Coronavirus News

The Kentucky “Healthy At Work” Phased Reopening

Update: May 29, 2020

by Kathie McDonald-McClure, Partner

As we previously reported, on May 11, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear began reopening sectors of Kentucky’s economy, in addition to the healthcare sector, that were closed due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE). The reopening, called Healthy at Work, is a phased approach that is intended to guide businesses and healthcare providers through a “smart, safe and gradual” reopening during the continuing COVID-19 PHE. It is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts. Each phase of Healthy at Work will be rolled out in steps to ensure the Commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.

Prior to the phased reopening of the non-healthcare sector, the Commonwealth began with “Healthy at Work for Healthcare Facilities,” a four-phase, gradual reopening of healthcare services that began on April 27, 2020. Phases I, II and III are now underway, with the latest phase beginning on May 13, 2020 with non-urgent/non-emergent inpatient procedures at 50% of pre-shutdown volume and inpatient visits limited to one visitor (except in nursing homes where visitors are still prohibited). For additional information, see the webpage for Healthy at Work for Healthcare Facilities.

Minimum Requirements Applicable to All Reopenings. Healthy at Work continues with a phased reopening of specific business and organizational sectors. However, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order of May 11, 2020, all entities in the Commonwealth shall comply with certain “Minimum Requirements” attached to that Executive Order, in addition to business or activity-specific requirements. While all entities and activity organizations should carefully review the Minimum Requirements (EnglishEspañola) , the Healthy at Work webpage highlights the following requirements:


As emphasized by the Governor, compliance with the above Minimum Requirements is essential to protect employees in all businesses, organizations and activities – both healthcare and non-healthcare – as well as to protect the individuals with whom employees may come into contact both inside and outside of their work and other activities. The Minimum Requirements are applicable to all businesses, both those that have reopened and those that had continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 PHE.

As set forth in the Minimum Requirements, if any entity fails to comply with the Minimum Requirements, they can be reported to KYSAFER at 833-KYSAFER or

Industry Specific Guidance and Timeline for Reopening. Industry specific guidance will be in place for each business sector under Healthy at Work. The Governor has stated in his daily updates that the business community submitted over 1,000 industry specific proposals on best practices to safely operate within each industry’s capabilities, while keeping employees and customers safe. The timeline for reopening each business sector and the industry-specific requirements for each sector that will apply to all businesses even if they never ceased operations during the state of emergency is as follows:

May 9, 2020:
Places of WorshipSpecific requirements

May 11, 2020:
ConstructionSpecific requirements
Horse racing (no fans)(only authorized employees, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission license holders who have a horse stabled at a racetrack, and those providing support for a horse stabled at a racetrack at the racetrack, e.g., racetrack employees, trainers, assistant trainers, exercise riders, grooms, hot walkers, jockeys, veterinarians, farriers, and feed vendors) – Specific requirements
Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain businessesSpecific requirements
Office-based businesses (at 50% capacity)(includes finance and accounting, legal, insurance, engineering, architecture, real estate, scientific/technical, property management, non-profit organizations performing administrative services, and other corporate offices and private office-based firms) – Specific requirements
Pet care, grooming and boardingSpecific requirements
Photography (limited to family units and groups no larger than 10 provided that individuals who are not living in the same household pose at least 6 feet apart) – Specific requirements
Vehicle or vessel dealershipsSpecific requirements

May 18, 2020:
• Government Offices / AgenciesSpecific Requirements

May 20, 2020:
Funeral and Memorial ServicesSpecific Requirements
Retail – Specific Requirements

May 22, 2020:
Restaurants, with limited 33% capacity plus outdoor seating – Specific Requirements
• Group of 10 people or fewerSpecific Requirements
Travel Ban LiftedOrder.

May 25, 2020:
Barbershops/Cosmetology/Hair SalonsSpecific Requirements
• Massage TherapySpecific Requirements
• Nail SalonsSpecific Requirements
• Tanning SalonsSpecific Requirements
• Tattoo ParlorsSpecific Requirements

June 1, 2020
• Auctions – New! Specific Requirements
Auto/Dirt Track Racing – New! Specific Requirements
Aquatic CentersSpecific Requirements
Bowling AlleysSpecific Requirements
Fishing Tournaments – New! Specific Requirements
• Fitness Centers – New! Specific Requirements
Kentucky State Park Lodges
• Movie Theaters – New! Specific Requirements
Salato Wildlife Education Center

June 8, 2020

  • Educational and Cultural Activities
    o Aquariums
    o Distilleries
    o Libraries
    o Limited Outdoor Attractions
    o Museums
  • Horse Shows
  • Some Childcare (in-home programs) – Specific Requirements

June 11, 2020
Kentucky Horse Park
• Kentucky State Park Campgrounds
• Otter Creek

June 15, 2020
• Some Child-Care (center-based programs, day camps) – Specific Requirements
• Youth Sports (low touch and outdoors) – New! Specific Requirements

New! June 29, 2020
• Bars
• Groups of 50 people or fewer
New! Youth Sports (Expanded Activities)Specific Requirements

The Specific Requirements are also available in Spanish on the Healthy at Work webpage.

Information on specific requirements that have not yet been posted will be announced during the Governor’s daily updates as they are approved. Although not required to reopen, the Governor encourages industry groups, trade associations, and individual businesses to submit reopen proposals that discuss strategies and challenges they face in safely reopening. All proposals are to be evaluated according to White House guidelines and other public health criteria to ensure that Kentucky businesses and other activities are able to comply with public health protocols and CDC guidelines.

Healthy at Work Signage & Other Resources. Kentucky’s Healthy at Work webpage contains links to several resources businesses can use to help implement the Minimum Requirements. These include signage for employees and customers in English, Spanish and French, including signs for Healthy at Work compliance, Do Not Enter if Sick signs and Grocery Store Signage. There is a link for businesses who need hand sanitizers and masks as well as a video on how to make a simple mask out of a bandana. The Governor’s Office has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage to answer questions on how the Commonwealth is reopening the state’s economy under the Healthy at Work plan.

The Governor frequently reminds the public during his updates that any of the planned reopenings could be paused as needed to protect public health, especially if the Commonwealth’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 is threatened if Kentuckians let their guard down as a result of the reopenings.