FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday issued an order to limit Kentuckians’ out-of-state travel and offered a 10-step plan to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Right now we have more cases in other states,” the governor said. “What it means is your likelihood of getting infected and potentially bringing back the coronavirus may be greater in other states than ours. You need to be home anyways.”
The decree allows for a range of exemptions, including travel to other states for work and groceries, to care for loved ones, to obtain health care and when required by a court order. Kentuckians arriving back in the commonwealth from out of state are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“We want you to remain Healthy at Home,” La Tasha Buckner, chief of staff and general counsel for Beshear, said of the new order’s goal.
The governor issued the order under provisions of the State of Emergency declaration that he issued on March 6, 2020, the day of the state’s first positive case.
Beshear previously advised Kentuckians to avoid travel into Tennessee, which did not as quickly adopt some of the more stringent measures Kentucky has enacted.
“Stay Healthy at Home” is the very first item on a new 10-step plan to fight the coronavirus that Beshear unveiled Monday.
Beyond staying home and avoiding unnecessary travel, the 10 steps to fight COVID-19 include tips on sanitation and social distancing as well as information for those seeking help with unemployment, mental health issues and health care benefits.
“We’re trying to make sure we’re putting all of those steps that people need to take into one place,” the governor said.
Beshear also signed Senate Bill 150, the coronavirus relief bill, into law. The governor thanked lawmakers for their quick action, which codifies many of the measures already being taken. During the current state of emergency, SB 150 creates flexibility in our telehealth system, prohibits non-emergent procedures, allows for the delivery of alcohol and creates flexibility in deciding who is eligible for unemployment insurance.
The governor said officials are continuing efforts to expand the state’s health care resources. The commonwealth currently has about 18,500 hospital beds, 1,300 ICU beds and 1,352 ventilators.
As of 5 p.m. March 30, the governor said there were at least 480 cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, with 42 of those being newly confirmed. There were two new deaths reported Monday, raising the state’s toll to 11 deaths related to the virus.
“This is a loss for all of us,” said Beshear, adding the Governor’s Mansion and Capitol dome would be lit green. He asked all Kentuckians to keep those families in their thoughts and to light up their homes green to honor those lost.
Beshear also said Monday that two of the new cases were linked to a nursing home in Northern Kentucky’s Campbell County. One resident and one staff member were being treated, the governor said, and follow-up tests were being conducted.
In addition, the governor provided an update on a 1-year-old in Fayette County who recently was diagnosed with COVID-19. “That child is back at home and doing really well,” Beshear said.