As confirmed COVID-19 cases reaches 103, Beshear announced all non-essential businesses will close


Abbey Nutter

During his daily update Sunday night, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed 103 cases of COVID-19 within the state of Kentucky. 

“We’re going to see more cases everyday,” Beshear said. “Let’s be prepared, let’s be ready to be resilient but let’s also know that all the steps we’re taking, all the sacrifices, we’re making sure that we can protect our people.”

Beshear said the number of people who are diagnosed with the coronavirus is not nearly as important as the number of people who recover from the virus. He also said over 2,000 tests for the coronavirus have been administered in the state so far.

Beshear also announced all non-essential retail businesses will close by 8 p.m. Monday night. This does not include grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores or gas stations. Businesses will still be able to offer to-go and delivery services. 

Due to the business closures, Beshear said the unemployment rate in Kentucky is currently 30 times what it had been this time last year.

“We have to make sure that everybody has enough to get through this,” Beshear said. “There is no stigma on public assistance: we want to make sure that everybody that needs help getting through this gets through this.”

Beshear provided a list of days that those needing assistance during this time to apply for unemployment alphabetically by day: 

·  Sunday, March 22 – A-D

·  Monday, March 23 – E-H

·  Tuesday, March 24 – I-L

·  Wednesday, March 25 – M-P

·  Thursday, March 26 – Q-U

·  Friday, March 27 – V-Z

·  Friday, March 27 – if  you missed your day to claim

Beshear also outlined the steps already taken in Kentucky to combat the coronavirus: 

  • Established the Kentucky Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • Declared a state of emergency in Kentucky
  • Developed Emergency Operations and State Health Centers
  • Created the KYCOVID-19 website for reliable information
  • Issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging
  • Adjusted the sick leave policy in state government
  • Issued executive orders to make coronavirus testing and treatment free
  • Limited visitation in facilities across the state that works with or for seniors
  • Halted face-to-face instruction in every school district
  • Covered first responders and healthcare workers under Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance
  • Asked all Kentucky Hospitals to cease elective procedures
  • Closed childcare centers
  • Returned all Kentucky residents on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship
  • Closed bars and restaurants to in person traffic
  • Waived the waiting period to unemployment
  • Extended things like driver’s licenses and medicaid
  • Closed all public facing businesses that encouraged public congregation by an executive order
  • Issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings

To get back to the way social interactions were before, the governor said the people of Kentucky need to be aggressive in combating the coronavirus.

“Social distancing is now our norm, and it won’t be forever,” Beshear said. “We all look forward to the day where we can come together the way we were before, and don’t we miss those days? Sometimes you don’t realize how important that personal interaction is until you have to do it six feet away or even further.”

News reporter Abbey Nutter can be reached at abbigail.nutter168@topper. Follow her on Twitter at @abbeynutter.