COVID-19

Update and information relating to novel Coronavirus COVID-19




• Monday, March 29: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issues executive order prohibiting Kentuckians from traveling outside of the state except for the purposes of obtaining food, obtaining healthcare, checking on family members or submitting to court orders. Full story here.

• Monday, March 29: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice states that out-of-state travelers are not welcome in the state during the COVID-19 crisis. He says those traveling to West Virginia from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, Italy and China are required by executive order to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in West Virginia. Full story here.

• Monday, March 29: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issues stay-at-home order for residents of the state. Full story here.

• Sunday, March 29: President Donald Trump extends social distancing guidelines until April 30, a reversal of previous statements saying he hoped to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter.

• Sunday, March 29: Country music star Joe Diffie dies of complications from coronavirus, according his publicist. He was 61.

• Saturday, March 28: President Donald Trump approves federal disaster declaration for Kentucky.

• Saturday, March 28: During Governor Beshear’s daily COVID-19 update conference, he announced the first case of COVID-19 has hit Floyd County, but it was later announced as a “negative” test by Floyd County Health Department. Full story here.

• Friday, March 27: Lawrence County Health Department confirms county’s first COVID-19 case. Full story here.

• Friday, March 27: U.S. House of Representatives passes $2.2T relief package that will sent one-time stimulus payments to Americans and American children. President Donald Trump signs into law. Full story here.

• Friday, March 27: West Virginia opens up license-free fishing for state residents amid calls for social distancing. Full story here.

• Thursday, March 26: A 90-year-old Perry County nursing home resident has been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19. Gov. Andy Beshear announces that Kentucky’s COVID-19 cases now total 248 after a 50-case increase from March 25. No new deaths reported. Full story here.

• Thursday, March 26: The City of Prestonsburg and the City of Pikeville announced they are closing off access to playground equipment in order to help prevent cross contamination with coronavirus.

• Thursday, March 26: West Virginia names new “coronavirus czar.” Full story here.

• Wednesday, March 25: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announces he is ordering the suspension of elective medical and surgical procedures in order to preserve hospital bed capacity and medical equipment. Full story here.

• Wednesday, March 25: Gov. Andy Beshear announces drastic expansion of eligibility for unemployment insurance to include private contractors, small business owners, cosmetologists and others. Full story here.

• Wednesday, March 25: Gov. Andy Beshear issues new closure order for businesses. Full story here with link to order.

• Wednesday, March 25: Gov. Andy Beshear sign bill allowing unlimited NTI Days for schools. Full report here.

• Wednesday, March 25: Federal emergency stimulus bill agreed upon.

• Tuesday, March 24: University of Pikeville announces cancellation of graduation ceremony. Also announces in-person instruction will not resume in current semester. Full story here.

• Tuesday, March 24: West Virginia’s stay at home order takes effect at 8 p.m. Full story here.

• Monday, March 23: Eastern Kentucky’s second and third coronavirus cases are confirmed. The Martin County Health Department confirmed a person tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, and Gov. Andy Beshear announced that a second individual in Breathitt County has tested positive. As of his Monday press briefing, Kentucky had 124 positive cases of coronavirus. The state also experienced its fourth death, an 82-year-old woman in Lexington.

• Monday, March 23: Donations to benefit those who may have lost their jobs or sources of income due to coronavirus can be made at the new Team Kentucky Fund.

• Monday, March 23: Non-essential businesses not following orders to close or to practice social distancing recommendations can now be reported to a new hotline. Full report here.

• Monday, March 23: Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the Kentucky National Guard will be utilized to assist with security at hospitals in anticipation of an increase in coronavirus cases. Full report here.

• Monday, March 23: All schools in Virginia have been ordered closed for the rest of the academic year. Full report here.

• Monday, March 23: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a state-at-home order for West Virginians and order all non-essential businesses to temporarily close. Full report here.

• Sunday, March 22: Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered that all non-essential businesses in Kentucky should close by 8 p.m. Monday, March 23. Full report here.

• Sunday, March 22: Gov. Andy Beshear has mandated that all healthcare facilities cease elective procedures. This is in addition to a previous order regarding elective procedures.

• Sunday, March 22: U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-quarantine.

• Saturday, March 21: Eastern Kentucky has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Full details can be found here.

• Friday, March 20: The nation’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases anticipates that Americans will likely have to continue staying home or practicing social distancing for at least the next several weeks. In a press conference Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the trends of outbreaks in other areas indicates the coronavirus outbreak will likely not be over within the next several weeks. President Donald Trump predicted this week that the outbreak could dissipate by July or August.

• Friday, March 20: The Pikeville City Commission will be conducting its regular meeting on March 23, but with doors closed to the public. In a notice sent out Friday, the city announced the meeting will not be open to the public in compliance with the governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency and recommendations to not gather in large groups. The meeting will be broadcast via live stream through Pike TV and city residents will have the opportunity to submit questions and concerns to the Pikeville City Commission during the meeting. The link for the live stream can be found here.

• Friday, March 20: Southwest Virginia has its first confirmed case of coronavirus. According to the Virginia Department of Health, an elderly patient tested positive in the agency’s Alleghany Health District, which included the city of Roanoke. The patient is in critical condition. No confirmed cases have been reported in the Cumberland or Lenowisco health district bordering Eastern Kentucky.

• Friday, March 20: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has tested negative for coronavirus. Justice announced the result on Thursday. He was tested after it was determined that he had attended an event with the first person in the state to test positive for the virus. Justice said he hugged and took a photo with the Jefferson County, West Virginia man at a grant event in January, weeks before the man tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

• Friday, March 20: The state of West Virginia is extending licenses and registrations amid the coronavirus outbreak. The state’s Division of Motor Vehicles is closed to the public as of Thursday and any driver’s license, instruction permit or vehicle registration expiring in March or April will be extended by three months.

• Thursday, March 19: Gov. Andy Beshear says grocery and supply chains in Kentucky are safe and will not run out.

• Thursday, March 19: Gov. Andy Beshear says school in Kentucky should prepare to be closed to in-person instruction longer than initially planned.

• Thursday, March 19: Gov. Andy Beshear clarified that there will likely be no penalties for businesses who violate his executive order closing public-facing businesses in order to quell the spread of COVID-19. He asked people to “do their duty” and avoid crowds.

• Thursday, March 19: Gov. Andy Beshear clarified that an executive order issued Tuesday closing public-facing businesses also includes houses of worship and worship services. The full story can be found here. Beshear also said call centers should allow employees to work from home if possible. He also recommended that people conduct banking business remotely or through drive-through windows.

• Thursday, March 19: As of his 5 p.m. press briefing Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear is reporting that Kentucky now has 47 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19. The governor also reports that Kentucky has experienced its second death, a 64-year-old male in Jefferson County. Kentucky also has two cases of coronavirus in children, an 8-month-old and a 6-year-old. The governor says both are doing well.

• Thursday, March 19: ARH hospitals announced Wednesday that visitation has been cancelled and other restrictions have been put into place. Details can be found here.

• Thursday, March 19: Appalachian Wireless has changed its hours of operation in its retail stores and implemented an hour dedicated to serving senior citizens. Full details here.

• Thursday, March 19: Walmart’s newest hours of operation take effect Thursday. Stores will now be open 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Restrictions on quantities of items have also been implemented, as has a dedicated shopping hour for shoppers ages 60 and older. Full details can be found here.

• Thursday, March 19: A state of emergency has been declared in Letcher County. Judge-Executive Terry Adams has ordered the county’s courthouse and all other county buildings are to be closed for at least 14 days. Full story here.

Thursday, March 19: The Prestonsburg Police Department announced it is conducting an investigation into an alleged price-gouging incident which occurred in a supposed prank Facebook post using a false profile. Instances of price-gouging should be reported to the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron by visiting ag.ky.gov.

Thursday, March 19: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced on Wednesday that he had issued executive order limiting restaurants and bars in the state to drive-through, takeout and delivery services. He also ordered that all fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers and similar businesses or public places are closed.

Wednesday, March 18: Gov. Andy Beshear has suspended all charitable gaming licenses, closing bingo halls temporarily.

Wednesday, March 18: Certification periods for public assistance — including SNAP, Medicaid, K-TAP and State Supplementation — have been extended for three months. Job search, work and participation requirements have been temporarily suspended for SNAP able-bodied adults without dependents.

Wednesday, March 18: Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s first COVID-19 positive test in a child. An infant, 8 months old, tested positive and is being treated at its home in Jefferson County. As of his Wednesday press briefing, there were 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kentucky. No cases have been confirmed in Eastern Kentucky.

Wednesday, March 18: Knott County Judge-Executive Jeff Dobson declared a state of emergency in the county. All government offices have been closed to the public through April 10. Full story here.

Wednesday, March 18: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday evening that the state had confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Full story here.

Tuesday, March 17: Gov. Andy Beshear announced that he is ordering the closure of “public-facing businesses,” such as movie theaters, salons and recreational venues. Full story here.

Tuesday, March 17: The City of Pikeville is transitioning away from in-person business. Effective Wednesday, March 18, the Pikeville City Hall and the Pikeville Office of Economic Development will be closed to the public, with employees ordered to work from home if possible. The Pikeville Police Department station will be closed to the public. Those needing police assistance may call the station or use the phone outside the building to speak to an officer inside. The Pikeville Fire-EMS Department will be closed to the public. Those needing to speak to fire department personnel can press the emergency button at the front door of fire station no. 1.

• Tuesday, March 17: Pike County Government is transitioning away from in-person business. Effective Wednesday, March 18, the Pike County Courthouse will be closed to the public. The satellite courthouses at Belfry and Phelps will be closed. All Pike County Senior Citizen Centers will be closed. All Pike County community centers will be closed. The Pike County Animal Shelter is closed to the public. All Pike County Library locations will be closed to the public. All gymnasiums and athletics facilities are encouraged to be closed. All private organizations, bingo facilities, churches and other groups are asked to adhere to the recommendation that no more than 10 people gather together. These directives are in place until further notice.

• Tuesday, March 17: Food City and Dollar General Stores have announced designated shopping hours for senior citizens. Food City will allow only seniors 65 and older to shop in the store between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Dollar General will also have a senior-only hour each day in the first hour of operation.

• Tuesday, March 17: Hillbilly Days 2020 has been cancelled. Full story here.

• Monday, March 16: The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is postponed until Labor Day Weekend.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that Kentucky’s primary election will be delayed by 35 days. Full story here.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear announced that state government is transitioning to being closed to in-person service by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The move is to bring state government into line with the recommendations the state is making to private businesses and individuals.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear announced that driver’s licenses will be extended for three months.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered child care facilities to prepare to close by Friday. The order will include an exception for healthcare workers to be able to have care for their children.

• Monday, March 16: The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has launched a website to assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For information, click here.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Sunday that he has tested negative for coronavirus. The test was necessary, Beshear said during Sunday’s news conference, because he attended an event earlier in the year with a patient who has since tested positive for the virus.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday morning that Kentucky has experienced its first coronavirus-related death. In a press conference Monday morning, Beshear announced the death of one of Kentucky’s nearly two-dozen COVID-19 patients. For several days, Beshear has said in daily briefings that one of the patients was not expected to survive, but that their condition was not only related to COVID-19. It is not clear at this time if the person that died is that patients to which Beshear has referenced. 

• Monday, March 16: Virginia experienced its first COVID-19-related death over the weekend. In a statement from the Virginia Department of Health, the agency announced the death of a male in his 70s who acquired coronavirus from an unknown source. He died as a result of respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19, the statement says. The death of occurred in Virginia’s Peninsula Health District, which serves the eastern portion of the state.

• Monday, March 16: Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered Kentucky’s bars and restaurants to temporarily close their dining rooms. The governor made the announcement in Monday morning’s news conference and said the closure will take effect at 5 p.m. Monday evening. The action follows similar action in other states, including Ohio and Illinois. Beshear indicated during a news conference on Sunday that the closure order was being considered as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Saturday, March 14: The following events at Appalachian Wireless Arena have been cancelled:
— East Kentucky Stampede Championship Rodeo scheduled for March 20 and 21.
— Empire Fight Series scheduled for April 4. Promotes plan to reschedule at a later date.

Saturday, March 14: The following events at Appalachian Center for the Arts have been cancelled or rescheduled:
— The Price is Right Live scheduled for March 26 at Appalachian Center for the Arts has been rescheduled to July 26.
— Pickin’ and Grinnin’ scheduled for March 30 is cancelled.

Saturday, March 14: All 8 senior citizens centers in Pike County will be closed for at least two weeks to congregate activities. Contact senior citizens center for information on meal delivery. The Letcher County Senior Citizens Center will also be closed until further notice.

Saturday, March 14: The following school districts in Kentucky will be closed for an extended period of time. Floyd County Schools, Harlan Independent Schools, Jenkins Independent Schools, Johnson County Schools, Letcher County Schools, Magoffin County Schools, Paintsville Independent Schools, and Pikeville Independent Schools will be closed through April 3. Harlan County Schools, Knott County Schools, Leslie County Schools, Perry County Schools and Pike County Schools will be closed through March 27th. All K-12 schools in Virginia and all schools in West Virginia are closed. The closings/cancellations page can be found by clicking here.

Saturday, March 14: Don’t panic. Wash your hands often.

Friday, March 13: Officials at Pikeville Medical Center confirmed on Friday that they have tested a total of four people for potential coronavirus COVID-19 infection. At a new conference, PMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Aaron Crum said two of those tests have been returned as negative and he anticipates the other two tests to also be negative. During the new conference, Crum said the hospital is currently ready to treat as many as 40 coronavirus patients with the capacity to expand that number if needed. Crum also said the hospital is asking those who are not sick to avoid visiting the hospital.

Friday, March 13: Also on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The president said the declaration would open up $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. Trump spoke as negotiations continue between the White House and Congress on an aid package.

Friday, March 13: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced on Friday that West Virginia’s schools will be closed indefinitely. In a news conference, Justice said quote “The monster is looming but the monster is not here,” end quote and added that quote “We’ll close the schools as long as we have to close the schools.” end quote West Virginia has not yet had a positive test for COVID-19.

Friday, March 13: Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron are warning Kentuckians against potential scams related to the coronavirus outbreak. In a joint statement, Beshear and Cameron warned the public that online scammers may set up fake websites, send emails or texts or make social media posts to sell fake products they claim will cure or prevent COVID-19. Kentuckians are urged to check the source of online products or services before buying or using them. Those who believe they may be targeted by scams are asked contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257.