FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear is ordering all daycare centers to close in the state beginning Friday, March 20.
Initially in his press conference, Beshear said all “adult day care” centers must be closed. Later, he confirmed the order includes childcare daycare centers.
“All of our childcare daycare centers, yes, are going to close, and need to close by the end of the week,” he said.
Beshear also said he signed an executive order for certain public-facing businesses “that encourage public congregation” to cease operation by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.
The list includes entertainment, hospitality and recreational facilities, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters and sporting event facilities.
The order continues: “For the avoidance of doubt, businesses providing food, food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, retail, grocery and consumer goods, home repair/hardware and auto repairs, pharmacy, and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging may remain open, subject to limitations provided in prior orders, but mist to the extent practicable implement CDC guidance” for social distancing and appropriate hygiene measures.
Beshear said the goal of the order is to minimize in-person interaction, the primary means of transmitting coronavirus.
“For those out there trying to find an exception, if you’re not truly engaging in social distancing, if you are not taking those steps, it will force further action,” Beshear said. “Not that we want to take it, but we have to protect everybody.”
“The same type of limitations need to apply” to weddings and funerals, Beshear said. “It needs to be just close family.”
Other announcements Beshear made Tuesday are as follows, according to a release:
Child Care: Beshear said the state is working with federal partners to continue Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payments on behalf of qualified families during the mandatory closure period. The state will also be covering copayments typically covered by families.
Acute and Psychiatric Care Visitation: To limit the spread of COVID-19, Beshear advised all acute care facilities to discourage all visitors except for end-of-life circumstances. He also advised psychiatric facilities to restrict visitation, only allowing it if deemed medically necessary by the attending physician, administrator and the medical director.
Long Term Care Visitation: Beshear also recommended personal care homes, assisted living, senior care facilities and intermediate care facilities limit visitation only to loved ones that are receiving end-of-life care.
Adult Day Health Centers: To slow the spread of COVID-19, Beshear issued interim guidance to require the temporary closure of all licensed adult day care centers across the state. This emergency closure will begin on March 20.
Closure of in-person government services: As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, all government offices are closed to in-person services.
The governor ordered all bars and restaurants to close Monday.
“It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s loved ones if we see a spike that is significant. Kentucky, we’ll need your help. We’ll need your help staying calm. We’ll need volunteers and we know you’ll respond. We will get through this together.”
Kentucky now has 26 confirmed cases of coronavirus, Beshear announced, up from 21 cases on Monday.
Beshear and Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, say they have been in contact with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton.
DeWine issued an order to close gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, indoor water parks, movie theaters and trampoline parks across the state until further notice Monday.
Beshear began the press conference by continuing his focus on mental health. He showed a video explaining how parents can speak with their children about coronavirus while calming their fears and remaining calm themselves.
“As long as you are well, hug your children,” he told parents across the state. “Hug them often.”