Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has embraced plans by the White House to lift restrictions brought on by the coronavirus, but said the state must increase its testing capacity to get there. And this week, local officials will discuss plans for the Lyon County economy’s slow return to normal.
President Trump on Thursday detailed a set of guidelines for easing restrictions over a span of several weeks in places that have robust testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. Beshear, who has spent weeks urging residents to stay home, said he agreed with the White House guidelines, including using a 14-day decrease in cases as a threshold to begin opening businesses back up.
Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White is eager to take a measured approach to reopening the local economy to save local businesses. He is asking local proprietors and self-employed workers to consider circumstances under which they may safely reopen.
“Be thinking what you would do so that we would not see a spike in transmission of this virus,” White posed in a recent video on social media.
He said that may include social distancing, disinfecting or wearing masks.
“We’re going to have to somehow open the businesses back up,” he added.
On Thursday, local business owners are invited to join White in a Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce teleconference to share ideas for reopening the local economy.
Jeff Simms, municipal accounts representative with WCA Waste, said on a social media post this week that he has seen firsthand what the pandemic has done to businesses in his service area that includes Lyon, Caldwell, Trigg, Crittenden and Christian counties.
“I ended trash services for six businesses across my service area last week that were permanently closing,” he said Monday. “I have already had an additional call this morning.”
One guideline from the White House plan calls for robust testing of health care workers, which Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s public health commissioner, said was “still a problem” in the state. Stack said Kentucky, like many states, lacks the swabs to increase testing to meet this guideline.“The proposal actually requires us to be able to test at a scale that no state is testing right now,” Stack said. But “we agree with this, we need to get the testing capacity rapidly up so that doctors and offices and hospitals can test a much larger number of people.”Beshear released his own set of seven guidelines for Kentucky on Friday, some aligning with the president’s proposals. Beshear is calling for increased testing, availability of protective equipment and plans to protect vulnerable populations as thresholds to begin lifting restrictions.