Saturday, March 7, 2020

Gov. Beshear, Officials Issue Guidance in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Hotline 1.800.722.5725 ready; Guidance issued to help protect Kentuckians; No new confirmed cases today

State and local officials in Frankfort today talked about how they are ready and working together.

“We've been preparing for over a month in case coronavirus came to Harrison County,” said Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett. He urged people not to panic.

Cynthiana Mayor James Smith said they are prepared and appreciate the state extending resources. He said they would not be motivated by fear, but by facts. “We come together when there is a crisis and we will come together for this,” Mayor Smith said.

Dr. Miller, said they are working around the clock to respond and determine next steps. She urged employers to be flexible. “It's a time for us to enhance social distancing,” Dr. Miller said.

“The people of Harrison County ought to know their governor and state government are right there with them. We’re not going anywhere,” Gov. Beshear said.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said she declared a state of emergency on Friday to enable the city to access any necessary resources.

“We've been working for quite some time with stakeholders in Fayette County,” Mayor Gorton said. “We have a network in place of these stakeholders who are sharing information daily.”

Dr. Mark Newman, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky, said they were prepared and conditions are safe for patients and for staff. He said their facilities could take care of any patients, although most people will be treated in their local community or even recover at home. 

“We are going to come through this in good shape,” Dr. Newman said.

The local and state officials emphasized the coordinated preparedness and response at all levels.

Today, Gov. Beshear also issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging. He is asking 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.

Gov. Beshear and Dr. Stack, state public health commissioner, said the state would have all of the tests needed and that Harrison County residents will go to the front of the line when it comes to testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also made all of the kits Kentucky needs available and commercial labs have started testing.

The state lab in Frankfort has been conducting COVID-19 testing since Monday, March 2. The Department for Public Health has the ability to process results in a timely manner. Specimens received at the lab by noon each day will be resulted on the same day. Specimens received after noon will be resulted the following day. Currently, Kentuckians can seek testing by consulting with their health care provider.

Sick leave
Gov. Beshear said state government is adjusting its sick leave policy to ensure state employees who are sick can stay home – even for new employees who have not accrued leave time. He said the state would make sure those who are sick can stay home and will be covered. The governor has encouraged businesses to implement similar policies so sick employees, because of financial concerns, do not come to work and expose others.

Gov. Beshear said as with any virus, especially during the flu season, there are a number of steps Kentuckians should take to protect their health, including:

  • Get a flu shot from your Local Health Department or your family provider.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Click here to watch videos on proper handwashing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then properly dispose of it.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Kentuckians can visit and
for up-to-date information.

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