New Updates from the Governor’s Office on Directives at This Time


Key Updates

Anti-Price Gouging Order
Vowing to protect Kentuckians from unfairly being overcharged for goods or services during the pandemic, Gov. Beshear again has extended his executive order prohibiting price gouging. Anyone with information about unfair sales or billing practices is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257 or fill out the complaint form online..

Full List of Previous Actions by the Governor

The following table shows the actions taken by Governor Beshear since the first case of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed in Kentucky. Actions are listed by date from newest to oldest.


​The deadline to apply for Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) has been extended until the end of August. P-EBT provides equivalent funding for meals that students would have been provided in school this spring without the closures due to COVID-19. If people have questions about how to access these benefits, go to and search for “PEBT,” email or call 855-306-8959.

​Kentuckians who are uninsured can apply for short-term coverage through Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility. Families can apply online at or, by contacting an application assister at or by calling 855-459-6328. Initial coverage ends two months after the application month, unless the person applies for regular Medicaid or Presumptive Eligibility is extended due to a continued COVID-19 state of emergency. The state is extending Presumptive Eligibility benefits for three months for anyone who already applied and whose coverage was previously set to end June 30.

​Gov. Beshear announced the state has hired a globally renowned firm, Ernst & Young, to help overcome years of funding and personnel cuts to the Office of Unemployment Insurance and begin immediately processing outstanding claims that resulted from the COVID-19 global pandemic.


Starting Monday, June 29, the state will resume visitation at assisted living and personal care homes, group activities (10 or fewer) in facilities, communal dining and off-site appointments. Starting July 15, visitation will resume in nursing homes and in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IIDs).


​Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and Kevin Brown, interim commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, on Wednesday released long-awaited initial guidance for Kentucky schools looking ahead to opening this coming autumn. For more information, click here.

Announced that beginning next week, in-person unemployment insurance services will be offered five days a week in Frankfort. In addition, officials will begin taking the services on the road. In-person services will be provided Monday and Tuesday, June 29 and 30, in Ashland and Owensboro. On July 7 and 8, in-person services will be held in Somerset and Hopkinsville.


Announced updated guidance beginning next week for many venues, including restaurants and bars. The new guidance also covers wedding venues and gatherings of 50 or fewer people.


Announced that the state would continue to expand in-person services to help Kentuckians resolve unemployment insurance claims.


Offered updated guidance covering public pools and gatherings of up to 50 people.


Announced contact tracers will call people who may have been exposed from 1-844-KYTRACE (1-844-598-7223) to offer information and resources to keep them and others safe.

Announced Kentucky currently is performing mass testing of all inmates and staff members at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women (KCIW) in Shelby County. The decision comes after three staffers and 11 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. More than 270 of the facility’s 639 inmates have been tested thus far. Fortunately, no one from the facility has been hospitalized.


Announced churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship can begin hosting congregants at 50% of their pre-pandemic capacities.


Announced the launching of a new effort that aims to provide health care coverage for 100 percent of black and African-American people in the commonwealth.


Signed an executive order that extends previous orders allowing pharmacists to dispense 30-day refills. This order will be in effect until July 7.

Signed an executive order prohibiting price-gouging, extending a previous order. This order will remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.


Announced historical horse racing will begin June 8. NASCAR returns with no spectators on July 9.


​Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement with legislative leaders to avoid the need for the General Assembly to return in a special session to resolve budget matters.


​Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray signed an executive order temporarily authorizing circuit court clerk offices to process expired driving credential renewals and replacement requests remotely.

Cardholders whose operator’s license, permit or identification card was lost or expired between March 1 and June 30, 2020, may apply with their local circuit court clerk to receive a new card in the mail. For more information, click here.


​In April, there was a brief security breach with the unemployment insurance system, which has been resolved. The Governor is concerned by the situation and asked the Transportation Cabinet inspector general – who is independent from the Education Cabinet – to conduct a full review. The Governor is also reorganizing the unemployment insurance office, which will soon be under the Labor Cabinet, and bringing in new leadership.

Announced Kentucky Kingdom will reopen June 29 with extensive precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

​Gov. Beshear announced that he is hopeful the state will be able to open a limited number of public pools the week of June 29 with extensive precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Announced that the state will reopen the four Kentucky State Park lodges on June 8 that were previously designated to provide temporary housing for low acuity COVID-19 patients.

The four parks are:

  • Lake Cumberland State Resort Park;
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park;
  • Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

As the state continues to see a decline in cases, officials have determined that state park lodging is no longer necessary for future COVID-19 response efforts. Safely reopening the parks will create more in-state tourism opportunities for Kentuckians to enjoy and will help local economies rebound. 


​Announced that a new Absentee Ballot Application Portal is now online. A link to the State Board of Election’s portal can be found at

Voters in every county of the commonwealth can request a mail-in ballot for the June primary elections. The last day to apply for a ballot is June 15. The primary elections in Kentucky will be held June 23.

The deadline to register to vote is May 26. You can register to vote at

​Interstate travel ban is lifted. See executive order in English or Spanish.


Provided update on Healthy at Work June schedule:

For the full Healthy at Work timeline and industry-specific guidance in English and Spanish, visit

​Kentucky families with students who normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school (or who became eligible on or after March 13) may get financial assistance to replace those meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

For more information, click here.


​Gov. Beshear announced a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

To apply, eligible local governments with COVID-19-related expenses from March 1, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020, must complete an application with expense documentation, which will be available on DLG’s website tomorrow at 8 a.m. (EDT). For a detailed list of eligible expenses and guidelines, visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website.

The funding will be allocated to city and county governments based on approximate population size as recorded in the most recent census data.


​The Governor also announced the appointment of Mark Carter as executive adviser leading the contact tracing efforts in the Office of the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

Carter said the expanded seven-month contact tracing program combines public participation and the power of technology to help public health officials and health care providers contain the spread of COVID-19. Carter said information provided is kept completely private and confidential. Information regarding the individuals who have COVID-19 and people they have made in-person contact with recently is not released or made public. To view a video explaining contact tracing click here.

5/15/2020 ​The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will open Kentucky State resort parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins to the public for normal business hours beginning June 1. Park guests will be required to follow social distancing and public health guidelines. Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls State Resort Parks will also reopen on June 1.

Guests can begin making reservations beginning Tuesday, May 19. Reservations can be made online at

As part of the state’s ongoing effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the following Kentucky State Parks were designated to provide temporary housing for low acuity patients. These parks will not reopen at this time: (Barren River Lake State Resort Park is closed due to renovations)

  • Lake Cumberland State Resort Park;
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park;
  • Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

The Kentucky Horse ParkOtter Creek and state park campgrounds will open on June 11 to self-contained campers and RVs in accordance with the Healthy at Work camping guidelines. Fishing tournaments may resume on June 1 with new guidelines. 

The Salato Wildlife Education Center will open with limited capacity beginning June 1. Interactive exhibits will remain closed until further notice.


Announced that beginning May 22, groups of 10 people or fewer may gather and that the state’s travel ban is expiring the same day, the Friday ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.


Announced the next step in the reopening of the state’s health care sector. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued directives governing the opening of hospitals and other health care facilities. Beginning May 13, hospitals and care facilities can begin doing non-emergency surgeries and procedures at 50% of their pre-COVID-19-era patient volume. Facilities will determine their own patient capacities starting May 27, as long as progress continues.​


​Issued guidance to houses of worship on how to more safely hold in-person worship services.


​The Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) issued an order that halts disconnections for non-payment and fees for late payments. Anyone threatening to cut off your electricity during the COVID-19 emergency is likely a scammer. Gov. Beshear also issued an executive order that continues to halt utilities disconnection for non-payment and fees for late payment for utility services not regulated by the KPSC. This order applies to water, gas, electric and wastewater service.

​Signed an executive order that extends previous orders allowing pharmacists to dispense 30-day refills. This order will be in effect until June 7.


Announced the second phase of reopening the commonwealth’s economy, but urged patience and caution until we finish the fight against COVID-19.

All businesses should follow the 10 rules of staying healthy at work as well as industry-specific guidance, which will be issued as soon as possible. The new tentative dates for reopening are:

  • May 22 – Restaurants, with limited 33% capacity and outdoor seating
  • June 1 – Movie theaters, fitness centers
  • June 11 – Campgrounds, public and private
  • June 15 – Child care, with reduced capacity; and potentially low-touch and outdoor youth sports

Phase 3 is coming July 1 with bars (with limitations) and gatherings up to 50 people allowed.


​Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said Health Care Phase 2 is beginning with outpatient and ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures.

Announced the state is changing its travel restrictions to better comply with judicial findings and more closely mirror the guidance of neighboring states.

The Governor issued a new executive order that continues to ban anyone with a positive or presumptively positive case of COVID-19 from entering Kentucky, except as ordered for medical treatment. It also keeps in place requirements of social distancing on public transportation.

Those traveling from out of state into Kentucky and staying are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.


Announced a new drive-through testing site in Pikeville, as part of a partnership with the Pike County Health Department, Gravity Labs and Pikeville Medical Center. The testing is being conducted today through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pikeville Medical Center, 172 S. Mayo Trail in Pikeville. The site can conduct 70 tests daily and filled all of those slots today. 

For more information on testing locations and how to sign up visit,

Announced state officials were working to clear the final claims from March and that the few remaining outstanding issues had to do with disagreements with the employer about terms of separation.

​Gov. Beshear announced that the state will begin an aggressive program to test patients and staff in long-term care facilities. He also said that Perdue Farms would be taking the necessary steps to test employees.

Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown provided an update on the testing at Green River Correctional Complex and outlined the steps being taken to separate those inmates who have tested positive and prevent the spread of the virus as well as steps to isolate the complex’s vulnerable population and to disinfect the facility.


Under the schedule outlined by Gov. Beshear, more businesses will be allowed to open May 11 with new minimum requirements, as well as industry specific requirements. Among the businesses that will be allowed to operate:

As long as progress in the fight against COVID-19 is not threatened, additional business sectors will be allowed to open May 20 and May 25.

Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said Health Care Phase 2 will begin Wednesday, May 6, 2020, outpatient and ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures may resume.

All patients must have COVID-19 pre-procedure testing per professional association guidelines consistent with KDPH guidance. The 10 rules of reopening also apply, which includes universal masking and personal protective equipment (PPE), closed common areas, along with requirements to follow specific procedure guidance.

Announced a new partnership to expand coronavirus testing in Northern Kentucky.

The state is working with St. Elizabeth Healthcare to bring expanded testing to Erlanger and other locations. Free drive-through testing will be conducted May 11 to May 15 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 25 Atlantic Ave., in Erlanger. People should call 800-737-7900 to register. St. Elizabeth also is offering physician-consult testing at five testing locations.

Announced a partnership with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association to get personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer to our small businesses as they prepare to be Healthy at Work.

Masks can be purchased at They are $1 each.

Businesses in need can visit and put in a request to purchase sanitizer with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.


​Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s public health commissioner, announced that Kentucky hospitals will now be using the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System™ that uses vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP) to decontaminate N95 respirator masks for up to 20 reuses without degrading filter performance.

Announced Kentucky is one of the pilot states for a new program allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – or food benefits – recipients to use benefits online, including for delivery orders. Amazon and Walmart are currently the only retailers that have partnered with Kentucky for online SNAP purchasing.

Amazon will ship statewide. Walmart will deliver to select locations and also offers grocery pickup as an option to SNAP recipients and all other households. Shipping and delivery fees, when applicable, must be paid with another means of payment. They cannot be paid with SNAP benefits.

More information on who can become an online SNAP retailer and how to apply is available at Kentuckians can apply for SNAP by calling 1-855-306-8959 or at


Announced tentative schedule for re-opening many industries in May, as well as which industries will still need to stay closed until a later date.


Unveiled a new, 10-point plan that aims to guide businesses as they prepare for a gradual reopening while continuing to keep all workers and patrons safe. He said the guidelines apply to most employers.

Highlighted new testing options in Oldham and Mason counties.

The Oldham County Health Department is asking everyone to register for testing there through its website, and Buffalo Trace District Health Department asks those seeking tests to call 606-564-9447.

Gov. Beshear is urging Kentuckians to fill up all available testing slots at multiple sites throughout the commonwealth. Anyone can now sign up for the free COVID-19 testing. For the latest information on drive-through testing, visit

4/27/2020 Announced the four phases of health care reopening and detailed guidance and dates for each phase. Click here for more information.
Announced that a significant new infrastructure for contact tracing will be needed, and the state is preparing to hire more than 700 people across the state to help with contact tracing. A request for proposals will be issued this week to support the state with infrastructure and staffing.

The Governor said that by May 11, everybody working for an essential business that is reopening should be wearing a mask. Going to the grocery, into any place of business or any place where social distancing of keeping at least six-feet apart might be broken, the Governor said every Kentuckian should be wearing a mask.

As of today, dental offices may reopen under Phase 1, provided they follow certain protocols and have the proper equipment to do so. The Board of Dentistry, along with the Kentucky Dental Association, Kentucky Dental Hygienists’ Association and a number of other groups have developed the following guidelines for safely operating dental offices under Phase 1.

​​Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians they can fill out their Census at or by phone at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (español).

​Urged Kentuckians to fill up all available testing slots at multiple sites throughout the commonwealth. Anyone can now sign up for the free COVID-19 testing. For more information on drive-through testing, visit


Announced those who applied for unemployment insurance in March should hear back this week.


​Announced additional testing locations. Click here for more information.

​Governor Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced new voting guidelines for the June primary. Click here for more information.

​Governor Beshear commuted an additional 352 sentences. All of those who were commuted were serving sentences for non-violent, non-sexual offenses and had 5 years or fewer remaining on their sentences.


​Announced that Monday, April 27, the state will begin the gradual restart and reopening of our Phase 1 health care services and facilities, although they will operate vastly different than they did before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Click here for detailed guidance.

​Announced that just today, the state ran 6,769 tests. In addition to health care facilities, Kentuckians can be tested free of charge for COVID-19 at different Kroger and Walgreens sites. Click here for the full list.

Reminded Kentuckians of the precautions the state is taking in long-term care facilities, including: encouraging all residents to wear masks, cancelling communal dining and social activities, minimizing entry into resident rooms, restricting non-essential personnel from entering the building, daily temperature checks and adopting a low threshold to transfer ill residents to a higher level of care.

Announced the launch of “Healthy at Work,” a new initiative to help Kentucky businesses reopen safely as we fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Healthy at Work offers a phased approach to reopening Kentucky’s economy. It is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts.

During Phase 1 of Healthy at Work, the Kentucky Department for Public Health will determine whether Kentucky has met certain public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy. These benchmarks closely follow the White House’s Guidelines for Reopening America.

During Phase 2 of Healthy at Work, the Department for Public Health will evaluate individual businesses’ ability to safely reopen.

Among other things, each business proposal is required to explain its ability to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees, adequate access to hand sanitizer and disinfectant, and minimal direct contact between employees and the public.

Offered an update on the levels of PPE available in the commonwealth. He praised all of the individuals who have answered the call and donated these essential items for our health care workers. “In the last week, we have more gloves, surgical masks, face shields, respirator masks and coveralls,” the Governor announced. Among the PPE items where Kentucky has seen growth in inventories, Gov. Beshear reported the state has on-hand about 1.5 million surgical masks, 365,000 N95 masks, 930,000 KN95 masks, 446,000 face shields, 4.5 million gloves and 37,000 gowns. All areas showed improved stocks over the past couple of weeks.


Advised the commonwealth’s education leaders to keep facilities closed to in-person instruction for the rest of the school year. Governor Beshear said the move is in line with newly released guidelines from the White House as well as Kentucky’s own newly announced benchmarks that the commonwealth must meet in order to start reopening the state’s economy while keeping Kentuckians safe from the novel coronavirus.

Announced that the state has processed twice as many unemployment insurance claims since March 8 as it did in all of 2019.

Announced four new drive-through testing sites: Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset and Pikeville. Kentuckians can sign up for testing that begins later this week at, or call 888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).


Discussed benchmarks that the commonwealth must meet in order to start reopening the state’s economy while keeping Kentuckians safe from the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The steps reflect federal guidance announced Thursday by the White House.

Benchmark criteria for Kentucky to move to the first stage

  • 14 days where cases are decreasing
  • Increased testing capacity and contact tracing
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) availability
  • Ability to protect at-risk populations
  • Ability to social distance and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on large gatherings
  • Preparedness for possible future spike
  • Status of vaccine and treatment

Announced that Kentucky is joining with Governors, Eric Holcomb of Indiana, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Tim Walz of Minnesota and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan to closely coordinate plans to reopen the regional economies when the time is right.

Announced the opening of state facilities to house people ill with or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Initially, the shelters will be available at Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland state parks. The program is a partnership with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and local health departments, the Kentucky Department of Parks, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Kentucky National Guard and volunteer medical staff.

Discussed benchmarks that the commonwealth must meet in order to start reopening the state’s economy while keeping Kentuckians safe from the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The steps reflect federal guidance announced Thursday by the White House.

4/15/2020 Announced the first stage of a unique testing regime, starting with frontline health care workers, that is designed to save lives and get people back to work. The Co-Immunity Project is a collaboration among the State of Kentucky, Louisville Metro Government, the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute and several major health care companies through the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council. The project will focus on comprehensive testing, centered on antibodies and developing donor plasma resources.
Announced that former Lt. Govs. Jerry Abramson, Steve Henry, Crit Luallen, Daniel Mongiardo and Steve Pence will co-chair the Team Kentucky Fund to help Kentuckians whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.
Announced that the field hospital at the Kentucky Exposition Center is now operational.
4/14/2020 Announced that the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is making the largest gift in the storied organization’s history: $1 million to the Team Kentucky Fund.
Loosened drive-through testing eligibility parameters to allow more people to qualify. Also announced a second drive-through testing site in Kenton County. People can register at, or call 888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).
4/13/2020 Ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff for one week in honor of the more than 100 Kentuckians who have passed away due to COVID-19.
​4/12/2020 Announced a partnership that will greatly expand the testing capability in Kentucky. The state’s first drive-through testing site will be free of charge and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, April 13, through Thursday, April 16, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Additional locations will be announced later this week, and the goal is to run 20,000 tests over five weeks.
4/10/2020 Convened a new task force aimed at addressing concerns in Kentucky’s long-term care facilities, where residents and staffers are at elevated risk to coronavirus outbreaks. The new 10-member advisory board is comprised of professionals who represent a range of specialties and perspectives.
4/9/2020 ​In a move to prevent crowds from congregating, Gov. Beshear announced that Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls state resort parks have been ordered to close.
Expanded the number of workers who can receive workers compensation if they are ordered to quarantine. The coverage now will be extended to military, active National Guard, child-care workers, grocery workers, corrections officers, domestic violence shelter workers, child advocacy workers, rape crisis center workers, postal workers and Department of Community Based Services workers.

​Announced a new executive order limiting the number of people in stores that remain open. Only one adult per household should shop at one time.
​4/5/2020 ​Announced the state has entered a new agreement with Gravity Diagnostics. The company will provide up to 2,000 tests a day.
4/4/2020 ​In an added measure, Gov. Beshear said Kentucky is adopting on a voluntary basis the new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending that people wear cloth masks in some situations. Gov. Beshear also stressed that wearing a cloth mask is a measure to be added to social distancing, not to replace it.
4/3/2020 ​A new hotline (1-833-GIVE PPE) and website ( streamline the entire donation process. In addition, PPE donations now will be accepted at all 16 Kentucky State Police posts across the commonwealth and at Transportation Cabinet offices in Louisville and Lexington.
4/2/2020 Recommended that school districts statewide extend the suspension of in-person instruction until at least May 1.
Commuted the sentences of 186 inmates identified as being medically vulnerable to the coronavirus, and plans to commute the sentences of another 743 inmates in state custody who are due to complete their sentences within the next six months. All of those receiving commutations were being held for non-violent, non-sexual offenses.

​Announced that, beginning Friday, all Kentucky State Parks no longer will be open for overnight stays. The facilities will be open for use during daytime hours as long as visitors maintain proper social distancing. Kentucky State Parks will be open to the public between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

​Announced plans are moving ahead to convert the state fairgrounds in Louisville into a 2,000-bed makeshift hospital.

​Asked anyone who could make donations of gloves or other PPE supplies to call the National Guard Hotline at 502-607-6844 or go to

​Announced Gov. Beshear expanded a recent order restricting travel to include people from out of state coming into the commonwealth. Anyone from out of state has to follow the same travel restrictions as Kentuckians. If people want to stay in Kentucky with a family member or friend for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, that is okay, but they need to quarantine for 14 days when they get here and not travel anywhere else. 


Issued an executive order allowing critical workforce sectors to rehire previously retired workers to fill key roles. The order, which last the duration of the state of emergency, applies to law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, park rangers and corrections officers.

Issued an executive order easing restrictions on nurses who live out of state and making it quicker to obtain a license.

Issued an order that restricts out-of-state travel, with four exceptions: 1) travel to other states for work or groceries, 2) travel to care for loved ones, 3) travel to obtain health care and 4) travel when required by a court order.


Announced that Kentuckians can still go to Tennessee for work, to take care of a loved one or even buy groceries if it is closer, but the Governor asks that unnecessary travel to Tennessee end. He asked Kentuckians not to travel across the southern state-line to partake in activities that have been limited, or were limited earlier in Kentucky.

3/26/2020 ​Announced a new website portal to connect businesses interested in donating services or supplies with Kentuckians and Kentucky medical facilities in need.
Asked mayors and county judge-executives to monitor people gathering in public places such as parks and stop them if people are not practicing social distancing and risking the spread of COVID-19.

Announced unemployment eligibility has been expanded effective immediately due to COVID-19. Individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits can now file. Those who left their job for “good cause” because of reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine) or due to caring for a family member affected by the virus are also eligible. To file a claim, visit

Suspended evictions in the state of Kentucky for the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency.
Announced Kentuckians would begin to see National Guard and additional law enforcement at local hospitals beginning this week.
Entered new orders to allow for more telehealth options in Kentucky than ever before.
​Effective Thursday, March 26, at 8 p.m., all non-life-sustaining businesses must cease all in-person services.

The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.

Most professional services, including attorneys, accountants and those in real estate, can be performed at home. As the Governor has said previously, restaurants can remain open for delivery, curbside pickup and even carry out if they follow guidelines on social distancing.


Announced Gov. Beshear would sign an executive order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. Businesses that can stay open still need to practice safe social distancing. The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.

The Governor said most professional services, including attorneys, accountants and those in real estate, can be performed at home. Restaurants can still remain open for delivery, curbside pickup and even carry out if they follow guidelines on social distancing.

​The Kentucky Department of Education has canceled plans to administer the K-PREP assessment for the 2019-2020 school year. The move comes after a waiver was granted by the U.S. Department of Education. K-PREP testing will resume in spring 2021 and current assessments will be in effect until then.

Announced that Kentucky is significantly ahead of other Southern states in preparedness, volunteer coordination and meal delivery programs for seniors. On Monday, March 23, 11,825 meals were served statewide, an increase of 3,825 meals (150%), according to the Department of Health and Family Services.

Announced state workers would begin helping at food banks because of the low number of volunteers those organizations have seen during the coronavirus outbreak.


​Gov. Beshear signed an executive order to cease all elective medical procedures. He previously recommended ceasing them, but additional action became necessary because some groups did not follow the original guidance.

Announced changes in mass layoff parameters. Any employer with at least 50 employees, who is laying off at least 15 employees, is encouraged to file a claim on behalf of their employees through the E-Claims process. 138 state workers have been trained for Unemployment Insurance claims adjudication to alleviate any case backlog.

In collaboration with the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet (PPC), Gov. Beshear took executive action to establish the Team Kentucky Fund, a fundraising platform designed to provide financial assistance to Kentuckians whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. He challenged Kentuckians who are able to make a tax-deductibledonation.

​To combat guideline noncompliance, Gov. Beshear announced the COVID-19 Reporting Hotline. To report an incident, call 1-833-597-2337. Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and will respond to messages left after hours.  A new website where Kentuckians can visit to make online complaints is

Encouraged all TV and radio stations to conduct Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about social distancing and other state guidelines to combat the coronavirus.


​Gov. Beshear announced that all in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining will close effective Monday, March 23, at 8 p.m.

  • Life-sustaining retail businesses that will stay open include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, gas stations and other businesses that provide staple goods. A full list of categories of life-sustaining, in-person retail businesses is attached to the order.
  • Entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, shoe, jewelry and furniture stores, florists, bookstores and auto dealers are among those business that will close. Non-essential retail businesses, while they cannot allow Kentuckians into stores, can still fill phone and online orders through curbside services or delivery.
  • Retail businesses that remain open must follow, to the fullest extent practicable, social distancing and hygiene guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, which includes ensuring physical separation of employees and customers by at least six feet when possible; ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures and ordering sick individuals to leave the premises. Failure to follow the order could subject a business to closure.

Extendedexecutive order to prohibit price gouging for 15 more days. The order can continue to be renewed as needed. If anyone has information regarding possible price gouging, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or fill out the complaint form online.

​3/20/2020 Recommended Kentucky schools cease in-person instruction until at least April 20.

​Successfully qualified the entire state for Small Business Administration disaster certification. Now, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

  • Businesses should also work with their banks, credit unions and other lenders. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has encouraged financial institutions to assist and work with customers in a “prudent manner,” especially borrowers and customers from the most affected industries.
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at The SBA is also mobilizing call centers to assist in the loan-application process. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail To view a copy of the SBA fact sheet, click here.
Mirrored the federal government by delaying the tax filing deadline by three months from April 15 to July 15.
Announced that Kentucky’s bourbon distillers are working with the state to produce and distribute hand sanitizer.

Announced that businesses have stepped up to donate N95 masks: Toyota (1,827 masks), Gray Construction (50 masks), AE Electrical Solutions (40 masks). Plumbers and pipefitters have also donated respirators.


​Issued interim guidance for establishing partnerships between approved health care facilities and limited-duration child care programs to support child care for employees of health care entities, first responders (Law Enforcement, EMS, Fire Departments), corrections officers and Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) workers. The guidance is online at and directly linked below.

Announced that restaurants that have an active liquor license, that are also doing food delivery or carry out, may also deliver sealed alcoholic beverages, in their original containers to customers.

Issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings. The measure states what Gov. Beshear has previously recommended, including:

  • All mass gatherings are hereby prohibited.
  • Mass gatherings include any event or convening that brings together groups of individuals, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

Issued executive order that encourages all Kentuckians to take all feasible measures to comply with social distancing guidelines from the CDC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health; and required all state agencies, including all cabinets, departments, boards, and commissions, to take all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure appropriate social distancing, such as providing services via mail, internet, telephone, and video conferences, and extending deadlines that necessitate in-person appearances. 

​The Department of Community Based Services extended certification periods for all recipients of all public assistance programs for three months.

Made changes so that any of those who are now unemployed, who have lost benefits, can immediately apply for Medicaid.
Suspended all charitable gaming licenses. (e.g. Bingo halls must close.)
Announced that repository institutions (banks) are financially strong, well-capitalized, and well-managed. There is no need to make a run on them. There is going to be a reduction of lobby access, and a change of hours; they will accept loan applications online or by phone, and they are going to perform transactions electronically.
Announced that our food chain is safe, there is going to be enough out there for everyone.
3/17/2020 Closed the State Capitol to non-essential personnel.
Closed state government buildings across Kentucky to in-person services.

​Signed an executive order that by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, all public-facing businesses that encourage public congregation or that by the nature of their service to the public cannot comply with the CDC guidelines concerning social distancing are going to have to cease their operations. These businesses must include: entertainment and recreational facilities, community and recreation centers, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, and sporting event facilities.

There are some businesses that are exempt: food providers, food processors, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, retail, groceries, consumer goods, home repair, hardware, auto repair, pharmacies, other medical facilities, biomedical, health care, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging can all remain open at this point, but must follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. Malls are considered retail, so they are not a part of the executive order at the moment.

​The state is working with federal partners to continue the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payments on behalf of qualified families for centers during the mandatory closure period. The state will also be covering co-payments typically covered by families.

​Acute facilities should be discouraging all visitors at this time except for end-of-life circumstances.

​Psychiatric facilities should restrict visitation and only allow it if deemed medically necessary by the attending physician, administrator, and medical director.

​Senior care facilities and intermediate care facilities should limit visitation only to loved ones of those who are receiving end-of-life care, and for those residents they should expect to shelter in place.

Issued interim guidance for adult day care centers that requires the temporary closure of all licensed adult day care centers beginning on March 20.

​Posted on our website different examples of how state government is shutting down in-person services. We will work with Kentuckians to provide services remotely.


Moved the Emergency Operations Center to level 3. That helps us with preparation and response.

​Signed an executive order to close all restaurants and bars to in-person traffic. Exceptions for drive-through, delivery, and in some instances, take out.

Waived the waiting period for unemployment for people that are losing their jobs due to coronavirus, and will waive any work search requirements while the state of emergency is in effect.

Asked childcare centers across Kentucky to close by end of business on Friday, with some exceptions in the policy for health care workers and on-site employers.

Provided a three month extension on driver’s licenses.

Applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration.The U.S. Small Business Association is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses (private and non-profit organizations) suffering from substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus.

​With the recommendation from our Secretary of State, postponed the primary elections by the 35 days allowed under state law. That means they will be moved to June 23, 2020.


Brought Kentuckians on the Grand Princess cruise ship back home.


​Followed the emergency declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which provides regulatory relief for commercial drivers who are providing direct assistance to COVID-19 relief efforts.

​The USDA approved our waiver to be able to serve meals to students during Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI).

​Issued guidance to state agencies to decrease on-site staffing by at least 50 percent to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Asked Kentucky hospitals to cease elective procedures by close of business Wednesday, March 18.

​Guaranteed that COVID-19 testing would be free to all Kentuckians, even if they are uninsured.

Asked childcare centers to create plans for closure they could implement within 72 hours if deemed necessary.

Took the steps to force a home isolation when the COVID-19 patient initially refused to self-quarantine.

Issued tips and guidance to help support good mental health and relieve anxiety.


Recommended the temporary closure of senior centers to help halt the spread of the virus for those most vulnerable. Meals will still be available at many senior centers via drive through pick-up or delivery.

Announced effective immediately that Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) will provide wage replacement benefits for first responders and medical personnel who have been quarantined for COVID-19 as a result of their increased risk of exposure in the course of their work.

Announced Boards and Commissions will cancel any scheduled in-person meetings, and instead use video teleconference technology. Boards and commissions will provide the public with a link to access the meeting remotely.


Recommended that all school superintendents in Kentucky cease in-person classes for an extended period of time beginning Monday, March 16.


​Cancelled the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

​Recommended social distancing for everyone. For a complete list of guidance on social distancing, click here.

Instructed school districts to be prepared to close on short notice, as short as 72 hours.

Advised that all community gatherings should be cancelled or postponed.

Suspended out-of-state travel for state employees.

Encouraged all businesses to allow employees to work from home if at all possible. If not possible, people should spread out in meeting and work spaces by increasing distance between seats.


Limited visits to long-term care facilities and nursing homes, except in an end-of-life situation.

​Signed an executive order that allows pharmacists to refill prescriptions for up to 30 days.

Closed all state prisons to visitors.


​Issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees. The Governor is also telling providers to expand their network to patients that may go outside their normal providers.

​Shared a when-to-seek-care infographic.
​Called all 120 county judge-executives to update them and discuss the emergency management network.

Initiated changes to Medicaid, including eliminating prior authorization and any type of fees associated with testing or treatment for the coronavirus.


​Activated the State Health Operations Center.

​Announced Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline, 1-800-722-5725.

​Announced Kentucky’s COVID-19 informational website,

​Issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging. Asked Attorney General Daniel Cameron to enforce the price-gouging laws. If anyone has information regarding possible price gouging, they should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 1-888-432-9257.

Adjusted state government sick leave policy to ensure state employees who are sick can stay home – even for new employees who have not accrued leave time.

Encouraged businesses to implement sick leave policy so sick employees, do not come to work and expose others because of financial concerns.

​Published the CDC guidelines with warnings for high-risk individuals. Those include:

  • Individuals over 60, do not go places where there are large crowds
  • Individuals that have heart, lung, or kidney disease, or have compromised immune systems, do not go to places where there are large crowds
  • For both of these vulnerable populations, do not fly, and whatever you do, do not get on a cruise ship.
​Recommended social distancing for those with high-risk. For a complete list of guidance on social distancing, click here.
​3/6/2020 ​Declared a State of Emergency.
​Activated the Emergency Management Operations Center.