Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced during his April 29 daily COVID-19 update the first phase of an incremental reopening of the commonwealth’s economy. Beshear held the briefing at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort.
Beshear said all businesses allowed to reopen by the state must follow strict guidelines to prevent a spike in coronavirus cases. The rules include health checks for employees and restrictions on gatherings within places of business.
May 11 will be the first day for phase one of the step-by-step reopening. Manufacturing, construction, vehicle or vessel dealerships, professional services (50% staffing allowed), horse racing (no fans allowed), and pet grooming/boarding businesses will be allowed to reopen May 11. The next date in phase one is May 20 when retail businesses and houses of worship will be able to resume services. The final phase one reopening will occur May 25, when cosmetology services including barber shops and salons will open again.
Beshear said economic reopening guidelines will be revisited if businesses do not comply with state rules or if a spike in cases occurs.
“We cannot allow ourselves to have the second spike that we see in Philadelphia vs St. Louis,” Beshear said.
Drive-thru testing continues throughout the commonwealth as state officials work to increase testing capacity to assist in economic recovery efforts. Drive-thru sites in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and Owensboro tested a total or nearly 1,000 Kentuckians Wednesday through a partnership with Kroger and Gravity Diagnostics; 54,101 coronavirus tests have been administered in Kentucky.
Beshear announced 184 new virus cases Wednesday bringing the state total to 4,539; 325 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, with 176 being treated in intensive care units.
The new cases come from Jefferson, Warren, Daviess, Kenton, Fayette, Allen, Campbell, Graves, Jessamine, Muhlenberg, Simpson, Butler, Edmonson, Grayson, Wayne, Adair, Anderson, Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Clark, Estill, Floyd, Hart, Henderson, Laurel, McCracken, McLean, Monroe, Oldham, Spencer, Trigg and Woodford counties.
Beshear also announced 10 new deaths Wednesday, including a 94-year-old female in Hopkins County. A total of 235 Kentuckians are now dead as a result of the coronavirus.