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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Understanding Kentucky's State-Level Coronavirus Relief Legislation

rachel roberts
Courtesy of the state of Kentucky
Rep. Rachel Roberts

Like many states, Kentucky is joining the federal government in adopting legislation designed to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WFPL, some of what the state-level legislation seeks to do includes an extension of unemployment benefits to self-employed workers and contractors who were previously ineligible; it also extends unemployment access to full-time workers who were reduced to part-time hours; and it waives the seven-day waiting period before a laid-off worker can apply for benefits while expanding the look-back period for determining benefits. The bill also permits restaurants to sell liquor by the drink with food take-out orders and to sell grocery items to customers; and it waives several business fees and penalties.

Meanwhile, the relief bill eases privacy rules for health care providers, allowing them to be able to contact patients remotely instead of in-person, WFPL reported, and allows for conference call and video meetings for local governments.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to talk about Kentucky's legislation is State Rep. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport), who was the only Democrat from the House to serve on the conference committee that drafted the General Assembly's legislation language.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.