FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is providing more updates on opening the state’s economy, including childcare.
He says auctions will be able to open June 1, and horse shows will open June 8. Beshear says the target date for allowing groups of 50 people or less to gather and reopening bars will be June 29.
In-home based childcare with 10 children or less will also begin reopening June 8, with center-based childcare to follow June 15 with 10 or less children per group. Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander says the providers will need to follow guidelines such as:
- Limiting groups to 10 or less children
- Keeping the same staff members with the same groups to reduce the risk of exposure
- Requiring staff to wear masks
- Encouraging children to wear masks as they are able. Children five-years-old and under should not wear a mask.
- Eliminate center-wide family events
- Eliminate field trips
- Use centralized drop-off and pick-up locations to eliminate unnecessary traffic to classrooms and exposure of children
The secretary says churches will also fall under these guidelines and be able to restart their day cares as well.
Friedlander says some families will also be eligible to apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT). This program will provide additional benefits to Kentucky families with children who would have been receiving free or reduced meals in schools. He says P-EBT is a federal program that comes through the Family First Act and provides an additional $163 million to Kentucky.
Families already eligible for programs such as SNAP, TANF or Medicaid will have the benefits from P-EBT added to their existing benefits, according to Friedlander. Those who do not already have a SNAP or EBT card, but are in the programs will have a card mailed to them. He says families whose students attend a school where all students receive free or reduced meals will also be able to apply for the P-EBT benefit by visiting benefind.ky.gov or calling 1-855-306-8959.
The governor confirms 135 new cases of COVID and ten additional deaths in the state, bringing Kentucky’s totals to 8,286 cases and 386 deaths.
Beshear also says a total of 3,008 Kentuckians have recovered from their illness, and a total of 166,240 people have been tested across the state.
As the state begins to reopen more businesses and activities and groups of ten and under start to gather this weekend, Beshear reminds people to follow the “Healthy at Work” guidelines to continue slowing the spread of coronavirus. These guidelines include:
- Continue teleworking when possible
- Phase in returning employees to work rather than having everyone return at once
- Provide onsite temperature and health checks
- Provide universal masks and any other
- Close common areas such as cafeterias, waiting rooms and break rooms
- Enforce social distancing
- Limit face-to-face meetings
- Provide hand sanitizer and handwashing stations
- Provide special accommodations for those most vulnerable to the virus
- Have a testing plan in preparation of positive cases among employees
“I’m really proud of our retail facilities, and I think we’ll see the same from our restaurants of being really thoughtful of how we do things,” Beshear says. “We’ve got people really trying and really working, and if we continue to see those trends, I think we’re going to do a really good job on how we’re reopening Kentucky.”