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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Governor Beshear Encourages Churches to Cancel Services, New Visiting Restrictions at Prisons

There are now 8 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Kentucky. All those affected are in isolation either at home or in the hospital.

UPDATE as of Mar. 11 at  5 p.m.:

Gov. Beshear has held another press conference on COVID-19 outlining other cleaner alternatives if you cannot get a hold of hand sanitizer.

To make it, simply mix 1/3 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water. The mixture can be used to clean your home and/or office.

Watch the full conference here:


By Jessie Eden

Governor Beshear has issued another coronavirus update which includes closing state prisons to visitors and asking places of worship to cancel services temporarily.

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He has also encouraged anyone over the age of 60 and those who have compromised immune systems (such as heart, lung and or kidney disease) to avoid large crowds, flying and cruises.

"We learn something new every day. We need people to be fluid and flexible as we adjust," said Gov. Beshear. "We are going to be ok. We will get through this." 

As a result of state prisons being closed to visitors, inmates will get the chance to call their loved ones (one free call a week) and they will also be given time on social media to interact with their loved ones -- but visiting is prohibited for now due to concerns about inmate safety. "Because they are confined, they are our responsibility and we are trying very hard to do our best to maintain health in this population," said Secretary Mary Nobel, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.

"These steps are not made lightly. They are made at a time where information is not what we want it to be but we need to make decisions quickly," said Dr. Steven Stack, Public Health Commissioner. "Everyone is working together to address this." 

Gov. Beshear went on to encourage Kentuckians to go on the COVID-19 website ( for daily for updates.

You can watch the full live stream here;

Read the full press release below for more information;

Gov. Beshear Provides Guidance on Public Events, Schools, Prisons as State Continues Preparations and Response to COVID-19

Gov. Beshear urges cooperation to protect Kentuckians, stop spread of COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 11, 2020) – Governor Andy Beshear announced more decisive action and preparations on Wednesday to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“We know this is community spread and we need to get ahead of it,” Gov. Beshear said. “It is important for everybody out there to be calm, practice good hygiene and reduce the risk of exposure for themselves and others.”

Actions and preparations announced by Gov. Beshear on Wednesday include:

  • Instructed school districts to be prepared to close on short notice, as short as 72 hours.

  • Closed all state prisons to visitors.

  • Encouraged every individual in Kentucky, in particular those over 60 and those with chronic medical conditions, to do what they can to avoid large gatherings and minimize time in groups and public spaces.

  • Cancelled the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast out of an abundance of caution.

  • Asked places of worship to cancel services temporarily due to the proximity .

  • Suspended out-of-state travel for state employees.
  •  Urged more businesses to allow employees to tele-commute and to provide paid sick leave.

  • Asked people to spread out in meeting and work spaces by increasing distance between seats and taking other similar actions.

Gov. Beshear said the actions and directions are proactive to prevent the spread and to protect Kentuckians, particularly those at higher risk, including those over 60 or with chronic health conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease.

“These steps we recommend are not made lightly,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH). “Please work with us to make them effective.”

Gov. Beshear, who faithfully attends church with his family, said he knows asking houses of worship to cancel services is a big step and some people will disagree, but he and Dr. Stack said they are urging this action because of the close proximity to others in houses of worship, the communal activities and close interaction, and because many attendees are members of high-risk populations.

“I believe God gives us wisdom to protect each other and we should do that. I believe that it is our job to offer those protections,” Gov. Beshear said.

The Governor has briefed state lawmakers and all 120 county judges. He will also update jailers and school superintendents.

“Every action Gov. Beshear and his cabinet secretaries have taken is because we care deeply about the health and welfare of our people,” said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble.

Eight people in Kentucky have tested positive including five in Harrison County, two from Fayette and one from Jefferson. There are connections between the five Harrison County cases. All eight people are in isolation, four in medical facilities and four at home.

In Kentucky, the state has received results for 54 cases with 46 of those being negative. Eighteen of the 20 results received Tuesday were negative.

Gov. Beshear, Dr. Stack, Secretary Noble and Eric Friedlander, acting secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, briefed Kentuckians at the Capitol on Wednesday morning on the latest developments and the response of state and local government.

Beginning weeks before the virus was found in the Commonwealth, state and local officials collaborated to prepare for COVID-19 and are now working together to respond.

Gov. Beshear has taken decisive action to prepare and respond to COVID-19. Friday, immediately after confirmation of the first case, Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency to ensure the state has every resource available to respond. Saturday, he issued an executive order to prohibit price gouging. Monday, the Governor issued an executive order to waive copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance and state employees. The Governor is also telling providers to expand their networks to patients that may go outside their normal providers.

Tuesday, Gov. Beshear announced strong actions to protect the state’s most vulnerable populations by limiting visitation to senior care and long-term care facilities. Gov. Beshear also signed an executive order to allow 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. His action will also allow, if necessary, pharmacies to operate at locations other than those designated on their permits to make sure people have access to necessary medication.

The State Health Operations Center is activated at level one – fully activated – and the State Emergency Operations Center is also activated.

More information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to follow these steps to prevent illness. People can find regular updates and resources including more information about when to seek medical attention and course of action for those in counties with positive cases at They are also urged to visit 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.

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