During his update on Sunday, March 22, Gov. Andy Beshear reported that the state will now close “non-essential” retail businesses in to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“As of tomorrow night at 8 p.m., that’s Monday night at 8 p.m., we’re going to close non-essential retail businesses. This is the next step that we need to take to reduce the contacts among Kentuckians until we can defeat this virus,” Beshear said.
He emphasized that the closure mandate does not include grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores or gas stations.
“There is no need to rush to those types of stores,” Beshear said. “And please don’t rush to any of these types of stores. What that does is create a crowd that can spread the coronavirus.”
Beshear said, however, while customers can’t come into stores, stores can still offer curbside pickup, online orders and deliveries. He encouraged residents to help small businesses by ordering from them.
He explained the list of businesses that must close to in-person traffic include businesses related to entertainment, sporting goods, clothing, shoes, jewelry, book stores, florists, furniture and auto dealers.
Beshear noted, however, that auto repair and parts stores will be exempt from the closures. Liquor stores will also still be open, Beshear said.
He emphasized that regardless of steps that will be taken in the future to slow the spread of the virus, Kentuckians will still be able to get the items that they need. He also emphasized that grocery stores will continue to have enough food for residents. He discouraged people from hoarding food.
“Folks, we’re going to continue to have to take these types of steps, but understand no matter what steps that we have to take, you’re still, you’re still going to be able to get the essentials that you need. You’re still going to be able to go out for a walk and get exercise. You’re still going to be able to live your life in a way to where we can and we will get through it. We just have to continue to reduce the contacts that are out there.”
When answering questions about the supply of food in the state, he said, “I do have confidence in the food chain supply … There is going to be enough,” he said. “Now, in fact, we are our own worst enemy in that. The issue isn’t that there isn’t enough in stores, it’s that we take too much when we go to stores. Remember your actions have consequences on other people. Let’s just be a good neighbor.”
The state is encouraging a “Healthy at Home” initiative, encouraging residents to stay home to stop the spread of the virus.
In the briefing, Beshear also mandated that medical providers to cease non-essential services, including chiropractors and other specialties. He previously requested non-essential medical services to cease.