Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Kentucky, US, lift some healthcare restrictions as of April 28, maintain stay-at-home order until further notice.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Paducah, Kentucky
  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Owensboro, Kentucky

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 07:38 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Kentucky (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has lifted some restrictions for healthcare providers while maintaining the existing closure of most nonessential businesses and the stay-at-home order, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Healthcare providers can resume nonemergency procedures at hospitals, clinics, medical offices, physical therapy and chiropractic offices, and dental offices as of April 28, provided they comply with special requirements. These include providing telehealth services to the extent possible, prohibiting visitors, eliminating traditional waiting rooms, ensuring social distancing of at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) in areas where people may gather, screening all employees and requiring staff members to stay home if sick, enhancing sanitation, and requiring all staff and patients to wear masks.

Orders mandating the closure of nonessential businesses in Kentucky and urging residents to stay inside their homes unless performing essential tasks remain in place until further notice. Companies in the food, media, security, transport, and critical infrastructure industries, including banks, pharmacies, fuel stations, and grocery stores, can continue to have in-person operations. Nonessential businesses may only operate with employees working from home. Residents may leave their homes to obtain necessities, attend to medical issues, care for a person in need, perform or access essential government services, or go to work at a critical business. Residents may also perform outdoor recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing requirements. Travelers entering Kentucky are required to self-quarantine for 14 days since the time of their arrival, except for those working in essential businesses.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly keep additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures is likely to accelerate in the coming weeks; however, officials may reimpose restrictions or extended them further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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