Just a day removed from prohibiting gathering in restaurants and bars, Governor Andy Beshear announced a new executive order, this time ordering certain businesses closed. These businesses include gyms, movie theaters, sports facilities, and all forms of salons. Beshear did say that certain businesses will be granted exemptions, including grocery stores, consumer goods, and retail services. A full list can be found on the Governor’s website. As of last night, 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were in Kentucky.
Various colleges and universities have had their education courses altered due to the threat of COVID-19 in the state. Western Kentucky University, University of Louisville, and the University of Kentucky have both cancelled in-person instruction for the rest of the spring semester. Both universities have announced that they will be using alternative instruction to get the course load to those that need it. All in-person events for the rest of the semester must be cancelled, postponed, or virtualized. Degrees will still be given to those who completed all necessary coursework, but in-person commencement ceremonies will need to be postponed. As for Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, the college announced last night that spring break for students has been extended through March 20th, with no classes taking place before March 23rd. Employees will be working remotely, except for essential personnel. Also, the college’s walk-in enrollment service has been closed to the public, however these services are still available over the phone or through e-mail.
The Elizabethtown Police Department is encouraging caution after news of a scam. According to Officer Chris Denham, the new scam features someone saying that they are selling COVID-19 testing kits, which are only for use in medical facilities. As far as the department is aware, these kits are not for home use. The department advises those who believe they have been infected with the virus or show symptoms to contact health care professionals for advice.
Hardin County Judge Executive Harry Berry has directed all county facilities be closed to the public effective at 4:30 PM yesterday. Berry notes that all employees will continue to report for duty in order to conduct business for citizens. Additional information and direction will be available at hcky.org. Fiscal Court will continue as planned on March 24, 2020, but will be closed to the public. The meeting will be streamed live on the county government’s official YouTube channel, and a recorded version will be posted to the county’s webpage the next day.
The American Red Cross is urging the public to continue to give blood despite COVID-19. The organization says that over 1,500 blood drives have been cancelled, leading to over 46,000 fewer donations. Spokesperson Tiffany Taylor says that the Red Cross is taking all necessary steps to ensure that donors and staff are safe, and facilities are clean. Those who are healthy and eligible to donate blood are encouraged to visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive nearby.