Mayor Heaton Explains Gradual Reopening of Businesses

Bardstown, Ky. (May 4, 2020) – Last week Andy Beshear laid out the State’s plan to gradually reopen business activities while continuing to keep Kentuckians safe from the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Bardstown Mayor Richard Heaton, along with Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts, NCEDA President Kim Huston and a 20-member Recovery Ready Task Force, are putting steps in place to implement the Governor’s plans in Bardstown and Nelson County.

There is a tentative reopening schedule for a variety of businesses that will be allowed to resume operations. However, be cautioned that in all cases, it will not be business as usual and will require adherence to the 10 rules to reopening, along with industry specific requirements.

Businesses that open on the listed dates must also comply with Phase 1 of the Healthy At Work program. The 10 requirements include:

  • Continue telework where possible

  • Phased return to work

  • Onsite temperature/health checks

  • Universal masks and other necessary PPE

  • Common areas (waiting rooms, break rooms, cafeterias etc.) must be closed

  • Social distancing must be observed by employees and customers

  • The business must limit face-to-face meetings

  • The business must provide hand sanitizer or hand washing stations

  • Businesses must provide special accommodations

  • Businesses must have a testing plan

Beshear said that the reopening plans will only move forward if the number of cases do not climb significantly as businesses reopen.

If the number of new COVID-19 cases spikes, the reopening plans may be put on pause or rolled back.

"Everything up here is fluid, depending on the Coronavirus," Beshear said, “We cannot allow ourselves to have that second spike."

Beshear emphasized that the possibility of a second surge of new cases remains as businesses try to reopen.

He said that other businesses will need to wait until June at the earliest to re-open, including in-person dining at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, campgrounds, youth sports, public pools, and daycares.

This week, Kentucky began the phased reopening of health care services as the first step under Gov. Beshear’s Healthy at Work initiative, which set out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy. These benchmarks closely follow the White House’s Guidelines for Reopening America.

On Wednesday, Gov. Beshear said that as long as Kentucky keeps up the fight against the coronavirus with promising results, the following business sectors are in line to restart:

  • May 11 – Manufacturing, construction, vehicle and vessel dealerships, professional services (at 50% of pre-outbreak capacity), horse racing (without spectators), pet grooming and boarding

  • May 20 – Retail, houses of worship

  • May 25 – Social gatherings of no more than 10 people, barbers, salons, cosmetology businesses and similar services

He said that for May 20, houses of worship would be allowed in-person services at a reduced capacity and that everything is contingent on being able to do social distancing, cleaning, sanitation and other accommodations.

Not reopening yet
The Governor said that a couple of industries and businesses are not quite ready to open, which include restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, campgrounds, youth sports, summer camps, day cares (except for essential health care workers) and public pools.

“Another that we want to be in Phase 2 is gyms. Later, but not in Phase 1: movie theaters, campgrounds and youth sports. We hope in this summer, and we don’t know if it will be in June or perhaps early July, we hope that we will be able to do some youth sports,” the Governor said.

Healthy at Work reopening process
During the Healthy at Work phases, the Department for Public Health will evaluate individual businesses’ ability to safely reopen. Industry groups and trade associations are encouraged to communicate with and gather input from their membership to develop and submit reopen proposals on behalf of their members. Individual businesses may submit via the online reopen form. All proposals will be evaluated according to White House guidelines and other public health criteria.
Need further clarification? Here's a more in-depth look at the minimum requirements for businesses to reopen.

More information
The City of Bardstown, along with Nelson County Fiscal Court, will be keeping the public advised of the implementation of the reopening of Bardstown and Nelson County.