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COVID-19 update: actions called for to stop spread
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 14, 2020) - Today, Gov. Andy Beshear held a briefing for Kentuckians and the media where he said Kentucky now has a total of 18 positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and added the recommendations that childcare centers create plans for closure within 72 hours and that hospitals soon cease elective procedures.
Gov. Beshear has initiated the following actions statewide:
- Declared a state of emergency to ensure the state has every resource available to respond
- Issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging
- Announced Kentucky's COVID-19 informational website, kycovid19.ky.gov and issued extensive guidance on when to seek care and when to call the state's hotline, 1-800-722-5725
- Issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees and asked providers to expand their networks to patients that may go outside their normal providers
- Announced that those without insurance will be able to get a test in Kentucky
- Announced strong actions to protect the state's most vulnerable populations by limiting visitation to senior care and long-term care facilities
- Signed an executive order allowing pharmacies to refill prescriptions for up to 30 days to ensure those vulnerable communities or those who need to self-isolate will have their needed prescriptions
- Closed all state prisons to visitors
- Activated the State Health Operations Center and the State Emergency Operations Center
- Recommended the temporary closure of senior centers to help halt the spread of the virus for those most vulnerable
- Announced that Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance (KEMI) will provide wage replacement benefits for first responders and medical personnel who have been quarantined for COVID-19
- Announced new guidance that state boards and commissions cancel any scheduled in-person meetings and instead use video teleconference technology
- Recommended schools cease in-person classes beginning Monday, March 16, and as of Friday, March 14, all 172 school districts, the Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf will close
- Announced USDA approved the state's waiver to serve meals during non-traditional instruction days
- Announced the state is taking swift action to get the passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship back home
- Issued guidance to state agencies to allow telecommuting where possible to decrease on-site staffing by up to 50 percent to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and suspended out-of-state travel for state employees
- Recommended businesses also utilize telecommuting and allow employees to work from home if possible
- Advised that all community gatherings be canceled
- Held daily and most days, twice-a-day media and Facebook live briefings to inform Kentuckians and provide recommended health and safety guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to follow these steps to prevent illness. Kentuckians can find regular updates and resources including more information about when to seek medical attention and courses of action for those in counties with positive cases at kycovid19.ky.gov. They are also urged to visit cdc.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information. Kentuckians who want advice can call the state hotline at 1-800-722-5725 or call their local health care provider.
To read Gov. Beshear's news releases and watch other news regarding COVID-19 visit governor.ky.gov.
This story was posted on 2020-03-15 06:34:18
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