Visitors to groceries and other stores will be limited to one person per household, with some exceptions, under a new executive order issued by Gov. Andy Beshear. The new mandate comes as cases of COVID-19 continue their upward trajectory.
The order is meant to prevent families and other groups from using trips to the grocery as opportunities to congregate or socialize, but Beshear chief of staff La Tasha Buckner says there will be exemptions.
"If you're the adult in the household and you need to go out and get groceries but you have minor children or other adults who have physical or mental impairments where they can't be on their own, they can still accompany you," she explained.
Wednesday Kentucky witnessed another jump in coronavirus cases, with a new one-day high of 204, bringing the total in the state to 1,346. Eight new deaths were reported as well.
The federal government has authorized Kentucky to begin distributing an additional $600 a month in unemployment benefits on top of state benefits. The extra dollars could begin flowing as soon as Thursday night. The benefits run for four months.
The commonwealth is also beginning to tap medical student volunteers, calling up its first four for service, as orders have been placed for 250 beds for the state's planned field hospital at the fairgrounds in Louisville.
"It'll only be when, across the state, we see a certain capacity hitting all of our potential beds (that we'll ) turn on the solutions like the fairgrounds or others," Beshear said.
Pressed on whether law enforcement may be requested to halt more than a dozen church services still planned for this week, the governor said sheriffs or other local officials may be posted to warn visitors of the threat, or "I'll consider other steps beyond that if we have to."
"I just can't allow for somebody thinking that they should be the exception, when everybody else is doing the right thing, to put people who come thinking it's a test of faith in harm's way," the governor added.
Beshear ended his daily briefing with a tribute to the late singer/songwriter John Prine, who passed away after developing COVID-19 symptoms.
"I know, while he wasn't a native Kentuckian, his dad was, and he certainly wrote some of the best songs about our state," the governor said.
- 17 additional nursing home residents, and 13 staff, have contracted the illness.
- At least 339 Kentuckians have reportedly fully recovered from the novel coronavirus.
- Kentucky inmates have begun crafting cloth masks. The inmates themselves will be the first to receive them, followed by state workers.
- The governor's new executive order also bars door-to-door solicitations.