Kentucky Closes Non Life-Sustaining Businesses


On March 25, 2020 Governor Andy Beshear issued an order closing all non life-sustaining businesses effective at 8:00 p.m., Thursday, March 26th. Unlike the Ohio Stay at Home Order that prohibits people from leaving their homes unless they are participating in essential activities or in certain defined business activities (essential businesses and minimum business operations), the Kentucky Order closes non life-sustaining businesses but does not take the additional of prohibiting people from leaving their homes.  Rather, the Order states that the purpose is to “encourage Kentuckians to remain Healthy at Home, and do everything in their power to stop the spread of the disease” (Order, page 1).

The Order defines life-sustaining businesses as “all businesses that allow Kentuckians to remain Healthy at Home” and lists the following businesses: CISA List: “All businesses operating in the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined here.

  • Life-sustaining Retail
  • Food, beverage, and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial Services
  • Housing, Buildings and Construction
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies for Life-Sustaining Businesses
  • Transportation
  • Home-based care and services
  • Professional services
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Critical labor union functions
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services


The Order also permits telework (working from home) and for non life-sustaining businesses to continue minimum basic operations. All prior Executive Orders closing businesses remain in effect.

Both life-sustaining businesses and non life-sustaining businesses (that are conducting minimum basic operations) must meet the social distancing requirements in the Order.

Many businesses are struggling and trying to navigate the almost daily onslaught of information and new requirements. Please reach out to any of our COVID-19 Task Force Attorneys—we can help.

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