The health and safety of our community is our top focus. This page relays information from organizations across our community. We are sharing information so you can best protect yourself. We are preparing and sharing important verified information.
The coronavirus is a common virus. However, this new strain, COVID-19, is impacting communities across the globe.
This page keeps you aware of what work is being done and how we are responding as a community. This page will be updated as information becomes available.
We also will send a regular email with updates on this work. You can subscribe to receive this email by filling out this form.
Tips to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often
- If washing your hands isn't possible, utilize alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid others
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or do so into your elbow
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes
Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19 Scams and Fraud
Community needs and support
As COVID-19 continues to affect our community, neighbors are stepping up and helping one another. There are several community resources to provide emergency support to those in need.
Neighbor Helping Neighbor
Coronavirus Response Fund
Charitable grants will fund organizations and programs that work to provide residents with access to food, prescriptions/healthcare and other childcare and basic needs. The fund is designed to complement the work of local public health, nonprofit, and government entities, and to expand local capacity to support individuals and families experiencing hardship because of the outbreak and related closures and disruptions.
If you would like to support the fund, you can text donations to (859) 208-2850, make a donation online, or donate by check payable to Blue Grass Community Foundation, with indication donation for Coronavirus Response Fund. Mail checks to Blue Grass Community Foundation, Attn: Coronavirus Response Fund, 499 E. High Street, #112, Lexington, KY 40507.
The City is working with God’s Pantry Food Bank and the United Way of the Bluegrass to pre-package food boxes that can be distributed to families in need. Boxes are stocked with provisions designed to meet a family’s needs for about a week. City employees from Social Services and Lexington Parks & Recreation will be reassigned to join God’s Pantry volunteers in packaging the food for distribution. Plans call for the distribution to begin soon. God’s Pantry estimates 10,000 food boxes will be needed per month. Families in Fayette County should call (859) 259-2308 or visit godspantry.org/help to find the closest site. Eligibility is based on current income and household size.
Federal Coronavirus Relief Package
President Donald Trump signed into law a coronavirus relief package passed by the U.S. Congress. This relief bill includes guaranteed sick leave for workers and their families affected by COVID-19, increases food aid for needy families and seniors, provides funding for state unemployment claims, guarantees free testing for people suspected of having the virus. A summary of the bill is available.
Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
As part of the recently passed and signed CARES Act, stimulus checks will be sent to eligible adults. Find more about the economic impact payments from the IRS.
The CARES Act also supports our small business owners. You can get an outline of how your small business can gain assistance through the CARES Act.
If you are experiencing unemployment due to the effects of COVID-19, you may be able to apply an Unemployment Insurance Claim. The Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet and Kentucky Career Center are offering resources for those seeking unemployment assistance.
Governor Andy Beshear announced unemployment eligibility has been expanded due to COVID-19. Individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits can now file. Those who left their job for “good cause” because of reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine) or due to caring for a family member affected by the virus are also eligible.
In order to serve those seeking Unemployment Insurance better, claims are being filed on specific days of the week, based on the applicant's last name. View the schedule.
If you are unable to reach the webpage, you can call – View a list of numbers.
Below is a short video helping explain Unemployment Insurance benefits.
If you are a business owner with more than 50 employees, and need to file a Mass Electronic Claim, find information here.
Small Business Support
Below is a short video helping explain support for small businesses.
Commerce Lexington has developed several resources for small business owners:
- Resources for getting small business financial assistance
- General COVID-19 information for business owners
- If you are hiring and need workers
Community Ventures Corporation is helping businesses with technical assistance to help them get online to continue some form of revenue stream. In addition they are helping businesses coordinate with federal resources that may offer some relief. Call 859-231-0054 for more details.
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center is also offering free webinars for small business owners looking for resources. Webinars are on Wednesday each week - register now.
Our farms are important to our community. Here are tips on planning to care for your farm and employees.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department provides updated numbers of COVID-19 cases in Fayette County. To help reduce the spread of the virus, social distancing is recommended. At this time, all public events have been banned. Social distancing helps slow down the instances of spread among the community and helps prevent overwhelming the resources of our health care system.
At the urging of Governor Andy Beshear, Mayor Linda Gorton declared a state of emergency, which gains the City access to additional resources if needed. In addition, the Mayor activated the Emergency Operations Center.
At this time, everyone is encouraged to take precautions. Wash your hands, stay home, avoid contact with sick people and avoid public gatherings.
People over the age of 60 who have underlying conditions, including those under the age of 60 with underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, and liver disease should avoid public gatherings. Nursing homes, long term care facilities, and assisted living facilities should restrict visitation. Per Governor Beshear’s recommendations, avoid flying and cruises if you are over the age of 60.
Stay tuned to the Closings and Cancellations sidebar to stay up-to-date on actions taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Lexington's homeless service system has been working to prepare their staff and facilities, as well as individuals and families who access services. Overnight shelters and day centers are in desperate need of thermometers, personal hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray. Anyone who would like to donate can drop their donations between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, located at 101 East Vine Street.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has data and prevention recommendations.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has virus updates and reports daily on the number of people who are tested and the results of those tests. There have been several steps taken to reduce the spread of the virus. If you want to see if your business is in compliance with these orders, or if you need to report a compliance issue, you can find information on the KY Safer webpage. The Kentucky webpage is also available in Spanish.
Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has great resources on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
To help answer the community’s questions about COVID-19, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is operating a call center for members of the public. Questions can be made by calling (859) 899-2222 or emailing COVID19@lfchd.org.
The Supreme Court of Kentucky has ordered cancelation and postponement of some civil and criminal dockets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The CDC provides great tools regarding the prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities. You can view that information online.
If you believe you've been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of the disease (fever, cough and shortness of breath), call your doctor. The state has the capability of testing for COVID-19 when patients meet testing criteria developed by the CDC. Healthcare providers must gain approval from the state health department prior to testing. Learn more about the efforts of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at their website.
Governor Beshear has ordered all hospitals stop performing elective procedures until further notice.
University of Kentucky Healthcare has detailed information about their response to COVID-19. To learn more visit their website.
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky has suspended, indefinitely, all University-sponsored or endorsed international travel. University-sponsored or endorsed domestic travel is strongly discouraged.
Additionally, the University of Kentucky has moved all instruction to online or other alternative learning formats through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Students are required to return to their homes by March 27. Keep up-to-date on the University's COVID-19 response.
Additionally, Transylvania University has suspended international travel. Non-essential domestic travel is suspended as well. Most on-campus events through April 5 will be rescheduled. Any athletic events will be limited to athletes, essential personnel and a small number of guests. Keep up-to-date on Transylvania University's COVID-19 response on their website.
Transylvania University has partnered with Hope center to provide temporary emergency shelter space. The Beck Center's practice gym will serve as a shelter for 40-50 individuals who regularly stay at the Hope Center. The Hope Center will provide bedding, towels and toiletries, while Transylvania University is providing access to its showers and commercial laundry facilities, and the university's food service provider, Bon Appetit Management Company, will provide meal service. All individuals sheltering at the Beck Center will undergo a basic health screening and temperature monitoring daily.
Bluegrass Community & Technical College
Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) will be on Spring Break March 15 – 21. After Spring Break, March 22 – April 4, instruction will take place online. Employees are to work via email, phone calls and online services. All employees are asked to work with their supervisors on a plan to work remotely and minimize person-to-person contact. BCTC updates.
Fayette County Public Schools
Fayette County Public Schools are closed March 16 through May 1. K-Prep testing has been canceled by the Kentucky Department of Education. The "Bus Bites" meal delivery program has been suspended effective immediately due to virus spread concerns. Find full details and updates on their webpage.
Bluegrass Airport is referring the public to the CDC travel information page for travel recommendations.
The Lexington Parking Authority (LPA) announced that all LEXPARK on-street meters will be free of charge, but two-hour time limits will be enforced. Several paid parking spaces have already been converted into "Curbside Pick-Up ONLY" spaces with a 15-minute limit. This policy is in place from March 18 through April 10, and will be re-evaluated after that time.
Public events & spaces
Central Bank Center
Central Bank Center (formerly Lexington Center) has increased surface sanitizing and is monitoring COVID-19 impact in Lexington.
Lexington Public Library
In accordance with the executive order issued by Governor Andy Beshear, Fayette Mall is closed as of March 22 until further notice. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Certain restaurants may remain open for take-out, curbside pick-up or delivery services only, please call ahead.
The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center
Kentucky American Water
According to federal and state drinking water regulations, Kentucky American Water reassures that filtration and disinfection of all surface water supplies require removal and inactivation of viruses and protozoan cysts. With this, drinking water currently meets all state and federal requirements and is not affected by COVID-19.
It is recommended businesses review their HR policies regarding telework, or working from home. Increasing social distancing helps reduce the spread of the virus and increases the potential of employees staying healthy. Commerce Lexington is assisting businesses with the development of best practices.
In addition, it is recommended businesses evaluate their sick leave policies, especially for employees who do not have paid time off available. It is best to recommend employees stay home when ill, and providing paid time off will provide security to those financially unable to do so.