Beshear announces order to restrict travel outside Kentucky

By Bruce Schreiner and Dylan Lovan - Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new order Monday instructing Kentucky residents to avoid traveling to other states in another aggressive step to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

His order on out-of-state travel includes several exceptions. It doesn’t apply to Kentuckians going to other states for work; to get food, medicine and other necessities; for health-care visits; to care for a loved one; or if a court requires the travel, said La Tasha Buckner, the governor’s chief of staff.

Beshear announced the travel restrictions as the state’s death toll from the virus rose to 11.

But many surrounding states have considerably more coronavirus cases, the governor said.

“What it means is your likelihood of getting infected and potentially bringing back the coronavirus may be greater in other states than ours right now,” he said. “And really you need to be at home and you need to be healthy at home anyways.”

People traveling outside Kentucky will be expected to go into self-quarantine for 14 days unless the travel is for those exceptions, the governor said.

Beshear announced 42 new cases in Kentucky and two additional deaths linked to the illness. The deaths were those of an 88-year-old woman in Kenton County and a 90-year-old woman in Simpson County.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that a Coronavirus Response Portal has been added to his website. The portal can be accessed by people with questions on such matters as unemployment insurance, low-interest federal loans, federal taxes and relief checks.

“I hope the following resources will be helpful as your family, organization, small business or community takes advantage of the federal funding I helped make available,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement.

In Louisville, a judge ordered a man with the virus to stay home after health officials reported he took a walk last week with his wife, according to media reports. Both were ordered to remain indoors until April 6 and were fitted with GPS devices to track their whereabouts.

Beshear was asked Monday about General Electric workers in Louisville who were upset about being sent back to work. Workers held a drive-by protest Saturday to demonstrate that some were worried about getting sick.

“My hope is that we can come to a place where those who are going to work feel safe and that there have been significant steps taken by the employer as well,” Beshear said. GE has said the facilities underwent a cleaning and workstations were adjusted for proper social distancing.

Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.

By Bruce Schreiner and Dylan Lovan

Associated Press