Governor Beshear Issues New Order for Kentucky Bars and Restaurants and Extends Face Covering Order

By Kathie McDonald-McClure

On August 10, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear extended the mask order for another 30 days.  He also announced a new order and revised specific requirements (Version 5.1) effective August 11, 2020 for Kentucky bars and restaurants.  Bars were allowed to reopen with 50% capacity and restaurants were allowed to increase their capacity from 25% back to 50%. However, both bars and restaurants are subject to the following changes: 

  • Both bars and restaurants are subject to an “enforced seat rule” that requires patrons to remain in their seats, except when entering, leaving or using the restroom.  
  • Both bars and restaurants must cut off service of food and drinks at 10 pm and close by 11 pm, except for drive-thru, carry-out and delivery services.  This gives patrons an hour to consume what they were served before heading home.

The Governor said that “you should expect to have a seat, expect to sit in it, and expect not to get out of it unless it is to go to the restroom.”  The Governor also said that all food and drink orders should be taken, and the service be delivered, at the table where the patrons who came together are seated.  

The Governor noted that many restaurants had already created or increased existing outdoor seating.  On the basis that outdoor seating is much safer, he strongly encouraged restaurants to prioritize the use of outdoor seating over indoor seating. 

When the Governor announced on August 6th that these new measures were coming, he reminded Kentuckians of the 10-person limit on house gatherings, saying, “It’s really important … that we [don’t] exchange those later nights that might have been at an establishment for a house party.”  He said this was occurring in other states with bar closing curfews prompting some officials to take additional measures to curtail such occurrences.  For example, the Los Angeles Mayor announced on August 5th that he had authorized the city to shut off water and power services to resident properties that were hosting large house parties. 

New Orders and Guidance Coming for Kentucky Bars and Restaurants on August 10, 2020

By Kathie McDonald-McClure

During his COVID-19 update on August 6, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear said that the state will have new guidance and an order for bars and restaurants before his 4:00 pm update on Monday, August 10th.  He said that the specifics have not yet been finalized.  Nevertheless, he gave bars and restaurants a heads-up on what to expect.

Restaurants can expect to increase capacity back to 50%, but with some changes.  He said that restaurants will need to prioritize outdoor seating.  He indicated that many restaurants have already increased their outdoor seating in the last couple of weeks, which is much safer because “it keeps the virus down and will put us in better position” to contain the virus.

Bars can expect to be allowed to reopen but they will have an “enforced seat rule.”  The Governor said, “If you go to a bar, expect to have a seat, expect to sit in it, [and] expect not to get out of it unless you’re going to the restroom.”  He said that all the service and the orders will need to be at a table for the party that Kentuckians come to the bar with.

Both bars and restaurants are going to be expected to have their very last order served by 10 pm.  Then there will be about an hour to allow time for the people served at 10 pm to consume what they are served before going home.  He said that “we don’t want someone having a drink at 10:59 pm and then getting in their car right afterwards.”

The Governor said, “We think [these actions will] give us the best opportunity to avoid the mega spreading events, the super spreading events, and to encourage what we need to see from folks out there.”  He then reminded Kentuckians of the 10-person limit on house gatherings, saying, “It’s really important though that we [don’t] exchange those later nights that might have been at an establishment for a house party.”  He said we’re seeing this occur in other states and some officials have had to take additional measures to curtail such occurrences.  As an example, he mentioned the Los Angeles Mayor’s announcement on August 5th authorizing the city to shut off water and power services to resident properties holding large house parties.

 

Two New Orders Issued by the Supreme Court of Kentucky

Written by:  Marianna Michael

On July 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of Kentucky entered two new orders to provide continuing guidance on the functions of courts during COVID-19.

The first order, Administrative Order 2020-55, replaces Administrative Orders 2020-42 and 2020-47 in their entirety.  The Order makes the following provisions: 

Read moreTwo New Orders Issued by the Supreme Court of Kentucky

Update on Kentucky Reopening: Governor Orders Temporary Closing of Bars and Reduction of Restaurant Capacity

(NOTE: This article includes updates as of Tuesday, August 4, 2020.)

by Kathie McDonald-McClure, Partner

On January 27, 2020, the White House administration declared a public health emergency (PHE) due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  On March 6, 2020, Governor Beshear declared a state of emergency, making it only the fifth U.S. state to do so. On March 26th, Governor Beshear, following the advice of public health officials, implemented Healthy at Home, under which the Governor issued daily COVID-19 updates, information and advice, along with executive orders with healthcare, business and activity restrictions aimed at ensuring social distancing to protect Kentuckians and protect the state’s health care operations.

As we previously reported, on May 22nd,  the Governor began a phased approach to reopen Kentucky’s economy and to loosen restrictions related to gatherings, sports, events, and other non-business activities.  On June 22nd, the Governor announced that Kentucky was ready to begin Phase III of the White House COVID-19 PHE reopening plan.  With Phase III, just about everything in the Commonwealth has been open, from restaurants, bars, wedding venues, public pools and even Kentucky Kingdom.  Businesses, activities and private gatherings are, and continue to be, subject to specific requirements tailored to the business or activity in order to maintain safety during the continuing PHE.

With Phase III, the Governor stated:

“It has been a long road dealing with this virus. But by following medical guidelines we have gone from a time when our cases were doubling every week, to a point where we are safely beginning to reopen businesses and our economy.”

Governor Beshear further stated that studies by the CDC, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky all showed that Kentuckians’ early actions saved thousands of lives.

However, while Kentucky appeared to be doing a good job containing COVID-19 with its phased approach to reopening our economy, other states that reopened earlier began experiencing significant surges in new COVID-19 cases. By mid-July, the White House COVID-19 Task Force had designated many of these states as “red zones,” including states that border Kentucky. In response to the surges in other states, on July 9th, Governor Beshear issued a face covering mandate (discussed below).

Positive cases continued to increase and, by Sunday, July 19th, Kentucky saw its highest total of positive COVID-19 cases: 911.  During his COVID-19 update on July 20th, the Governor reported that Kentucky’s daily number of positive cases, as well as its rolling seven-day average positivity rate on COVID-19 tests, had jumped from around 2% in mid-March to about 4% in recent weeks. By July 23rd, Kentucky’s positivity rate had risen to 4.9%.

On Monday, Governor Beshear took two additional measures in an attempt to blunt the growth of positive COVID-19 cases: 1) he rolled back gatherings by people outside of businesses and event venues from 50 people to 10 people (discussed below) and 2) he issued a travel advisory, urging Kentuckians not to travel to states with extremely high COVID-19 infection rates (discussed below). The Governor reminded Kentuckians that we may not see positive results from these additional measures for another 10-14 days due to the lag time between contracting the virus and developing symptoms that may prompt a person to get tested.  He advised Kentuckians that if cases are continuing to escalate at the end of that time, more drastic measures recommended by the White House COVID-19 Task Force to governors in “red zones” could be implemented, which includes closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity to 25%.

On June 24th, the Governor reported 797 new COVID-19 cases and a COVID-19 Testing Positivity Rate of 5.28.  During his COVID-19 update on Friday, July 24, the Governor stated that if Kentucky does not see a stabilizing of the new positive cases over the weekend, additional measures will have to be taken next week.

Closed Bars and Reduced Restaurant Capacity.  On July 27, 2020, Governor Beshear announced new measures to stem Kentucky’s rising number of cases, stating: “Our state government and the federal administration have significant agreement on what we need to do right now to make sure we don’t turn into Florida, Texas, Arizona, so many other states going through what could be absolutely devastating for them.”  The following steps were announced:

  • Bars will be closed for two weeks, effective Tuesday, July 28.
  • Restaurants will be limited to 25% of pre-pandemic capacity indoors; outdoor accommodations remain limited only by the ability to provide proper social distancing.
  • Public and private schools are being asked to avoid offering in-person instruction until the third week of August.

The Governor was joined Sunday, July 26th, in Frankfort by Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Birx advised that the growth in Kentucky’s COVID-19 cases and, especially, the Commonwealth’s rising test positivity rate required immediate action. Dr. Birx specifically recommended that the Kentucky’s bars close and indoor dining capacity be limited.

To view the order from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services covering the new restrictions, which went into effect at midnight July 27thclick here. To view the revised requirements restaurant capacity, click here.

Mandatory Face Covering Requirement.  The Governor’s Executive Order requiring all people in Kentucky to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering took effect on Friday, July 10, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The issue of wearing a face covering was so important to retail businesses that the Retail Industry Leaders Association had written a letter to every governor urging them “to require consumers who are not encumbered by a medical condition to wear masks when shopping or in public places.”

The face covering is required in situations that present a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. More specifically, face coverings are required:

“While inside, or waiting in line to enter, any: retail establishment; grocery store; pharmacy; hair salon/barbershop; nail salon/spa; tattoo parlor; child care facility; restaurant or bar (when not seated and consuming food or beverage); health care setting, or; any other indoor public space in which it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from all individuals who are not members of that person’s household;

“While waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit, or while riding in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle, or driving any of the above while customers are present; or

“While in outdoor public spaces in which the person cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from all individuals who are not members of the person’s household and is not otherwise covered by previously issued guidance.”

Several exemptions apply, including for children who are 5 or younger and for any person with a disability, or a physical or mental impairment, that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.  To read the Executive Order and additional exemptions, click here. The face covering order is effective for 30 days, through Sunday, August 9, and can be reviewed and subject to renewal at that time.

Advisory Against Traveling to States with High Infection Rates.  As we previously reported, the Kentucky Public Health Department (“PHD”) had previously identified clusters of Kentuckians contracting COVID-19 after returning from “hot spots” in other states. During the Governor’s June 24 and July 9 updates, Dr. Stack warned the public that the Public Health Department had identified several clusters of positive COVID-19 cases among Kentuckians who had traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and other COVID-19 “hot spots” for vacation.  One cluster of 12 travelers to Myrtle Beach resulted in at least 9 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.  They developed symptoms within four days of their return to Kentucky.

Throughout July, the Kentucky PHD continued to identify persons who had traveled to hot spots outside of Kentucky as testing positive for COVID-19.  As a result, the Governor issued a Travel Advisory that Kentuckians not go to states with a 15% or greater infection rate as identified on the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center here.  As of August 4, 2020, the Travel Advisory applies to Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, South Carolina, and Mississippi. (On August 4th, Georgia was removed and Kansas was added.) The Governor said that the list of states subject to the Travel Advisory will be updated as necessary. To stay abreast of the latest travel advisory states, visit the official Team Kentucky COVID-19 webpage (click here) and scroll to “Travel Advisory”.  He also explained that he issued an “advisory” rather than an “order” due to a federal court’s holding that his earlier travel restrictions needed to be framed more like Ohio’s, which had been in the form of an advisory.

Governor Limits Informal Gatherings to a Maximum of 10 Persons. As the Governor has frequently reminded the public during his COVID-19 updates, reopenings could be rolled back as needed to protect public health, especially if the Commonwealth’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 is threatened by increasing cases or individuals who are traveling to other states. And, indeed, on July 20, 2020, the Governor saw fit to roll back the 50-person limit on informal gatherings to a 10-person limit in order to protect Kentuckians in social settings, such as the backyard barbeque, where social norms combined with human nature lead people to let go of inhibitions, forego wearing masks, stand or sit closer to one another, hug, give high fives and pats on the back and otherwise not observe social distancing thereby increasing the risk of asymptomatic transmission.

The Governor’s July 20th Executive Order states that it “does not apply to or otherwise restrict entities such as restaurants, in-person retail establishments, public-facing businesses, venue and events spaces, or other businesses permitted to reopen pursuant to other Orders of this Cabinet or another Cabinet, or Executive Orders. However, such entities must comply with the requirements set forth for those entities in applicable Orders.” (Emphasis added.)  The Order goes on to state that it does not affect the Governor’s Order on Mass Gatherings, which continues in effect, an order that essentially revised previous restrictions on mass gatherings that would have extended to faith-based organizations.

In conjunction with the new Order on gatherings, the Governor’s Office also posted new Guidance for Gatherings up to Ten (10) People which states: “If you host or attend a social, non-commercial gathering of up to ten (10) people under circumstances not explicitly addressed by other Healthy at Work guidance, please follow this document.”  (Emphasis added.)  During his COVID-19 update, in response to reporters’ questions, the Governor has clarified that the new 10-person limit applies to gatherings at a private residence, barbecues, picnics, and other gatherings of that nature.  Social gatherings, including weddings, that take place at a venue that is subject to specific requirements to reduce the transmission of the virus, can proceed so long as the event venue complies with the then current Venues and Event Spaces Requirements posted to the Governor’s Healthy at Work webpage.

Minimum Requirements Applicable to All Reopenings. Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order of May 11, 2020, all entities in the Commonwealth shall comply with certain “Minimum Requirements” attached to that Executive Order, in addition to business or activity-specific requirements.  While all entities and activity organizations should carefully review the Minimum Requirements (EnglishEspañola), the Healthy at Work webpage summarizes them as follows:

image-1

As emphasized by the Governor, compliance with the above Minimum Requirements is essential to protect employees in all businesses, organizations and activities – both healthcare and non-healthcare – as well as to protect the individuals with whom employees may come into contact both inside and outside of their work and other activities.  Dr. Stack has previously asked employers to make accommodations for those who fall into high risk categories for whom COVID-19 can be deadly.

As set forth in the Minimum Requirements, if any entity fails to comply with the Minimum Requirements, they can be reported to KYSAFER at 833-KYSAFER or kysafer.ky.gov.

Business & Activity Specific Guidance. The Governor has issued specific requirements tailored to the following types of businesses or activities:

Healthy at Work Guidance

The Governor’s Executive Orders related to business-specific and activity-specific guidance is available on the Healthy At Work webpage.

Healthy at Work Signage & Other Resources. Kentucky’s Healthy at Work webpage contains links to several resources businesses can use to help implement the Minimum Requirements. These include signage for employees and customers in English, Spanish and French, including signs for Healthy at Work compliance, Do Not Enter if Sick signs and Grocery Store Signage.  There is also a link to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce webpage for businesses who need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer and masks.  The Governor’s Office has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage to answer questions on how the Commonwealth is reopening the state’s economy under the Healthy at Work plan.

For the latest information on Healthy at Work, click here.  For the latest information on Healthy at School guidance documents and announcements, go to KDE COVID-19 Reopening Resources. For the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky, go to www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

Indiana Governor Delays Phase 5 of Indiana’s Reopening Plan

On Friday, July 17, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-36 announcing that the state would stay in Stage 4.5 of the “Back-On-Track Indiana” reopening plan.  Stage 5 had been scheduled to begin on July 4, 2020 but was replaced by Stage 4.5, which began on July 3, 2020, due to modest evidence of a resurgence of COVID-19 across the United States including some hot spots in Indiana. Stage 4.5 had been set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on July 17th.

However, as noted in the July 17th Order, Indiana’s percentage of positive cases compared to the number of tests performed had increased in recent days and there are signs of further increases in coronavirus spreading and evidence of resurgence in many areas of the United States.  Based on these factors, the Order states that additional monitoring is warranted before a significant lessening of further restrictions occurs in Indiana.  The Executive Order lays out additional detailed requirements for gatherings and events.

For Governor Holcomb’s roadmap to safely reopen Indiana, dubbed “Back-On-Track Indiana,” go to https://backontrack.in.gov/ .  To keep up with all developments in Indiana and the efforts of Governor Holcomb to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana, go to https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/.

Kentucky Supreme Court Blocks Attorney General’s Efforts in a Lower Court to Void Governor Beshear’s COVID-19 Executive Orders

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion in the Boone County Kentucky Circuit Court seeking to invalidate all executive orders issued to date by Governor Andy Beshear directed at containing the spread of COVID-19, a highly contagious disease that prompted the declaration of a national public health emergency as well as a state of emergency in Kentucky.  In his July 16th update on COVID-19, Governor Beshear said that Cameron’s actions would void:

  • Healthy at Work requirements;
  • expanded workers’ compensation eligibility for workers – including first responders, active military and grocery store employees – who are ordered to quarantine as a result of exposure; and
  • a measure that waives copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance.

Cameron’s motion also would have voided all COVID-19 orders and directives applicable to healthcare providers that had been issued from the Governor and the Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. On Friday morning, July 17th, the Courier-Journal was reporting that the Boone County judge indicated late Thursday evening that he would side with Cameron.  However, by Friday afternoon, as reported by the Courier-Journal, “The Kentucky Supreme Court has temporarily halted a Boone County judge’s ruling blocking all of Gov. Andy Beshear’s past and future public health orders responding to the COVID-19 emergency.”

For Governor Beshear’s roadmap to safely reopen Kentucky, dubbed “Healthy at Work”, go to https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-healthy-at-work.  To keep up with developments in Kentucky and the efforts of Governor Beshear to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky, go to www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

Update on Kentucky Reopening: 30-Day Mask Mandate Takes Effect

NOTE: This article has been updated with information available from the Governor’s Office as of July 10, 2020 at 3:30 pm.  New information since June 26, 2020 is flagged with the word New!

by Kathie McDonald-McClure, Partner 

On Monday, June 22, 2020, during his coronavirus update, Governor Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky will begin Phase III of the White House reopening plan during the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE).  (See below “New! Phase III Reopening”.) The Governor said, “Next Monday, just about everything in the Commonwealth will be open, from bars, wedding venues, public pools and even Kentucky Kingdom.” He continued, the “It has been a long road dealing with this virus. But by following medical guidelines we have gone from a time when our cases were doubling every week, to a point where we are safely beginning to reopen businesses and our economy.”

It has been a long road indeed.  Kentucky was one of the first states to declare a state of emergency on March 6, 2020.  Then, on March 26, 2002, the Governor launched Healthy at Home, with information, advice and restrictions aimed at ensuring social distancing and protecting the state’s health care operations.  Governor Beshear reported that studies by the CDC, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky all show that these early actions saved thousands of Kentuckians’ lives.

On April 27, 2020, the Governor began reopening parts of the healthcare sector with Healthy at Work for Healthcare Facilities, a four-phase, gradual reopening of healthcare services (not applicable to long-term care settings).  Phases I, II, III and IV are all now underway, with Phase IV having begun on May 27, 2020.  Under Phase IV, non-urgent/non-emergent inpatient procedures can proceed at volumes determined by each healthcare facility.  Visitation restrictions, however, remain in force: a single (one) visitor/support person per patient based on the best judgment and discretion of the facility. For additional information, see the Governor’s Healthy at Work for Healthcare Facilities website and Order.

Then, on May 11, 2020, Governor Beshear began reopening the non-healthcare sectors of Kentucky’s economy that had been closed due to the COVID-19.  Kentucky has been nationally recognized as among few states that are meeting the White House and CDC guidance for reopening the economy.  The reopening, called Healthy at Work, has been a phased approach that is intended to guide businesses and healthcare providers through a “smart, safe and gradual” reopening during the continuing COVID-19 PHE.  It is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts. Each phase of Healthy at Work will be rolled out in steps to ensure the Commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.

Phase III Reopening.  On Monday, June 29, 2020, people can begin gathering in groups of 50 or fewer people. Adherence to rules on social distancing, mask use and sanitation remains critically important, and people in more vulnerable categories should continue to avoid such gatherings.  Updated guidance has been posted on the Healthy at Work website for many venues, including restaurants and bars. There also is new guidance covering wedding venues and event spaces and gatherings of 50 or fewer people.  Finally, specific requirements were updated to allow for up to 50% capacity effective June 25, 2020, for barbers/cosmetologists/ hair salons, massage therapy, nail salons, tanning salons and tattoo parlors.  Links to the updated requirements are in the timeline below.

New! Governor Issues Mandatory Face Covering Requirement.  In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country and the rising number of cases in Kentucky, on July 9, 2020, Governor Beshear announced that effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10, people in Kentucky must cover their nose and mouth with a face covering in several enumerated situations that present a high risk of COVID-19 transmission. The Governor’s Executive Order states that face coverings will be required:

“While inside, or waiting in line to enter, any: retail establishment; grocery store; pharmacy; hair salon/barbershop; nail salon/spa; tattoo parlor; child care facility; restaurant or bar (when not seated and consuming food or beverage); health care setting, or; any other indoor public space in which it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from all individuals who are not members of that person’s household;

“While waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit, or while riding in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle, or driving any of the above while customers are present; or

“While in outdoor public spaces in which the person cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from all individuals who are not members of the person’s household and is not otherwise covered by previously issued guidance.”

Several exemptions will apply, including children who are 5 or younger and any person with a disability, or a physical or mental impairment, that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.  To read the Executive Order and additional exemptions, click here.

The Governor said that the issue is so important that the Retail Industry Leaders Association wrote a letter to every governor urging them “to require consumers who are not encumbered by a medical condition to wear masks when shopping or in public places.” The face covering order is effective for 30 days and will be reviewed and subject to renewal upon its expiration.

Minimum Requirements Applicable to All Reopenings. Healthy at Work has continued with a phased reopening of specific business and organizational sectors. However, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order of May 11, 2020, all entities in the Commonwealth shall comply with certain “Minimum Requirements” attached to that Executive Order, in addition to business or activity-specific requirements.

On June 22, 2020, Dr. Steven Slack, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Public Health, continued to emphasize the importance of following the Minimum Requirements during Kentucky’s Phase III reopening. “Despite reopening, there are small things we have to do until we get a vaccine or treatment, Dr. Stack said. “Continue to socially distance, wear face masks, wash hands frequently and do temperature screenings at work and places of business.” Dr. Stack said using face masks and getting tests are crucial in keeping the virus under wraps.

Dr. Stack continues to stress the importance that Kentuckians follow the Minimum Requirements. During the Governor’s June 22nd update, he stated, “This is a dangerous disease. We are seeing in other states dramatic surges in virus cases”  He said, “The increase is not just about testing more, it’s about hospitals needing to admit more people, and having to treat more people.”

While all entities and activity organizations should carefully review the Minimum Requirements (EnglishEspañola), the Healthy at Work webpage summarizes them as follows:

As emphasized by the Governor, compliance with the above Minimum Requirements is essential to protect employees in all businesses, organizations and activities – both healthcare and non-healthcare – as well as to protect the individuals with whom employees may come into contact both inside and outside of their work and other activities.  Dr. Stack has previously asked employers to make accommodations for those who fall into high risk categories for whom COVID-19 can be deadly.

As set forth in the Minimum Requirements, if any entity fails to comply with the Minimum Requirements, they can be reported to KYSAFER at 833-KYSAFER or kysafer.ky.gov.

Industry Specific Guidance and Timeline for Reopening. Industry specific guidance is in place for each business or activity on the Governor’s Healthy at Work webpage.  The timeline for reopening each business sector and the industry-specific requirements for each business sector or activity, even if operations did not cease during the state of emergency, is as follows (specific requirements that are new with this update are flagged below as “New!” or “Updated!”):

May 9, 2020:

May 11, 2020:

  • Construction – Specific requirements
  • Horse racingnot including the rescheduled Kentucky Derby (no fans)(only authorized employees, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission license holders who have a horse stabled at a racetrack, and those providing support for a horse stabled at a racetrack at the racetrack, e.g., racetrack employees, trainers, assistant trainers, exercise riders, grooms, hot walkers, jockeys, veterinarians, farriers, and feed vendors) – Specific requirements
  • Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain businesses – Specific requirements
  • Office-based businesses (at 50% capacity)(includes finance and accounting, legal, insurance, engineering, architecture, real estate, scientific/technical, property management, non-profit organizations performing administrative services, and other corporate offices and private office-based firms) – Specific requirements
  • Pet grooming and boarding – Specific requirements
  • Photography (limited to family units and groups no larger than 10 provided that individuals who are not living in the same household pose at least 6 feet apart) – Specific requirements
  • Vehicle or vessel dealerships Revised Specific Requirements for 50% capacity as of June 11

May 18, 2020 – Order

May 20, 2020 – Order

May 22, 2020 – Order

  • Restaurants Only (up to 50% capacity + Outdoor Seating effective June 22, 2020) – Specific Requirements 2.0
  • Group of 10 people or fewer – Specific Requirements effective through June 28, 2020 Groups of up to 50 can gather beginning on June 29, 2020 (see below)
  • Travel Ban Lifted Order

May 25, 2020 – Order

Revised Specific Requirements 2.0 were issued to allow for up to 50% capacity effective June 25, 2020 for all of the following businesses.  See the “June 25, 2020” heading below for revised requirements.

  • Barbershops/Cosmetology/Hair Salons
  • Massage Therapy
  • Nail Salons
  • Tanning Salons
  • Tattoo Parlors

June 1, 2020 – Order

  • Auctions – New! See July 1, 2020 for revised specific requirements for up to 50% capacity
  • Auto/Dirt Track Racing –Specific Requirements
  • Aquatic CentersNew! See July 1, 2020 for specific requirements for Public Swimming and Bathing Facilities
  • Bowling AlleysNew! See July 1, 2020 for revised specific requirements for up to 50% capacity
  • Fishing Tournaments –Specific Requirements
  • Fitness Centers – New! See July 1, 2020 for revised specific requirements for up to 50% capacity
  • Kentucky State Park Lodges
  • Movie Theaters – New! See July 1, 2020 for revised specific requirements for up to 50% capacity
  • Salato Wildlife Education Center

June 8, 2020 – Order

  • Educational and Cultural Activities – Specific Requirements
    • Includes aquariums, distilleries, libraries, limited outdoor attractions, museums
    • Does NOT include amusement parks, theme parks, music venues, waterparks, fairs, festivals, sports complex and other convention or entertainment venues that attract large crowds.
  • Horse Shows – Specific Requirements
  • Some Childcare (in-home programs) – Specific Requirements

June 10, 2020  

 June 11, 2020

  • Kentucky Horse Park
  • Kentucky State Park Campgrounds
  • Vehicle or Vessel Dealerships 2.0 – Up to 50% capacitySpecific Requirements

June 15, 2020

June 18, 2020

 June 20, 2020

June 22, 2020

 June 25, 2020

 June 29, 2020

July 1, 2020

 July 10, 2020 – New! Universal face covering order (effective for 30 days)Executive Order

The Specific Requirements are also available in Spanish on the Healthy at Work webpage.

Healthy at Work Signage & Other Resources. Kentucky’s Healthy at Work webpage contains links to several resources businesses can use to help implement the Minimum Requirements. These include signage for employees and customers in English, Spanish and French, including signs for Healthy at Work compliance, Do Not Enter if Sick signs and Grocery Store Signage.  There is also a link to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce webpage for businesses who need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitizer and masks.  The Governor’s Office has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage to answer questions on how the Commonwealth is reopening the state’s economy under the Healthy at Work plan.

Healthy at School Reopening Plan.  On June 23, 2020, the Governor, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman and Kevin Brown, the Interim Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), announced the Healthy at School reopening plans. KDE’s “flagship” document for the reopening of schools is titled Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools (K-12).  Commissioner Brown said that the Guidance is designed to vest decision-making in each of the Commonwealth’s 172 local school districts.  He said this recognizes the state’s long tradition in trusting school districts to make decisions that are best for the students in their individual communities.

The Healthy at School Guidance focuses on the following five areas of safety and best practices:

  • Social Distancing
  • Cloth Face Coverings, School Health Policies and PPE
  • Screening and School Exclusion
  • Sanitation and Environmental Factors
  • Contact Tracking

In regard to the key safety requirements involving social distancing and wearing masks, Commissioner Brown stated that so long as students are positioned six feet from others when sitting in class, the mask can come down. However, when students are seated less than six feet from other students or are in motion, the mask must be on. The motto used by the Commissioner to highlight when students should wear a mask was “When you move, you mask”.

Commissioner Brown highlighted the collaborative process by which the Guidance was developed, with input from the Education Continuation Task Force as well as the Governor’s Office, Department for Public Health, KDE, the Cabinet of Education and Workforce Development and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  He said that KDE will continue to seek collaborative input, including from student representatives, as school districts work towards implementing the recommendations and provide feedback.  He stated that additional guidance on pupil transportation, workplace health and safety, facilities and logistics, Career and Tech, Exceptional Learners and Performance-Based Instruction will be released over the coming month.

To review and stay abreast of all Healthy at School guidance documents and announcements, go to KDE COVID-19 Reopening Resources.

New! Traveling to “hot spots” in other states results in positive COVID-19 cases.  During the Governor’s June 24 and July 9 updates, Dr. Stack said that the Public Health Department had identified several clusters of positive COVID-19 cases among Kentuckians who had traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and other COVID-19 “hot spots” for vacation.  One cluster of 12 travelers to Myrtle Beach resulted in at least 9 individuals testing positive for COVID-19.  They developed symptoms within four days of their return to Kentucky.  Dr. Stack said that Kentuckians in other clusters who traveled to hot spots outside of Kentucky also are testing positive for COVID-19.  In his July 9th update, the Governor implored Kentuckians not to travel to areas of the country that are seeing dramatic spikes in COVID-19.

The Governor frequently reminds the public during his updates that any of the planned reopenings could be paused as needed to protect public health, especially if the Commonwealth’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 is threatened by Kentuckians who let their guard down as a result of the reopenings whether in the Commonwealth or when traveling to other states.

For the latest information on Healthy at Work, click here.  For the latest information on Healthy at School, click here. For the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

Kentucky Lawsuit Seeks Mail-In Option for General Election to Protect Vulnerable Kentuckians

Two Kentucky organizations, the Fair Elections Center and the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, filed suit on behalf of four voters who have health conditions and say that in-person voting would put them at serious risk of contracting COVID-19 during the ongoing public health emergency. The suit seeks to require election officials to apply the same rules to the November 2020 election that were used in the June 2020 primary election, whereby voters were permitted to use mail-in ballots without qualifying conditions for absentee voting.