FRANKFORT, Ky. – The first steps to restart Kentucky's economy will begin next week announced Governor Andy Beshear (D) on Wednesday.
Restrictions on some health care services are being eased allowing for diagnostic and radiology testing, as well as non-urgent, emergent, in-person office and ambulatory visits.
“We are very close to coming to a consensus and an agreement in being able to put out guidelines for the gradual reopening of many of our hospital and health care services,” Beshear said. “We will be moving from this phase to others. Health care is a good and important place to start some of our reopening.”
The health care services reopening is the first under Beshear's Healthy at Work initiative introduced Tuesday .
The Governor also announced expanded coronavirus testing. First testing will now be available to everyone and secondly, drive-through testing will be expanded with a focus on African-American communities.
“We have seen the disproportionate impact – especially in the death rate – of this virus and so the commitment we are making teaming with Louisville and Lexington is that we are going to run more tests in that week, with the capacity of 1,500 per week in each of those locations,” he said.
The state's partnerships will now allow everyone to be tested.
The new testing sites with Kroger will be located in Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro, and Bowling Green. Kroger testing is open up to everyone who needs a test. Those wanting a test can get location and registration details on the KrogerHealth website.
Testing will take place April 27 to May 1 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at Louisville’s Shawnee Park, 4501 W. Broadway; and at Lexington’s Bluegrass Community and Technical College, 500 Newtown Pike.
The testing also will be done April 28 to April 30 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at Owensboro Community College, 4800 New Hartford Road; and at Bowling Green’s South Warren High School, 8140 Nashville Road.
“This announcement on increased testing is a really great step for us here in the City of Louisville,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, D-Louisville. “We all want to open up our economy in small steps as soon as we can but it’s absolutely critical that we have the testing that will be our guide.”
Another partnership with Walgreens will offer drive-through testing in Lexington beginning Friday, April 24. The location is 2296 Executive Drive. The site is open seven days a week, 9 am to 5 pm. Unlike the Kroger sites, visitors to Walgreens will need to meet certain conditions. Visit walgreens.com/coronavirus for additional information on registering.
“We are so excited to have these two new testing opportunities in Lexington,” said Mayor Linda Mayor Gorton, R-Lexington. “Our city acted early and quickly to prepare for COVID-19, and the numbers show Lexington citizens have done a great job at following social distancing recommendations. I greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation.”