FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 10, 2020) – On Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear re-emphasized the importance of wearing face coverings in many situations to protect Kentucky lives and our economy and to preserve the commonwealth’s hard-won but fragile progress in the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
On Thursday, the Governor issued a new executive order and today filed an emergency regulation requiring Kentuckians to wear face coverings under several circumstances for the next 30 days. The order went into effect at 5 p.m. today.
According to health experts, wearing face coverings not only protects others, it also lowers the infection risk for those wearing masks by 65%. The Governor also pointed to analysis from Goldman Sachs showing that if everyone in America was required to wear face coverings in public, it could save the U.S. economy from losing 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. Gov. Beshear noted that 5% of Kentucky’s Gross State Product alone is $10.4 billion.
Click here to read the executive order’s requirements and exemptions, which include children who are 5 or younger and anyone with a disability or a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.
Concern Regarding COVID-19 Spread in Day Cares
Today, the Governor reminded Kentuckians of how important it is that day cares follow all public health guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19, due to recent outbreaks at child care centers across the United States. For example, earlier this week, officials reported that at least 1,335 people in Texas tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting the virus at a child care center. The Governor said Kentucky has 22 child care center cases, 15 staff and seven children.
As of 4 p.m. July 10, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 18,670 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 426 of which were newly reported Friday. The Governor said today’s report included several young children.
Beshear reported eight new deaths Friday, raising the total to 620 Kentuckians lost to the virus. The deaths reported Friday include a 68-year-old man from Clay County; an 88-year-old woman from Fayette County; an 89-year-old woman from Grant County; a 69-year-old man from Russell County; an 81-year-old woman from Shelby County; and two women, ages 78 and 79, and a 61-year-old man from Warren County.
As of Friday, there have been at least 470,548 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 5,258 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.
For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.
Long-Term Care Update
Today, Gov. Beshear shared that Kentucky has had 72.9 long-term care resident COVID-19 cases per 1,000 residents and 19.2 COVID-19 deaths per 1,000 residents. While the commonwealth’s long-term care facilities, fortunately, have fared far better than those in many other states, Gov. Beshear said he was committed to protecting even more residents from contracting this disease.
Two hundred and eighty-three of 284 facilities have been fully tested. There have been 60,703 total molecular diagnostic COVID-19 tests performed in the state’s long-term care facilities. Kentucky was awarded $313,897 in Civil Monetary Penalty funds for meeting infection-control deadline in 100% of facilities. Those funds will be invested in tele-visitation technology at 224 facilities, allowing hundreds of Kentuckians more access to their loved ones.
Today, Executive Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown announced that the Kentucky Correctional Industries’ garment plant, located at Kentucky State Penitentiary, has produced over 142,000 cloth masks since beginning production on April 3, with 45,000 going to state prisons for incarcerated individuals and staff. Wearing masks is mandatory for all staff working in a prison.
In addition, Correctional Industries has been producing medical-grade disposable surgical gowns and has produced over 23,000 gowns thus far. The gowns were distributed to state prisons for use in COVID-19 positive housing units, Juvenile Justice, Veterans’ Affairs, Emergency Management and county jails.
Update for Kentuckians with Outstanding UI Claims
The Governor reminded Kentuckians with outstanding unemployment insurance claims to answer their phones when called by contractor Ernst and Young’s number: 502-333-9130. About 50% of calls currently aren’t being answered.
Department for Public Health Order Related to Molecular Diagnostic Testing
Yesterday, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health (DPH) issued an order related to health insurers and licensed clinician’s COVID-19 testing in the commonwealth.
Executive Order on Door-to-Door Solicitation
Today, the Governor signed an executive order allowing door-to-door solicitation in the commonwealth, provided solicitors comply with Healthy at Work minimum requirements and retail requirements, in addition to wearing face coverings and gloves. Healthy at Work requirements are also available in Spanish online.
Executive Order on Prescription Refills
On March 10, Gov. Beshear signed an executive order that allows pharmacists to dispense emergency 30-day refills on prescriptions. Today, the Governor announced that on July 7, he renewed this order again. The current order will expire on Aug. 6, but is subject to renewal.