Beshear Announces Wage Replacement For Coronavirus First Responders

Mar 13, 2020

Credit Ryan Van Velzer

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance will provide wage replacement benefits to first responders who have to be quarantined due to coronavirus.

KEMI is the state’s largest issuer of workers’ compensation insurance and contracts with many state agencies.

Beshear said that first responders shouldn’t lose money for doing their jobs.

“That should also give confidence to our healthcare employees that are out there,” Beshear said. “If they end up having to be at home because of their work we’re going to take care of them.”

Beshear said that some first responders have already been quarantined.

During an update Friday morning, Beshear said that Kentucky has 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but that the number will likely go up once more testing is conducted. So far 118 individuals have been tested, with cases confirmed in Jefferson, Fayette and Harrison counties.

The newest confirmed cases in Kentucky are a 51 year-old man in Harrison County and a 31 year-old woman in Fayette County.

Beshear said he understands that some are frustrated that more testing isn’t available, but that the state needs to conserve resources for those who are presenting symptoms.

“Until we are at a point where everybody can be tested we’ve got to look out for each other, that means making sure the resources are there for those that need it the most,” Beshear said.

Beshear said he had not been tested for coronavirus and that he did not have symptoms.

Beshear also announced that he was issuing a guidance to all state boards and commissions to stop holding in-person meetings and to conduct business via teleconference.

He said that he had consulted with the Kentucky Press Association and that holding meetings remotely would comply with the state’s open meetings laws.

Additionally, Beshear said that 195 state-supported senior centers around Kentucky will temporarily be closed to in person-activities in response to coronavirus.

Using funds available because of the declared state of emergency, Beshear said the centers will still provide meals to seniors either through home delivery or having them available for pick-up.

On Thursday evening, Beshear urged all public and private schools in Kentucky to suspend in-person classes for at least two weeks.