Last updated on March 27 at 5:15 p.m. E.D.T.
As of March 27, Kentucky is reporting 248 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). Five people have died from the virus within the state, according to the Johns Hopkins Virus Dashboard.
A collection of new cases confirmed on March 23 included someone who had recently attended a "coronavirus party," rather than following social distancing practices recommended by the governor, according to the The Lexington Herald Leader. Six additional cases have been connected to a single St. Patrick's Day party, according to NBC News.
On March 24, Governor Andy Beshear announced that all businesses that aren’t "life-sustaining" must close to in-person traffic by end-of-business March 26, the Herald Leader reported.
"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," according to KPDH.
Restaurants may remain open for delivery, curbside pickup and carry out if they follow guidelines on social distancing.
Kentucky's COVID-19 hotline: (800) 722-5725
On March 17, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to close all entertainment and recreational facilities, community and recreation centers, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, sporting event facilities, and any other venues that "encourage public congregation." Restaurants that have an active liquor license and offer food delivery or carry out may also deliver sealed alcoholic beverages in their original containers. On March 19, Beshear issued a letter formally banning all mass gatherings.
All adult day care centers must be closed by March 20. Acute, psychiatric, senior care facilities and intermediate care facilities are being asked to restrict visitations.
Some businesses, specified here, remain exempt from the order provided they follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. These include construction, manufacturing, agriculture, trash collection, grocery, retail, auto repair, pharmacy, biomedical, post offices, banks, gas stations, veterinarians, pet stores, storage, hotels and commercial lodging, according to WLWT5.
One man in Nelson County who tested positive informed the local health department that he would not follow the medical recommendation to self-quarantine in his home, The Washington Post reported. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office posted armed deputies outside his home over the weekend to enforce the quarantine, and on Monday, the man agreed to maintain the quarantine himself. But deputies remained stationed outside his home, just in case.
On March 16, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state's first death related to COVID-19. The patient was a male who had multiple medical conditions. The first case of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky was detected on March 6.
In his announcement, the governor also directed all restaurants and bars to close with the exceptions of drive through and delivery. The State Capital building will be closing to all nonessential personnel.
The governor has already declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order to waive insurance fees and allow residents without insurance to receive testing if needed.
All public schools in Kentucky, including the Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf are closed, as of March 16. Hospitals have been asked to postpone elective procedures, and the governor has also recommended that senior centers be closed "to help halt the spread of the virus for those most vulnerable."
The Kentucky Derby, initially scheduled for May 2, will be moved to Saturday, Sept. 5 in response to COVID-19 and the Kentucky Oaks will be on Sept. 4, according to WLKY.
Cases by county:
- Confirmed, but not yet assigned a county: 104
- Jefferson: 35
- Fayette: 28
- Daviess: 14
- Harrison: 10
- Kenton: 8
- Warren: 5
- Pulaski: 3
- Anderson: 2
- Bourbon: 2
- Clark: 2
- Oldham: 1
- Montgomery: 2
- Nelson: 1
- Lyon: 1
- Franklin: 2
- Henderson: 2
- Calloway: 1
- Madison: 2
- Menifee: 1
- Jessamine: 1
- Breathitt: 2
- Spencer: 1
- Hardin: 2
- Christian: 2
- McCracken: 2
- Muhlenberg: 2
- Allen: 1
- Boone: 1
- Campbell: 1
- Laurel: 1
- Logan: 1
- Martin: 1
- Menifee: 1
- Scott: 1
- Simpson: 1
- Webster: 1
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Originally published on Live Science.
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