Live Blog: How Coronavirus is Impacting Life in Kentucky

1 hour ago

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

We’ll continue to update this post as we learn new information.

There are at least 831 cases throughout Kentucky as of Friday afternoon. Thirty-seven people have died in the state as a result of the coronavirus.

In Indiana, there are 3,437 cases as of Friday. The number of deaths in the state is 102. 

In Tennessee there are 3,067 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday,  and 37 people have died as a result of the virus.

Friday, April 3

4:45 p.m.: Governor Andy Beshear said at least 228 people have fully recovered from coronavirus and there have been about 15,572 people tested for the virus. 

4:06 p.m.: According to the state's website, Kentucky now has 831 cases of COVID-19 and 37 coronavirus-related deaths. 

Northern Kentucky Woman Suing Beshear Over Executive Order Limiting Travel

A Campbell County resident is alleging Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order restricting travel to, and from, other states violates her constitutional rights. The northern Kentucky woman says the order prevents her from seeing friends and family in Ohio from a safe distance. 

The suit is seeking an injunction against Beshear’s order, barring out-of-state travel except for Kentuckians who travel for work, groceries, health care, taking care of a loved one, or complying with a court order. 

The order is enforceable by police, and those who violate it are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine when they return. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a similar order yesterday that goes into effect Monday. --The Herald-Leader

Tennessee Cases Continue Increase 

The state of Tennessee on Friday reported it has 3,067 cases of coronavirus—that’s 222 more since Thursday. As of Friday, 37 Tennesseans have died from COVID-19, five more since the last update.

Kentucky Bioprocessing Hoping to Create Coronavirus Vaccine

An Owensboro-based company has a potential coronavirus vaccine in pre-clinical testing. Kentucky Bioprocessing operates a facility at MidAmerica Park in Daviess County, inserting genes into tobacco plants to create vaccines and other medical-related products.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports the company has been working on a coronavirus vaccine since Chinese health authorities released the genetic sequence of the virus. Scientists with Kentucky Bioprocessing have been studying the structure over the past several months in hopes of generating a vaccine.

A statement from Kentucky Bioprocessing’s parent company, British American Tobacco, says they hope to eventually produce between 1 million and 3 million doses of the vaccine a week. However, the statement says any such production wouldn’t start until June, at the earliest.

A report published this week says at least 19 companies are working on vaccines against the coronavirus.—The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

Lyon County Nursing Home Residents, Workers to Be Tested

Officials in Lyon County will test some 40 people who live and work in a nursing home in the western Kentucky town of Kuttawa. 

A 94-year-old resident of the River’s Bend Retirement Community tested positive for the COVID-19 disease this week. She was not allowed back after the positive test and is living with family in Tennessee.

Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White said state officials were reluctant to provide enough tests, but they’ve agreed to give at least ten of them. The rest will come from local hospitals.

White said the tests are imperative to stem the spread of the virus in the 40-bed facility. Staff at the nursing home refused to provide a comment.—Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

University of Kentucky to Set Up Field Hospital

The University of Kentucky has announced plans to open a field hospital on the Lexington campus in response to coronavirus. It will be situated in the Nutter Field House sports training facility.

U.K. Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Dr. Mark Newman, said the extra beds may not be needed, but it’s important to be prepared in case they are. Newman added he hopes the Lexington field hospital will be ready to open in about two weeks.

U.K. announced Friday there are eight inpatients at the university’s hospital who tested positive for COVID-19. Newman said U.K. hospital has well over 900 existing beds.  

Indiana Coronavirus-Related Deaths And Positive Cases Climb

The state of Indiana reported 24 new coronavirus-related deaths Friday and at least 398 new cases of COVID-19. Indiana now has 3,437 cases of the virus and 102 people have died from the respiratory illness. 

Twelve New COVID Cases in Green River Region

Among the updates on COVID-19 cases being reported daily by the Green River District Health Department, there is a hopeful detail: the number of people who have recovered from the virus.

Of 78 cases reported to date in the district, 17 people have recovered, all of them in Daviess County.

The seven-county Green River district reported 12 new cases Friday: eight in Daviess County, three in Henderson, and one in Union County. Six of the people in the district with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are hospitalized.

Thursday, April 2


Tennessee to 'Stay at Home'


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has issued a “stay at home” order for Volunteer State residents.


Lee was under growing pressure from medical professionals and city leaders to require Tennesseans to stay home unless they’re traveling for essential activities.


Lee said in a statement Thursday afternoon that he decided to issue a new executive order after traffic and cellphone mobility data revealed that movement around the state has been on the rise in recent days, even after he issued a less strict “Safer at Home” recommendation.--WPLN


Lee’s latest executive order will remain in effect through April 14.


Five New Cases Reported Thursday in Kentucky’s Green River District


Five new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed Thursday in the seven-county region served by the Green River District Health Department.


Daviess and McLean counties each have two new cases since the last update, and Hancock County has one new case.


That brings the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Green River District to 66.


Six of those individuals are currently hospitalized.


Daviess County has the most confirmed cases in the region, with 47.

Louisville Law Enforcement Warn of Bogus Testing Sites

Louisville police are investigating several pop-up coronavirus test sites that the Metro Council president says are “scams.”


The Courier-Journal reports the sites are operated by medical marketing companies and charge around $200 per test.


They’re being promoted on local television, and some doctors are referring patients to them. But government officials are advising residents to avoid the sites.

Indiana Cases, Deaths Continue to Spike

New numbers out from Indiana Thursday show an increase of 474 people with confirmed COVID-19 tests, for a total of 3,039 positive cases.

Seventy-eight Indiana residents have died from the coronavirus.--Associated Press


Wednesday, April 1

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state now has 687 cases of COVID-19 and at least 20 coronavirus-related deaths. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced an additional death in his city Wednesday, but the state has not been able to confirm that yet. Beshear said the Commonwealth has done more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests.


The state has reviewed and processed about 70,000 unemployment claims in at least the past 10 days. The governor said the state sent out notices Tuesday night accepting more than 40,000 unemployment applications.

Tennessee had 444 new cases Wednesday, and one additional death. The state now has 2,683 positive cases of COVID-19 and 24 coronavirus-related deaths. 

The state of Indiana is reporting 406 new cases of coronavirus and 16 related deaths. Indiana now has 2,565 positive cases of COVID-19 and 65 deaths from the virus. 

Tuesday, March 31

Gov. Andy Beshear: ‘This is a Tough Day on Nearly Every Metric’

According to the state’s website, Kentucky has at least 111 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday and seven more deaths. The Commonwealth now has 591 cases of COVID-19 and 18 coronavirus-related deaths. 

During his regular update, Gov. Andy Beshear said he signed an executive order allowing localities to re-hire recently retired law enforcement and firefighters without any negative impact on their retirement pay. He said the state has been allowing child care facilities to remain open for first responders and medical workers. The governor is expanding that to include grocery store workers. 

There will be drive-thru testing in Franklin County. Beshear said it will be a “proof of concept.” The University of Louisville lab will process those tests. 

Beshear said he expects there will be a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.

Tennessee Reporting Jump in COVID-19 Cases 

Tennessee reported 405 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 2,239. The state has also seen at least ten additional coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours. According to Tennessee’s COVID-19 website, at least 23 people in the state have died from the virus.

Positive Cases Continue to Grow in Indiana

The state of Indiana is reporting 373 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday and 14 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total to 2,159 COVID-19 cases and 49 deaths from the virus. 

Three New Cases, First Death in Green River Region

The Green River District Health Department is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 in the seven-county region, along with the first area death. The new cases announced Tuesday are from Daviess, Henderson, and Webster counties. That brings the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Green River region to 44, with 34 of those patients in Daviess County.

The health department also said a Daviess County resident has become the first person in the region to die from COVID-19. The department said it’s not releasing any demographic information on the person who passed away, out of respect for the individual and their family.

Kentucky Legislative Staffer Diagnosed with Coronavirus

A staffer for the Kentucky legislature has tested positive for coronavirus. The legislature has been meeting intermittently during the coronavirus pandemic and is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday to pass a final version of the state budget and other bills.

The staffer works for the Legislative Research Commission, the administrative arm of the legislature tasked with drafting bills, crunching numbers and assisting lawmakers. The agency is governed by a 16-member board made up of leaders from the Republican-majority legislature.

Rob Weber, public information officer for the LRC, said that the staffer is recovering and doing well, “given the circumstances.”

“We were informed on March 30 that an LRC staff member tested positive earlier in the day for COVID-19. We shared the news with all LRC staff members the same day,” Weber wrote in an email.--Ryland Barton

Beshear to Kentuckians: Don’t Leave State Unless You Absolutely Have To

A new order by Gov. Andy Beshear forbids Kentuckians from leaving the state, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. At the governor’s daily press briefing on Monday, Chief of Staff La Tasha Buckner said the new rule would permit residents to leave Kentucky only for work, necessary supplies, to see a doctor or take care of a family member, or if travel is required by a court. Beshear said law enforcement or county judges could enforce the order, but its effectiveness relies on Kentuckians.

“The reality is, the only way that we’re going to get people doing the right thing is because they agree to — is because they see it as their duty, and they know that their actions can harm other people,” Beshear said. “The moment that you go across the border […] and you have that extra contact, you can bring it back to a person in your family that’s working in a nursing home.”--Kyeland Jackson, WFPL

Kentucky High Seniors Missing Out on Traditional, Long-Awaited Activities

The coronavirus is making a lot of students anxious to see the pandemic, and home quarantines, come to an end. High school seniors, especially, are missing out on some rites of passage. 

The Class of 2020 has unwantedly become the Class of COVID-19. Eighteen-year-old Kallie Wood attends Bowling Green High School.  She realizes there will be no sports, prom, or senior trip to New York City.

“We were looking forward to going and seeing all the sights in New York," Wood told WKU Public Radio. "I’ve never been to New York so I was looking forward to it, and I was looking forward to spending one last trip with my friends and teachers.”--Lisa Autry

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Shuts Down Non-Essential Businesses

More businesses in Tennessee have been ordered to close in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The executive order issued by Gov. Bill Lee does not include places offering essential services. But Lee has stopped short of issuing a shelter-in-place.

Laundromats, post offices and pharmacies are among the businesses allowed to remain open in the state. Non-essential businesses such as barbershops and nail salons will have to close until April 14.--Sergio Martinez-Beltran, WPLN

Monday, March 30

Kentucky Seeing Fewer Cases 

Kentucky now has at least 480 cases of coronavirus, that’s 42 new cases on Monday. There are also two new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the Commonwealth’s total to 11. 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says the one-year-old in Fayette County who tested positive for the virus is at home and doing well. He issued a new executive order instructing Kentuckians not to travel to other states except for a few exceptions. People can still travel out of state if it is for work, healthcare, caring for a loved one, if you live on the border and need groceries or medicine, and if it is required by a court. 


There are 632 student volunteers from medical, nursing and pharmacy schools who are willing to help combat the coronavirus. Beshear says there are two positive cases from a nursing home in northern Kentucky. 

Tennessee COVID-19 Cases Growing 

Tennessee is reporting 297 new cases of coronavirus today and six additional deaths. The state now has 1,834 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths as a result of the virus.

Indiana Death Toll Increases 

State health officials say three more people have died in Indiana from coronavirus-related illnesses, increasing the state’s virus death toll to 35.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Monday that Indiana’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew by 273 to 1,786. The state now has nearly seven times the number of confirmed cases as a week ago, while the number of deaths is five times greater. Two of the new deaths involved Indianapolis residents, while the other person who died was from southeastern Indiana’s Franklin County.

The state health commissioner said last week that Indiana’s peak of coronavirus illnesses is expected in mid- to late April.--Associated Press

One New Case of COVID-19 Monday in Green River District

The Green River District Health Department is reporting one new case of COVID-19 in Union County. There are now 42 confirmed cases of the virus in the seven-county district. Daviess County has 33 cases, the most in the region. Henderson County has four. Union County has two. And there is one case each in Hancock, McLean, and Webster counties.

Scott County Volunteers Making Masks for Health Care Personnel 

Volunteers in Georgetown, Kentucky, are sewing hundreds of masks for healthcare professionals due to a severe shortage. Shannon Burns owns a large sewing center in Scott County, and is coordinating the effort. She said she was contacted by a local pediatric physicians’ office with a request for masks.

“They have a staff of 25 people. Each practitioner of those 25 sees on average 10-12 patients a day. That’s 250 masks they needed just for one day’s work,” Burns said. 

Burns adds that the health care workers contacting her are requesting a very specific mask, referred to as the Deaconess Mask. She said it takes about 10 to 20 minutes for an experienced sewer to create one of the masks. --WEKU

Sunday, March 29 

4:07 p.m.: According to the state’s website, Kentucky now has 439 positive cases of coronavirus. That’s at least 45 new cases in the last 24 hours. 

The state of Indiana reported 282 new cases of coronavirus Sunday and one additional death. That brings the Hoosier state to 1,514 positive cases of COVID-19. 

Tennessee now has 1,537 positive cases of coronavirus. That's 164 more cases since Saturday. The Volunteer state is also reporting an additional death caused by the virus, bringing the state’s total to seven. 

Saturday, March 28

5:04 p.m.: Northern Kentucky Health Department is reporting its first coronavirus related death. The patient was a Kenton County resident in their 60s. --Herald-Leader

5:01 p.m.: In his daily update, Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky has 92 new cases of COVID-19, that’s the most the state has seen in one day. That brings the state’s total positive cases to at least 394. 

The governor said another one-year-old has contracted the virus. He did not have information on the child’s condition. 

Kentucky has signed an agreement with the federal Department of Labor to raise the maximum unemployment benefits by $600. It also increases how long people can receive those benefits by 13 weeks. 

President Donald Trump signed a new disaster declaration for Kentucky, giving it access to additional funds. The agreement will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the state for measures taken to combat the coronavirus. The federal government will cover up to 75 percent of costs for supplies, extra assistance from law enforcement, temporary medical facilities among other expenses. 

The Commonwealth has been granted a waiver for its Women, Infant, and Children or WIC program that allows the state to maximize benefits and all eligibility meetings can take place virtually.  

Indiana COVID-19 Cases Growing Slower 

The Hoosier state reported 251 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. Indiana now has 1,232 positive cases. Thirty-one Indiana residents have died as a result of the virus--7 more since Friday. 

Tennessee Cases Growing

The state of Tennessee now has 1,373 positive cases of COVD-19, 170 new cases since Friday. The Volunteer state did not report any additional deaths Saturday. 

Friday, March 27


4:33 p.m.: Gov. Andy Beshear said there have been two additional coronavirus deaths, a 75-year-old female in Fayette county and a 77-year-old male in Hopkins county. This is the first time two people have died from the virus in one day.


4:13 p.m.: According to the state's website, there are now 302 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. That’s at least 54 new cases today.


3:09 p.m.: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city now has 103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and an additional death Friday. This is the biggest one-day increase in cases so far. He said drive-thru testing is now available by appointment only through the University of Louisville and the Veterans Affairs.

Kentucky AG: Abortions should cease during virus pandemic

Kentucky's Attorney General said abortions should cease as part of the governor's order halting elective medical procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the request Friday to the state's acting health and family services secretary.


Cameron is asking the official to certify that abortion providers are violating the ban by continuing to perform abortions. He said such certification would “trigger action” by his office to stop elective procedures during the pandemic.


The state's only abortion clinic is the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, which has said it plans to continue providing the procedure.--Associated Press



Green River District Health Dept. Friday COVID cases


The Green River District Health Department has reported six new cases of COVID-19 Friday, all in Daviess County. That brings the total number of cases to 32 in the seven-county district. Daviess County has 28 cases; Henderson County has two cases; Webster and Union counties have each reported one case of the virus. The age of the patients ranges from 20-77.

Indiana Sees Surge in COVID-19 Cases


The state of Indiana continues to see huge jumps in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are now 981 people in the state who have tested positive for the coronavirus—an increase of 336 over Thursday’s numbers. Twenty-four Indiana residents have died from the virus--7 since Thursday. --WFPL 

Daviess County Public Schools Meal Plan


Friday is the last day Daviess County Public Schools will deliver meals to students’ homes, something the district has been doing since closing its facilities due to coronavirus. Beginning Monday, families can pick up breakfast and lunch meals at designated schools and community locations around the county.

Meals for two days will be distributed only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Students will have those extra meals for Tuesday and Thursday.

In line with the requirements of “social distancing,” families must remain in their vehicles until they reach the serving tables, and then stand at least six feet away from other people while picking up the food.

The district said the cancellation of home-delivered meals is due to limited resources and to protect the health of school staff and local families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ky lawmakers pass relief bill


The Kentucky legislature has passed an emergency bill to expand unemployment benefits, allow the governor to waive several business and tax fees and expand telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic.


The measure also requires Gov. Andy Beshear to declare in writing when he decides to end Kentucky’s current state of emergency. If he has not done so by the start of the next legislative session, the measure allows the legislature to end it.

The chief purpose of the bill is to provide relief to Kentucky workers and businesses bruised by the pandemic and ensuing restrictions that have closed down much of the state. Lawmakers also hope the measure will help prop up the state’s economy. By one estimate Kentucky could lose 67,000 jobs by June.

You can read more about the bill here

Thursday, March 26


4:19 p.m.: During his regular update, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky now has 248 cases of COVID-19, that's 50 new cases since the last update. He is asking judge executives and mayors to monitor parks and shut those areas down if people aren't practicing social distancing. The governor also said the state is reactivating recently-expired licenses for health care workers and first responders to better prepare for the surge of cases he expects to see.


3:12 p.m.: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said there are now 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County. 

The city of Louisville will start removing all city-owned basketball rims and nets, locking up soccer goals and prohibiting all group activities in parks. 

-Kentucky’s Republican attorney general would be able to shut down abortion providers during the coronavirus pandemic under changes to a bill advancing in the state legislature. A substitute to House Bill 451 expanding the attorney general’s powers to enforce abortion regulations quickly passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.


The new language would give the attorney general power to enforce emergency orders issued by the governor banning elective medical procedures, “including but not limited to abortions.”


Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has issued an emergency order banning elective medical procedures during the pandemic, citing the need to conserve medical resources.


Kate Miller, advocacy director with the ACLU of Kentucky, said that women seeking abortions would be in a “desperate situation” if the attorney general shut down the state’s two providers.


“People are in desperate situations right now and the government should never have the power to force someone to stay pregnant against their will,” Miller said.


If passed, Kentucky would join other states pushing to limit abortions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

-Fort Campbell is reporting its first positive case of the coronavirus. The infected individual is a dependent of a military retiree at Fort Campbell, and is currently isolated at their home, which is outside the army post. Officials with Blanchfield Army Community Hospital are working to determine whether anyone else may have been exposed. While this is the first known case of COVID-19 at Fort Campbell, there are more than 200 tests pending.


-Indiana reported an additional 168 people with positive COVID-19 Thursday morning, bringing the state’s total to 645. Seventeen people in the Hoosier State have died from the virus.


- Toyota, which has facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia, will remain closed through April 17, due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus. In a statement, Toyota said service parts depots and vehicle logistics centers will continue operating. The production suspension applies to the company’s facilities across North America, including Canada and Mexico.


- The number of Kentucky residents filing for unemployment benefits has surged in the past week. The U.S. Labor Department says 48,847 Kentucky residents applied for unemployment assistance last week. It reflects the dramatic economic disruption caused by the virus. In the prior week, 2,785 claims were filed in Kentucky. 

Many businesses have closed or scaled back due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, federal and state law enforcement agencies in Kentucky will be on the lookout for scammers seeking to profit during the coronavirus outbreak. They are forming a coronavirus task force to investigate and prosecute fraud cases.

-The Kentucky Attorney General says he sent subpoenas to six third-party online retailers suspected of price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailers are accused of using Amazon’s online platform to sell emergency and medical supplies at sharply inflated prices.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Amazon assisted his office in identifying the retailers.

At least three were issued cease and desist orders as investigations continue.

Wednesday, March 25


5:07 p.m.: Kentucky now has 198 positive cases of Coronavirus, and one new death. The patient was a 75-year-old man with underlying medical issues from Jefferson County. That is Kentucky’s 5th coronavirus-related death.

Gov. Beshear said Kentucky has its first case of someone who went to Florida on spring break and has now tested positive for coronavirus. He said a little over a third of those who have tested positive for the coronavirus have needed hospitalization.


Independent contractors, substitute teachers, gig workers and anyone else who has had to stop working because of COVID-19 can now file for unemployment.

There will be additional law enforcement, including the National Guard, at hospitals and health care facilities soon.

Beshear said he is hoping the first drive-thru test facility for coronavirus will open on a limited basis Monday, but only for individuals showing symptoms. The Governor did not announce where the new testing site might be. 

3:19 p.m.: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said there has been another coronavirus-related death in Jefferson County. The patient was a 75-year-old man with underlying medical issues.

 -Western Kentucky University is donating personal protective equipment to local hospitals and healthcare providers in an effort to help combat COVID-19. The WKU College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing, and Allied Health pulled together more than 4,000 protective masks, about 600 boxes of gloves and more than 300 isolation gowns for local hospitals.


Tania Basta is the Dean of CHHS, and said she was approached by people working in the college who knew the supplies were available.


“So I thought it was a fantastic idea, I said please do it. And lo and behold they were able to make this happen and we had quite a bit of reserves that we were able to donate to the hospitals.


Beshear said the state will be conducting a survey of all medical facilities in the commonwealth to find out what PPE and staff resources are available.


-A Republican state representative has filed a measure that would allow people and businesses to sue the governor if they feel emergency restrictions are unnecessary, too broad or last too long.


The legislation comes after Gov. Andy Beshear ordered many businesses across the state to be shut down or closed to in-person traffic during the coronavirus pandemic.


The measure is being sponsored by Republican Representative Savannah Maddox from Dry Ridge. –Ryland Barton


-Beshear has issued an executive order outlining which Kentucky businesses are considered “life sustaining” and allowed to stay open amid the coronavirus pandemic. His order also suspended evictions. The Governor is halting in-person government activities at the state, county and local levels that aren’t necessary to “sustain or protect life” or support life-sustaining businesses.


Among businesses allowed to stay open include:

grocery stores

drug stores


hardware stores

agricultural operations

gas stations


businesses needed for transportation



delivery and pick-up


building and construction


home-based care and services

professional services

hotels –Associated Press


-Gov. Beshear has signed a bill giving Kentucky’s schools the latitude to use as many nontraditional instruction days as needed in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The legislation has an emergency clause allowing it to take effect immediately. –Associated Press

Tuesday, March 24


7:22 p.m.: Kentucky now has 163 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. During his daily briefing, Governor Andy Beshear said there are 39 new cases of the respiratory illness since yesterday. The new cases are in Warren, Daviess, Simpson, Muhlenberg, and Pulaski counties, among others. Beshear also announced an executive order that closes all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person contact. The order takes effect Thursday at 8 p.m. and exempts essential businesses such as pharmacies, gas stations, and grocery stores.


Monday, March 23 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the state has 124 positive cases of COVID-19.


A problem with the Small Business Administration’s website has been fixed. Kentucky businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic can now go online and apply for those disaster loans. 

A fund to provide financial assistance to Kentuckians who employment has been affected by COVID-19 is now live. It will be overseen by the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet.

There is a new hotline to report businesses that are not following Beshear’s executive orders. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., but messages can be left after hours. That number is 1-833-KYSAFER. 


Kentucky will conduct a survey of all supplies and staff at outpatient medical centers, in order to know how many resources are available in the state. As cases increase, Beshear expects to increase security at medical centers and hospitals. He said this is to make sure that people can get care in a safe and orderly manner in the event of a surge in coronavirus cases. 


Sunday, March 22 

4:45 p.m.: Kentucky now has 103 confirmed cases of COVD-19, and more than 2,000 tests have been administered. Beginning Monday at 8 p.m. all no-essental retail businesses are ordered to close to in-person services. That includes entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, jewelry, florists and auto dealerships. Beshear said grocery stores, auto parts and repair, gas stations and pharmacies will remain open. 

Also starting Monday at 8 p.m. all health care providers are ordered to delay elective procedures. The Governor said that includes chiropractors. 


1:32 p.m: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he has tested positive for COVID-19. The Republican is the first member of the Senate to report testing positive. He said in a tweet Sunday that he is feeling fine and is in quarantine.

Paul, a doctor, said he has not had symptoms and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. Paul said he was not aware of any direct contact with an infected person. Two House members, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart of Florida of Ben McAdams of Utah, have tested positive.

Saturday, March 21

Governor Andy Beshear said the state now has at least 87 confirmed cases of coronavirus. That’s up 24 from Friday. A 60-year-old man from Anderson County has died as a result of the virus. Beshear will light the governor’s mansion green Saturday for the people who have died from coronavirus. He said green is the color of renewal for him.

The 6-year-old who was diagnosed with coronavirus has been discharged from the hospital.


The federal Small Business Administration has approved a disaster loan application for small businesses in Kentucky. 


Friday, March 20

4:27 p.m.: -Daviess County health officials have announced 5 new local COVID-19 cases. The Messenger-Inquirer

-Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer reports Jefferson County has 8 more confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Beshear has asked Kentucky superintendents to keep schools closed until April 20. 

-The tax deadline for Kentucky filers has been extended to July 15. 

2:42 p.m.: Forty people are in self-quarantine after potentially being exposed to the coronavirus at a church service in Pulaski County last Sunday. A 59-year-old woman who has tested positive for COVID-19 was in attendance.

The director of the Lake Cumberland District Health Department said all those who were at the service have agreed to self-quarantine. Governor Beshear has since signed a ban against public gatherings, including church services. ---Herald-Leader

11 a.m.: Indiana political leaders say they decided to postpone the state’s May 5th primary

because of the coronavirus pandemic. Republican Governor Eric Holcomb said during a news conference with the state GOP and Democratic chairmen that the primary will instead be held on June 2nd.

The announcement came shortly after Indiana health officials reported that the state had 23 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. That raised Indiana’s total count to 79, including two patients who have died. Neighboring Kentucky and Ohio are among at least seven other states that have also postponed their primaries. –Associated Press

10:30 a.m.: Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says that, based on orders from the federal government, it cannot provide detailed information about the number of unemployment insurance applications.

Earlier this week, the cabinet disclosed that more than 34-people had filed for unemployment over the three-day period from Monday through Wednesday. The cabinet’s executive director of communications said in an email that the message to stop disclosing unemployment numbers was "conveyed by the Department of Labor so I cannot communicate those numbers until further notice”.

The New York Times has reported that the Labor Department told state officials in an email to “provide information using generalities” and avoid giving specific numbers until national claims data is released next week. —Jared Bennett, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

10:00 am: Pulaski, Hardin, Oldham, and Anderson counties all say they have a positive test result. A 59-year-old woman in Pulaski County, and an Oldham County woman in her late 60’s have tested positive.

The positive case in Hardin County is a public school student. A school district spokesman says the student wasn’t showing symptoms last week before schools closed in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. No demographic information is known about the Anderson County case.

At least 52 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kentucky as of this morning, with two deaths. That’s less than the 79 confirmed cases in Indiana, and significantly fewer than the 228 positive test results in Tennessee.

9:37 a.m.: Pulaski, Anderson and Oldham counties have their first confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one positive test result in each county. –The Herald-Leader

-Pulaski County 59-year-old female

-Anderson County demographics unknown

-Oldham County female in her 60s

Thursday, March 19

5:19 p.m. The second known case of coronavirus in Warren County involves an 80-year-old woman. Health officials are working with the Kentucky Department for Public Health to identify and contact all those who may have been exposed to the infected person.

These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

4:25 p.m.: Alcohol delivery from the bars and restaurants that are still open will be allowed with some restrictions.

1:41 p.m.: Effective immediately, Med Center Health in Bowling Green is enforcing visitor restrictions at all six hospitals within its healthcare system to combat the spread of COVID-19. Hospital officials said visitation is limited to one visitor over the age of 16 who will be screened for coronavirus upon entry.

Maternity and Women’s Health patients are asked to limit visitors to two at a time, with one parent and a significant other allowed inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Officials say exceptions will be made for end-of-life and pediatric needs. All non-essential visitors, vendors, and contractors are prohibited from entering hospital facilities.  

Affected hospitals include The Medical Centers at Bowling Green, Albany, Caverna, Franklin, Scottsville, and Commonwealth Regional Specialty Hospital.


11:00 a.m. The Green River District Health Department has reported two confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Evansville Courier & Press reports a 63-year-old in Henderson County and a 51-year-old in Daviess County are being isolated in their homes. 


9:00 a.m. The 73-year-old Warren County man who has tested positive for the coronavirus is being treated at Tri-Star Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green.


A statement from the hospital confirmed the man was there, but didn’t provide any other official details on his condition.


The Barren River Area Health District is now trying to trace where the man has been in recent days and weeks, in an effort to figure out who may have been exposed to the virus.


The man is the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Warren County, and the southern Kentucky region. 


Wednesday, March 18

Beshear announced 9 new cases of COVID-19, including the first one in Warren and Clark Counties. 

Bank lobby hours are being limited to encourage customers to use drive-thrus, online banking and other methods that avoid in-person contact.

Effective immediately all charitable gaming licenses are suspended, which applies to things like bingo.

The Department of Community Based Services will extend Medicaid, food stamp, cash assistance benefits by three months. Anyone who is now unemployed can immediately apply for these benefits.

Tuesday, March 17

5:00 p.m.: Western Kentucky University is cancelling all in-person classes for the rest of the spring semester, with all instruction to be done online or through other means. 

4:40 p.m.: Gov. Beshear is ordering all public facing businesses that encourage public congregation to close by 5 p.m. Wednesday. That includes gyms, exercise or recreational facilities, hair and nail salons, spas, concert venue and sporting facilities.

The Governor’s order exempts grocery stores, pharmacies, retail businesses, auto repair shops, health care facilities, gas stations, vet clinics, pet stores, retail and other businesses.

2:53 p.m.: Kentucky’s phone line and website for filing unemployment insurance crashed this week--and officials don’t know when they’ll be up and running again. The surge in activity that caused the system crash came after Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear ordered all restaurants and bars to close dine-in services. Beshear also waived the state’s mandatory one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.

Officials are working to correct problems with the website and phone line but provided no concrete timeline for when those services would be available. –The Herald-Leader

2:30 p.m.: Two influential groups are calling on the Kentucky General Assembly to adjourn, and stop taking up legislation while access to the state capitol is restricted due to the coronavirus. The Kentucky Education Association is demanding lawmakers pass an education-forward budget and then--in the group’s words-- “go home.” The KEA is also pushing legislation to waive the requirement for school districts to make up many of the instructional days lost to the school closures. The Kentucky American Civil Liberties Union is calling on lawmakers to postpone hearings on all legislation, including the next two-year budget. — Jess Clark, WFPL

Army base closures in the region

Fort Knox is beginning enhanced COVID-19 screening process for anyone who enters the facility. Those arriving at the clinic for an appointment will be met at the door by screeners who will ask three questions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Army post says the process should last only a few minutes, and will help determine if anyone entering the building needs further medical assessment for possible coronavirus infection. Fort Knox currently has no known cases of COVID-19.

Fort Campbell is closing schools and banning soldiers from traveling more than 80 miles ourtside the base, as the Army base tries to prevent the spread of coronavirus. At least 14 people at Fort Campbell have been tested for COVID-19. Eleven of those tests are negative, and three are pending. Ft. Campbell Senior Comander Major General Brian Winski said current restrictions could change if positive cases reach the base.

“And as this evolves, we may be at a situation where we start having positive cases in the immediate area and we start having positive cases on post, we may implement some more measures that become more restrictive.”

Commanders said officials will decide when to reopen schools at Ft. Campbell toward the end of the month. Guests are still allowed on the base and all scheduled surgeries at Ft. Campbell’s hospital will continue as planned. –Liam Niemeyer, WKMS

University classes

The University of Kentucky has canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the spring semester in response to the coronavirus. The state's flagship university says it will shift to online or alternative formats for classroom instruction for the rest of the semester. UK had already switched to online instruction for the two weeks following this week’s spring break.

--Associated Press


Mammoth Cave National Park will temporarily suspend cave tours and close its visitor center Tuesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. –Associated Press

Religious institutions

Catholic masses across western Kentucky are now temporarily suspended in response to the coronavirus. The Diocese of Owensboro plans to re-evaluate the decision closer to Holy Week and prior to Easter. Bishop Wiliam Medley says he based the decision on Centers for Disease Control guidelines to cancel events with 50 or more people. The announcement affects 78 parishes and 17 schools across 32 Kentucky counties. The Louisville Archdiocese of Lexington are also canceling public masses, heeding a call from Kentucky’s governor to pause Sunday service in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, March 16

8:05 p.m.: An evening release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said Kentucky’s total is now at 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Here’s a list of all of the patients thus far, with their ages, sex and location, if available:

  1. 66, Male, Bourbon, passed away March 15
  2. 40, Female, Fayette
  3. 46, Male, Fayette
  4. 31, Female, Fayette
  5. 47, Male, Fayette
  6. 31, Male, Fayette
  7. 27, Female, Harrison, fully recovered
  8. 67, Female, Harrison
  9. 68, Male, Harrison
  10. 54, Female, Harrison
  11. 60, Male, Harrison
  12. 51, Male, Harrison
  13. 69, Male, Jefferson
  14. 67, Female, Jefferson
  15. 68, Female, Jefferson
  16. 80, Female, Jefferson
  17. 73, Female, Jefferson
  18. 56, Male, Montgomery
  19. 53, Male, Nelson
  20. 49, Male, Clark
  21. 54, Male, Jefferson
  22. 34, Female, Jefferson
  23. 74, Male, Fayette
  24. 33, Female, Fayette
  25. 51, Male, Montgomery

“Again, we believe there are cases out there where people aren’t being tested because they are asymptomatic,” Beshear said in the release. “What we’re dealing with is serious. It shouldn’t scare you, but it should give you a commitment to make sure we are following the guidelines that we have to follow.”

4:10 p.m.: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says there are 22 cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. The newest case is in Jefferson County; she is a 34-year-old woman.

Beshear is also asking child care centers across Kentucky to close by the end of the day Friday. “I know it’s going to be hard. Everything I’ve announced over the past several days is going to be hard,” he said.

There will also be a three-month extension on drivers licenses, to avoid in-person traffic coming into those facilities. By the end of the day tomorrow, all government offices will be closed to in-person traffic, Beshear said.

He also said the state had applied for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses suffering from the economic problems coming from the coronavirus. And Beshear confirmed that the state would postpone the state’s primary elections by the 35 days allowed by Kentucky law: until June 23.

4:00 p.m.: Republican leaders of the Kentucky legislature say that the 2020 legislative session will continue despite worries of large gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement from House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers announced that the they are restricting in-person access to meetings to lawmakers, essential staff and reporters.The news comes after the CDC recommended that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 50 people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There are 138 members of the General Assembly, plus hundreds of staff, reporters and others who work on the state Capitol campus every day. — Ryland Barton

3:56 p.m.: Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams is recommending that the state move its primary elections from May 19 to June 23.

The request comes in response to the coronavirus epidemic. So far 21 people have been confirmed with the disease in Kentucky.

Authority to delay an election ultimately resides with the governor. In a letter to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, Adams asked Beshear to delay the primary election by 35 days. In this year’s primary contest, Kentuckians will weigh in on who to nominate for U.S. Senate, Congress and the state legislature. — Ryland Barton

If you live in Kentucky and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, call the Kentucky COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725. In Indiana, call the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125.