Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page last updated April 2, 2020.

Data is updated at 9 a.m. daily.



The CDC has updated their travel health notice related to COVID-19, adding countries that are experiencing ongoing community spread. Please visit the following website to review the latest list of countries. If you have been in any of these countries in the past 14 days, it is important that you follow the after travel precautions listed on the website:

What is a coronavirus?

There are several different types of coronavirus. Human coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory illnesses, like the common cold. Symptoms usually include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and/or a general feeling of being unwell. Most people get infected with a coronavirus at least once in their life. 

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a type of coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. The first documented case of COVID-19 in the United States occurred on January 20, 2020, and the first case in Kentucky was recorded on March 6, 2020. 

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

At this time, individuals who are at risk for coronavirus include those who have recently traveled from an affected area and/or have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to the CDC, certain populations are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. These populations include:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and lung disease.

If you are at higher risk for getting very sick with COVID-19, you should:

  • Stock up on supplies, such as food and any medications you take. Pharmacists in Kentucky can now dispense emergency refills of up to a 30-day supply of any non-controlled medication for Kentucky residents.
  • Stay away from others who are sick, limit close contact with others and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid flying or taking cruises.

What can you do to prevent getting sick?

It is highly important to remain vigilant against the spread of infectious diseases. It is peak flu season, and the CDC estimates that from October through mid-January there have been upwards of 21 million cases of flu illnesses. In order to prevent getting sick, the following is recommended:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Get the flu vaccine.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
  • Properly cover your sneeze and cough with a tissue, then throw away the used tissue.
  • Frequently disinfect objects and surfaces with a cleaner that you typically use.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is one of the tools we have to prevent the spread of illness, such as COVID-19. Here are some recommendations and updates from Governor Beshear and the Ky. Dept. for Public Health:

  • Individuals 60 years and older, and/or with diabetes or heart, lung or kidney disease, should avoid large gatherings and minimize time in groups and public spaces. Additionally, they should avoid flying and taking cruises.
  • To protect the state’s most vulnerable populations, long-term care facilities are to limit visitation only to those with loved ones receiving end of life care.
  • All restaurants and bars are to close in-person dining.
  • The Kentucky Capitol is closed to all non-essential personnel.
  • All Kentucky state prisons are closed to visitors.
  • It is recommended that all schools in Kentucky close until May 1st.
  • Any public-facing businesses that cannot comply with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, such as gyms, recreation centers, movie theaters, hair salons and nail salons, are to close by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. Additionally, as of 8 p.m. Monday, March 23, non-essential retail businesses, such as book shops, clothing stores, shoe stores and auto dealers, are to close. Businesses that provide essential goods and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and auto repair shops, can remain open provided that they are able to maintain social distancing. For more information, visit
  • Daycare centers, for both children and adults, have been asked to close by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
  • Hospitals, as well as dental offices, have been ordered to postpone elective surgeries and procedures.
  • All in-person governmental services have been suspended for the time being.
  • Kentucky has postponed elections until June 23.
  • Places of public worship have been asked to temporarily cancel services. Additionally, it is recommended that all community events and gatherings be postponed.
  • Senior centers should cancel all in-person activities.
  • Out-of-state travel has been suspended for state employees. Additionally, meetings will be held virtually as much as possible.
  • Businesses are urged to allow employees to telecommute and provide paid sick leave to sick employees to stop them from coming to work and exposing others.
  • Spread out in meeting and work spaces by increasing distance between seats and taking other similar actions.
  • Only go to the emergency department for an illness that would have taken you to the hospital BEFORE the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have runny nose, cough, fever or other common respiratory infection symptoms, take Tylenol- or Motrin-like products and stay home from work or school until you are fever-free. If you think you need medical care, please contact your healthcare provider for their instruction OR visit an emergency department if you believe you have an emergency.
  • Non-essential travel to other states is prohibited. Travel to other states for work, health care and taking care of loved ones is allowed. Individuals staying in Kentucky (not just passing through) are to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • State parks are closed to overnight stays.

This guidance will continue to change as circumstances warrant. For more information, visit

What should you do if you think you may have COVID-19?

If you have recently traveled from an affected area, or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. If you develop symptoms, avoid contact with others, and call your doctor or healthcare provider. Tell them about your symptoms and recent travel history. They will provide you further instruction. Do NOT travel if you are sick. 

How is NKY Health addressing COVID-19?

At this time, the Northern Kentucky Health Department continues to work with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and local health care providers, staying up-to-date on the latest information, and monitoring this rapidly changing situation closely.

Dealing with Anxiety About COVID-19

  • Stay informed with reliable sources, but don’t overwhelm yourself – limit yourself on how much news you read/hear.
  • Take a break from social media about COVID-19, especially the rumors and misinformation.
  • Try to keep routines in your lives as much as possible.
  • Take care of yourself, and stay healthy. Take your medication, eat a healthy diet and exercise. Outdoor activities are great now that spring is almost here. Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
  • Find ways to relieve your stress. Take up a new hobby, and find enjoyable activities to help you relax.
  • Maintain social distancing, but at the same time maintain social connectedness. Connect virtually with friends and families.

How to Help Children Dealing with Anxiety About COVID-19:

  • Take care of yourself first.
  • Provide an open, calm and reassuring environment.
  • Make sure children feel comfortable enough to ask questions. Answer calmly, and model behaviors to them to stay safe – hand washing, hygiene, etc.
  • Provide quality information. Don’t mislead or lie to children.
  • Provide routines for children.
  • Limit children’s social media time.
  • If they don’t want to talk about COVID-19 or how they’re feeling, don’t force them.
  • While maintaining social distance, have children interact electronically with friends.

Downloads and Resources

For more information on Coronavirus Disease 2019, please visit

You can also call Kentucky’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.

Download COVID-19 flyers and other resources here.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)