is going to be conducting a survey of outpatient surgical centers for their supplies and staff. Beshear said it's something the state is doing so it can “marshal every single resource at a time of need.”

  • The state is closing non-essential retail businesses to in-person traffic. These include entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, shoes, jewelry, bookstores, florists, furniture and auto dealers. Beshear said these retail businesses can still do curbside and pickup and urged them to be “innovative.” He said stores unaffected by this order are grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, drug stores, liquor stores, hardware stores, agriculture supply and equipment stores and auto repairs and parts stores. Beshear said these stores still need to follow CDC guidelines and “spread people out.” He said auto dealers will still be able to provide repairs and parts and can only do sales if the interaction is complete online or over the phone. 

  • The state, starting Monday, is mandating that medical facilities cease elective procedures. He said the vast majority of providers have responded to the state’s recommendation voluntarily. 

  • Kentucky has issued a state of emergency that Beshear said will last until COVID-19 is “taken care of.”  He said the state’s emergency management operations center is up, as well as the state health operations center. 

  • The state established the COVID-19 hotline and a website providing updates on the virus for Kentuckians. People who are sick but would have not sought care should  contact their healthcare provider to prevent flooding of health care facilities. People who have questions about the virus call the COVID-19 Hotline at (800) 722-5725.

  • A price gouging order is in effect. Kentuckians who have any information regarding possible price gouging should dial (888) 432-9257 for the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection hotline.

  • Officials adjusted state government sick leave policy to ensure sick employees stay at home. Beshear said businesses should do the same. He encouraged all businesses to allow employees to work from home if at all possible. 

  • The state published CDC guidelines with warnings for sick individuals. Beshear said people over the age of 60 or people with heart, lung or kidney disease; compromised immune systems; or diabetes should be extremely careful and avoid places with crowds. He said Kentuckians should not fly if they don’t have to and that no one should get on a cruise ship. CDC guidelines say everyone should be engaged in social distancing. 

  • Beshear issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees. He said the state has issued executive orders and worked in Medicaid to make sure COVID-19 testing and treatment is free.

  • Beshear signed an executive order to allow pharmacists to refill prescriptions for up to 30 days.

  • The state closed all state prisons to visitors.

  • Beshear said the state closed restaurants and bars to all in-person traffic, except for drive-thru, delivery and, in some instances, take-out.

  • Beshear said the state has limited visitation in “just about every type of facility that works with or for our seniors.” 

  • The state has recommended schools cease in-class activities, including in-person classes. Beshear said Friday this has been extended to April 21 and, as of now, all school districts have complied.

  • Beshear said the state is making sure first responders and health care workers are covered through Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance. The insurance provides wage replacement benefits for first responders and medical personnel who have been quarantined for COVID-19.

  • Child care centers are closed with the exception of those helping healthcare workers and first responders. 

  • The state postponed primary elections, moving voting to June 23.

  • The state issued an executive order to close all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation.

  • Beshear said the state has waived the waiting period for unemployment insurance and continues to work to reduce the barriers to unemployment. Beshear said they are working on unemployment for independent contractors and small business owners.

  • The federal government’s Small Business Administration has granted Kentucky application to allow small businesses to get disaster loans. Beshear said SBA’s website is fixed and small businesses can now apply online for the disaster loans they need. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at www.sba.gov/disaster.

  • All Kentuckians on the Grand Princess cruise ship were brought back home.

  • The state provided a three-month extension on driver’s licenses.

  • Beshear said the state is extending Medicaid, SNAP and other benefits: “If it’s running out and you would have to reapply in the next couple of months, you don’t have to.” He said the state is re-upping people on those benefits for a three-month period.

  • The state has suspended all charitable gaming licenses. 

  • The state has issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings.

  • The state is delaying the tax filing deadline by three months from April 15 to July 15.

  • Beshear said the state has issued guidance for good mental health.

Hannah Bullard and Dalton York contributed to this article.