COVID-19 State News
COVID-19 State News
New State Guidelines: Today (November 18, 2020) Governor Andy Beshear announced new mandates to combat the spread of COVID-19. These will take effect beginning on Friday, November 20 at 4 p.m. Central time with a three to six week duration.
The Governor said these mandates represent the state’s 3rd “counter attack against the virus” and strongly stated “this is not and there will not be a shut down.” Instead, he said, the changes are targeted steps to stop the spread and added they are designed to cause the least amount of disruption possible.
Among the biggest changes (most of which have a mandate from Friday, November 20 through Sunday, December 13):
- Restaurants and bars will be closed for indoor dining services (can still do outdoor dining, delivery and to go)
- Limited indoor social gatherings: Limited to your current household plus one other household; and not to exceed eight people.
- Indoor venues, event spaces or theatres can host no more than 25 people per room. This includes funerals and weddings. Does not apply to places of worship - rules to be issued tomorrow.
- Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, pools and similar businesses must reduce capacity to 33% occupancy. Group classes are prohibited. Anyone inside the facility must maintain 6 ft. distance, and masks are required. No indoor practices for any sports.
- Professional services and office-based businesses must reduce capacity to 33% and allow as many employees to work from home as possible. If possible, these businesses should close to the public and, if open, maintain 33% of employees at most in the facility at one time.
- All public and private schools (K-12) will cease in-person instruction beginning Nov. 23. Middle and high schools will remain in remote instruction until January 4, 2021. Elementary schools may reopen on Dec. 7 if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at Schools guidance.
Fall Sports: The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) has postponed all fall sports and practices until past the Dec. 13 date. That same decision will be applied to all indoor recreation facilities, prohibiting indoor practices for sports teams. Individual lessons are allowed, but masks are required.
KHSAA has also delayed the start of basketball season and other winter sports until January 4 and will conclude the season in late March in the hope of avoiding too much overlap with spring sports. The decision governs public schools in the state of Kentucky. January 4 also will mark the beginning of other winter sports -- swimming, wrestling and competitive cheer and dance. University and colleges are also being asked to move to virtual instruction.
Relief for Restaurants and Bars: Gov. Beshear has allotted $40 million to assist restaurants and bars impacted by these shutdowns. Businesses that qualify will receive $10,000 to use for various costs. The maximum award is $20,000, if a qualifying restaurant or bar has more than one location. Businesses with 50% of sales via drive-thru will not be eligible and no publicly traded company will qualify. Applications will be accepted online from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18. It will be administered by the Public Protection Cabinet. More details about Team Kentucky Food and Beverage Relief Fund and the application process will be released by the Governor’s Office soon.
COVID-19 Contract Tracing Update: The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Public Health departments have issued new information regarding Contract Tracing Strategy Adaptations. During an epidemic, contact tracing can be useful as a mitigation strategy, however when the disease incidence is too high, it exceeds public health system capacity and must be adapted to prioritize efforts. These three documents show the adaptations, what to do if exposed and COVID-19 Patient Guidance.
- Contact Tracing Prioritization Document
- Guidance If You Were Exposed to COVID-19
- COVID-19 Patient Guidance
Recent Numbers: The Daily Report issued by the Governor had the state with 2,753 cases today and 15 total new deaths. The state’s COVID-19 Testing Positivity Rate is 9.13% based on a 7-day rolling average. McCracken County was listed with 52 new cases today (11/18/20) and a total of 2,008 cases. For a copy of the daily report, click here.
Kentucky Businesses Reopening Phases:
State Guidelines for Reopening Businesses: Industry guidelines were released yesterday under the Healthy at Work plan outlined by Gov. Beshear. Specific businesses will be allowed to open May 11 with new minimum requirements, as well as industry specific requirements. Click below to find those requirements by industry:
June 10, 2020:
- Barbershops/Cosmetology/Hair Salons 2.0 (up to 50% capacity)
- Massage Therapy 2.0 (up to 50% capacity)
- Nail Salons 2.0 (up to 50% capacity)
- Tanning Salons 2.0 (up to 50% capacity)
- Tattoo Parlors 2.0 (up to 50% capacity)
Healthy at Work Minimum Requirements Updated: The business community, led by the Kentucky Chamber, has worked closely with the administration on updating the minimum requirements for reopening. Changes were announced in the Executive Order released Sunday. Many of these requirements have changed since the initial announcement of business requirements for reopening. All information can be found at healthyatwork.ky.gov.
If your business is having any issues finding the supplies needed to be ready to open, please refer to our Suppliers list on our COVID-19 page at paducahchamber.org or give us a call. The Paducah Chamber’s goal is to help all businesses to be ready to open.
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 state’s industry specific guidelines for these openings have not been released yet. We continue to update our website with this information.
For restaurants to begin to prepare, here is a link to the guidance from the National Restaurants Association. The Paducah Chamber and Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a webinar for the restaurants as soon as more guidelines are released. We are working with the Kentucky Restaurant Association. Stay tuned! It’s in the works.
Click HERE for the latest legislative information from the Kentucky Chamber Bottom Line