By Eric M. Weihe
Member, Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC
On March 6, 2020, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed Executive Order 2020-215, declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Kentucky due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (“Coronavirus”), a public health emergency. Since declaring the State of Emergency, Governor Beshear has issued a series of additional Executive Orders that effect businesses in the Commonwealth and its citizens at large. To assist our valued clients and other friends of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, we have developed the following “FAQs” to help summarize the directives set out in Governor Beshear’s Executive Orders.
WHAT RETAIL BUSINESSES MUST BE CLOSED?
Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-246 issued on March 22, 2020, all in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining must cease in-store retail operations. Non-life-sustaining retail businesses include: automobile dealer showrooms; other motor vehicle dealers; furniture and home furnishing stores; electronics and appliance stores; cosmetics, beauty supplies, and perfume stores; optical goods stores; other health and personal care stores; clothing stores; shoe stores; jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores; sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, and book stores; department stores; florists; office supplies, stationary, and gift stores; used merchandise stores; all other miscellaneous store retailers. Non-life-sustaining retail businesses may continue to provide delivery and curbside service of online or telephone orders.
WHAT RETAIL BUSINESSES MAY REMAIN OPEN?
Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-246 issued on March 22, 2020, all in-person retail businesses that are life-sustaining may continue their in-store retail operations. Life-sustaining retail businesses include: grocery stores; supermarkets; specialty food stores; meat markets; fish and seafood markets; fruit and vegetable markets; beer, wine, and liquor stores; pharmacies and drug stores; banks, credit unions, check cashing, wire transfer, and other financial services; hardware stores; gasoline stations and convenience stores; building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers; automobile dealer repair, parts, and service centers; automotive parts, repair, accessories, and tire stores; auto, truck, and van rental; general merchandise stores, including warehouse clubs and supercenters; pet and pet supplies stores.
CAN RESTAURANTS REMAIN OPEN?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 16, 2020, food and beverage sales are restricted to carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru only – no onsite consumption is permitted. Food services in health care and congregate living facilities (such as nursing homes) are permitted to remain open.
WHAT NON-RETAIL, NON-RESTAURANT BUSINESSES MUST BE CLOSED?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 17, 2020, all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation or that cannot comply with CDC guidelines regarding social distancing must cease in-person operations. These public-facing businesses include: entertainment, hospitality, and recreational facilities; community and recreation centers; gyms and exercise facilities; hair salons; nail salons; spas; concert venues; theaters; sporting event facilities.
WHAT NON-RETAIL, NON-RESTAURANT BUSINESSES MAY REMAIN OPEN?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 17, 2020, public-facing businesses that may remain open include: food-processing; agriculture; industrial manufacturing; feed mills; construction; trash collection; medical facilities; biomedical and healthcare; post offices; insurance; laundromats; veterinary clinics; warehousing, storage, and distribution centers; public transportation; hotel and commercial lodging.
WHAT OTHER GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE ARE PROHIBITED?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 19, 2020, mass gatherings are prohibited. Mass gatherings include any event or convening that brings together groups of individuals, including: community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.
WHAT OTHER GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE ARE PERMITTED?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 19, 2020, the following are not mass gatherings and are permitted: normal operations at airports, bus and train stations; medical facilities; libraries; other spaces where persons may be in transit; typical office environments; factories; grocery stores.
FOR RETAIL OR NON-RETAIL BUSINESSES PERMITTED TO REMAIN OPEN, OR OTHER PERMITTED GATHERINGS, WHAT CDC GUIDELINES MUST BE FOLLOWED?
Pursuant to numerous Executive Orders issued by Governor Beshear regarding the Coronavirus, businesses that are permitted to remain open must follow these CDC guidelines:
(1) Maintain a distance of 6 feet between persons;
(2) Ensure employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing;
(3) Ensure that employees who are sick remain home;
(4) Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
(5) Post signs alerting all employees and patrons of the above guidelines.
CAN I RAISE THE PRICE OF MY GOODS OR SERVICES DURING THIS STATE OF EMERGENCY?
Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-245 issued on March 20, 2020, no seller of goods or services shall sell or offer to sell any good or service at a price grossly in excess of the price prior to the declaration of a State of Emergency on March 6, 2020.
IF I LOSE MY JOB DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY, HOW QUICKLY CAN I APPLY FOR AND RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS?
Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-235 issued on March 16, 2020, workers who become unemployed during the State of Emergency are immediately eligible for unemployment insurance benefits – the unemployed workers are not required to serve the standard waiting period of seven (7) days.
WHAT IS THE COST OF TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS?
Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-220 issued on March 9, 2020, all health insurers shall waive all cost-sharing (including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles) for screening and testing for the Coronavirus, including hospital, emergency department, urgent care, provider office visit, lab testing, telehealth, and immunization (if made available) cost-sharing. Additionally, all health insurers shall waive any pre or prior authorization requirements for screening and testing for Coronavirus.
ARE THERE ANY LIMITATIONS ON HEALTHCARE FACILITIES’ OPERATIONS?
Pursuant to an Order issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 23, 2020, all non-emergent, non-urgent in-person medical, surgical, dental, and any other healthcare practice or procedure must cease. Under all circumstances where clinically possible, use of telephonic or video communications to provide telemedicine is strongly urged. Medicare and Medicaid have waived typical telemedicine and HIPAA requirements, and non-HIPAA compliant video services such as FaceTime, Skype, and others may be used during the State of Emergency.
CAN I GET EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTION REFILLS?
Pursuant Executive Order 2020-224 issued on March 10, 2020, pharmacists located in the Commonwealth may dispense emergency refills of up to a thirty (30) day supply of any non-controlled medication for residents of any county of the Commonwealth.
ARE KENTUCKY’S MAY 19, 2020 ELECTIONS GOING FORWARD?
Pursuant Executive Order 2020-236 issued on March 16, 2020, all Kentucky primary, special, and local option elections scheduled for May 19, 2020 have been delayed and shall now take place on June 23, 2020.
Stoll Keenon Ogden understands that these are trying times for our clients and our Commonwealth. Our firm operations have continued uninterrupted and our attorneys are equipped to serve as we always have – for over 120 years.
If you would like to discuss any of Governor Beshear’s Executive Orders, the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on your operations, or any other important matters, please do not hesitate to contact your trusted Stoll Keenon Ogden professional.