Beshear: Court Decisions Could Hamper Future Pandemic Responses

May 13, 2020

While the state prepares to restart more sectors of the economy and lawsuits targeting his executive orders begin to mount, Gov. Andy Beshear is urging Kentuckians not to lose sight of the threat of COVID-19 resurgence.

Credit AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

As new cases remain relatively flat, the state permits more businesses to reopen, and hospitals resume inpatient surgeries and procedures, Beshear says he hopes lawsuits seeking to overturn his coronavirus-related orders don't tie the state's hands.

"I hope each of these courts understands the decisions they make and what it may make possible in the future if we have significant limitations and we have a big spike again, it may prevent us from doing what it takes to battle that next spike," the governor advised.

The latest lawsuit aimed at the administration argues state guidelines moving protests away from the Capitol lawn and into a nearby parking lot are unconstitutional.

While Kentucky adopts a steady-as-she-goes approach moving forward, the governor says the state is developing a formula for dispensing around $300 million in federal CARES Act money to cities and counties to reimburse them for COVID-related expenses.

On whether students may return to school in the fall, Beshear said districts will need to be nimble when it comes to responding to COVID-19 and map out several contingencies.

"We need multiple plans as we see how this virus reacts, especially in the next month," the governor indicated. "Superintendents seem to ... see the flexibility that it's going to take and are bought in to make sure that, no matter what the situation is, we have the very best chance of going back to school in person with our kids in the fall."

Wednesday, the state reported 227 new cases, bumping Kentucky's total above 7,000.