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Governor issues more restrictions

By Greg Bird

As of Wednesday morning there are 157 cases reported in Kentucky (some county data is not included so the actual total is slightly higher), with 4 deaths associated to the COVID-19. State data shows 3,022 tests have been conducted.

Governor Andy Beshear and other state leaders have been proactive in regards to the virus, and have implemented several restrictions to businesses in an effort to limit the spread.

After banning all dine-in traffic to restaurants last week, Governor Beshear has also issued orders that all non-life sustaining businesses close by the end of day Wednesday.

“With the rise in cases and knowing that these next probably two weeks are going to be some of the most important, we are going to take the next step; so effective Wednesday at 8 p.m. we are going to be asking all non-life-sustaining businesses to close to in-person traffic,” Gov. Beshear said. “Even for those who are going to be excepted under this order, we are going to mandate that type of social distance that we have to see out there to protect our people.”

Gov. Beshear was to issue more information on Wednesday to give those businesses more guidance. He said many businesses provide life-sustaining services and will be allowed to stay open, even though they must maintain social distancing.

The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.

In Tennessee, the reaction from the state has been less aggressive than Kentucky’s, and as a result the number of cases are more than five times Kentucky’s numbers even though Tennessee was the first of the two states to report a positive case. As of Wednesday there were 773 reported cases in Tennessee with 2 deaths associated.

In the U.S. there have been 55,330 reported cases with 804 deaths. 379 individuals have recovered from the virus. One of those cases is reported in Scott County.

Those overall numbers are expected to rise, not necessarily due to an increased spread, but due to the fact that more testing has become available.

At least two clinics in McCreary County have begun to offer on-site testing for the COVID-19 virus – Appalachian Family Care in Pine Knot and South Fork Medical in Whitley City. Prospective patients are asked to call ahead to be pre-screened to see if you are eligible to take the test. Once approved the test can be conducted from the comfort of your own vehicle, and results should be available within two days.

In following with Governor Andy Beshears’ order, no social gatherings such as church services, funerals, weddings, etc. will be permitted.

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