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Gov. Beshear Takes Decisive Action to Limit Spread of COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 17, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced additional steps to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s loved ones if we see a spike that is significant. Kentucky, we’ll need your help. We’ll need your help staying calm. We’ll need volunteers and we know you’ll respond. We will get through this together.”

Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians to remain calm, have faith and to continue doing their patriotic duty by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect the most vulnerable, which includes seniors and those with chronic conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease. He also delivered a special message to children, offering tips to relieve stress and anxiety, maintain a routine and stay active.

Gov. Beshear’s new actions include:

Issued guidance on closing public-facing businesses

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Beshear issued an executive order outlining specific steps all public-facing businesses should take regarding closures, which include:

• By 5:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020, all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation or, that by the nature of the service to the public, cannot comply with CDC guidelines concerning social distancing, shall cease all in-person operations.

• These public-facing businesses that must close include entertainment, hospitality and recreational facilities, community and recreation centers, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, and sporting event facilities.

• Those businesses providing food, food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, retail, grocery and consumer goods, home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy, and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging may remain open, subject to limitations provided in prior orders, but must to the extent practicable implement Centers for Disease Control guidance, including:

o maintaining a distance of 6 feet between persons;

o ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing;

o ensuring that employees who are sick remain home; and

o regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Gov. Beshear said the overriding goal of the order is to minimize in-person interaction, which is the primary means of transmission of COVID-19. The immediate implementation of the order is necessary as patrons of public-facing businesses gather in large numbers, in close proximity to each other and in enclosed spaces, endangering the health of customers and staff.

“For those out there trying to find an exception, if you’re not truly engaging in social distancing, if you are not taking those steps, it will force further action,” Gov. Beshear said. “Not that we want to take it, but we have to protect everybody. It’s all of our duties. Look for ways to be a part of the solution as opposed to being an exception to what we’re putting out there.”

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