Kentucky Gov. Beshear announces new steps to protect Kentuckians from COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday the fourth death related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an 82-year-old woman in Lexington with underlying health conditions.

To show a small, yet significant message of compassion, empathy and renewal, Gov. Beshear said the Governor’s Mansion would be lit green in honor of every Kentuckian who passes related to the virus.

“We are entering what will be tougher and tougher times,” said Gov. Beshear. “The safest place in the coming weeks for everybody is staying safe at home. This is the test of our time, of our generation, but I know you and I are up for it.”

Gov. Beshear also said the error on the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website has been corrected. Small businesses across Kentucky can now apply for assistance.

To further encourage unity, Gov. Beshear asked all houses of worship and Kentuckians who can to ring their bells at 10 a.m. every day.

Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, wrote a letter last week to medical students at the three medical schools in Kentucky. More than 200 medical students have already volunteered to help during the state’s response to COVID-19. He said he plans to write a similar letter to nursing students.

“I am very proud of that community and all the others I know will step forward,” Dr. Stack said.

As of 5 p.m. March 23, the state’s COVID-19 patient information includes 124 who have tested positive. Click here for the list with details. Additional cases and demographics of other cases mentioned were not known by 5 p.m. ET Monday so not all cases are listed.

Gov. Beshear 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. Gov. Beshear announced that they have trained 138 state workers for UI 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 and challenged Kentuckians who can to make a tax-deductible donation.

Kerry Harvey, Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet, said this fund is an opportunity to help Kentuckians in need.

“Helping people stay safe and navigate through crisis is the heart of public service, and the PPC in particular. We know government can’t cure all the problems associated with the pandemic, but this fund is one way to help those who’ve lost wages,” said PPC Secretary Kerry Harvey. “I encourage everyone to answer the governor’s call of joining Team Kentucky. Giving to the fund is a great way to get on the team.”

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.

To encourage compliance with state guidelines and facilitate unity, Gov. Beshear 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 also reminded Kentuckians that social distancing is not isolation, kids should remain on a schedule to combat anxiety and to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if possible.

On Sunday, Gov. Beshear announced the closure of all nonessential retailers effective 8 p.m. today. Life-sustaining retail businesses that will remain 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. Gov. Beshear also mandated all elective medical procedures cease.

Gov. Beshear has continued to take decisive action since the first case was confirmed in Kentucky. To read the full list of actions Gov. Beshear has taken to protect Kentuckians and limit the spread of the coronavirus, visit