To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear issued a new executive order during his Monday press conference: With few exceptions, he banned travel to other states.
For days, Beshear has talked about neighboring Tennessee, which has not closed restaurants and made other restrictions. That state, like all those neighboring Kentucky, has a higher number of coronavirus cases. The chances for exposure are greater in states that don’t enact the same restrictions, he said.
Last week, the governor repeatedly asked Kentuckians who live in border counties not to travel to Tennessee for goods and services that are no longer available in their home counties, such as eat-in meals, pedicures and massages.
On Monday, he made it official.
Residents may travel out of the state only if:
• It is required for their jobs.
• They live on a state border and require food or medicine they can’t get at home.
• They must travel for health-care needs.
• A loved one in another state, who cannot travel, needs them to administer care.
• A court date requires them to travel.
People who have traveled outside the state for spring break should self-quarantine for 14 days, Beshear said.
If anyone travels to other states — other than for the stated exceptions — they will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
“It’s an important order,” Beshear said. “Let’s make sure we follow it.”
Other states have enacted similar travel bans, he said. And Tennessee is preparing to initiate more restrictions in an effort to prevent the coronavirus spread.
Even inside the state, Beshear wants people to decrease their contacts during the next couple of weeks. He said residents should stay home except for work and shopping for necessities, such as food and medicine.
Beshear announced 42 new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky Monday, bringing the state’s total to 480 cases. He reported two more deaths — an 88-year-old woman from Kenton County and a 90-year-old from Simpson County.
State officials believe they have two positive tests from a Campbell County nursing home. A staff member and resident are infected with the virus.
Green River District Health Department officials reported one new case in Union County, bringing that county’s total to two cases.
No new cases were reported elsewhere in GRDHD’s service area. The totals as of Monday morning were: Daviess County, 33; Hancock County, 1; Henderson County, 4; McLean County, 1; Union County, 2; and Webster County, 1.
The Muhlenberg County Public Health Department reported an additional case Monday afternoon, bringing that county’s total to nine.
Beshear announced Monday the state is closer to offering drive-through testing for residents. First, he said, he wants the supplies in hand, and he wants to see the results of limited trial runs.
He doesn’t plan to offer the tests only in hotspot areas or larger cities. It’s important to test in rural areas, too, Beshear said.
Beshear apologized for problems residents have experienced in recent days while applying for unemployment benefits. He has added about 200 employees to that department in the hopes of meeting the increasing workload.
Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, email@example.com