How We Reopen Our Economy

Kentucky COVID19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725

Kentucky COVID-19 website

Latest Louisville updates

To ensure the health and safety of Kentucky families, Gov. Andy Beshear urges Kentuckians to remain Healthy at Home and follow the federal and state protocols for limiting the spread of COVID-19, which can be found at We have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to protect everyone in our state and our community. However, Kentucky families and businesses must also prepare to reopen our economy.

Gov. Beshear created “Healthy at Work," a phased approach to reopen Kentucky’s economy. Healthy at Work is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts. Phase 1 is a gradual reopening of some non-life-sustaining businesses. Phase 2 is a broader reopening of businesses and other activities. Each phase will be rolled out in steps to ensure the Commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.

Before any reopening can begin, the Governor will determine whether Kentucky has met certain public health benchmarks for re-opening Kentucky’s economy. These benchmarks are based on the White House’s Guidelines for Reopening America. No reopening will occur until the Governor determines Kentucky has met these benchmarks.

Benchmarks for Reopening Economy

  • 14 days of decreasing cases
  • Increased testing capacity on contact tracing
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) availability
  • Ability to protect at-risk populations
  • Ability to social distance and follow the CDC's guidelines on large gatherings
  • Preparedness for possible future spike
  • Status of vaccine and treatment

The Governor and the Department for Public Health in evaluating at what point different types of businesses may reopen safely. This step will ensure that Kentucky businesses are able to comply with public health protocols and CDC guidelines. According to the state, all business will be required to meet the minimum guidance to reopen.


    Visit for the latest state guidance on reopening and current restrictions on operations.

      Before any of the businesses above may reopen, each business must meet the following minimum requirements in addition to industry-specific guidance that will be released in coming days and weeks.

      If any business in a sector being reopened cannot comply with the minimum requirements set out above, they must wait to reopen until they are able to do so or until some or all of these restrictions are lifted. 

      For those businesses that have been deemed life-sustaining and remained operating, they will be expected to meet the minimum requirements no later than May 11, 2020. 

      People should be prepared for state and local public health orders to be extended, amended, or changed as needed to protect public health. This means we may move between the different Phases during this pandemic.

      If you have questions, please review the Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions, please email them to [email protected]

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Does my business require an official letter of authorization to operate?

      No. If your business or organization is in the list of exempt sectors, it may operate; you do not need to obtain any specific authorization to do so.


      What if someone complains my business is noncompliant?

      The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness (LMPHW) is charged with investigating complaints of a business’ alleged violation of the Governor’s “Healthy at Work” framework.

      All business complaints are initially routed through the city’s call center, MetroCall 311, to LMPHW, which will take the following steps.

      • Phone Contact/Counseling Session:
        • LMPHW personnel will contact the business, inform them of the complaint and counsel/educate them, if necessary, on how business can achieve compliance and that compliance is expected immediately.
      • In-Person Visit:
        • If LMPHW or other Metro personnel has reason to believe that compliance has not been achieved or if another complaint is made against a business, LMPHW personnel will conduct an in-person inspection of the business. If upon inspection, the business is non-compliant or has not attempted to implement LMPHW counseling/education, LMPHW will issue a written order mandating immediate compliance. NOTE: There is no documentation provided if business is found to be in compliance.
      • Enforcement: ​​
        • If, after an in-person visit, the business remains non-compliant, then LMPHW and LMPD may issue a citation that carries misdemeanor penalties and/or a fine in an amount not to exceed $500.  Appeals will be available through the Court system.  It is Louisville Metro's desire to work with every business to ensure compliance so that this step is not necessary.
        • While the procedures set forth above are meant to provide some form of certainty in the enforcement and compliance process, LMPHW and other Metro enforcement personnel reserve the right to vary from the sequence and the compliance measures that are to be instituted as circumstances dictate. For example, if dangerous conditions exist that significantly endanger the general public, then LMPHW and/or other Metro personnel may order the immediate closure of a business on the first visit. Likewise, certain circumstances and conditions may warrant more than one visit and/or counseling sessions prior to issuing an order and/or a citation.
        • If a business is closed by LMPHW and requests to be reopened, it will be required to submit a verbal or written compliance plan, which would trigger a follow-up inspection.

      What if one of my employees tests positive for COVID-19?

      • If the employee is a Jefferson County resident, LMPHW will notify the business via an emailed advisory. (View a sample advisory here.) If the employee lives in Indiana or another county in Kentucky, the business will be contacted either by that county’s local health department or the state health department.
      • If a person who tested positive for COVID-19 worked during their infectious period, LMPHW will provide written guidance regarding COVID-19 and measures the business should take to protect other employees.
      • LMPHW strives to protect the privacy of the individual to the greatest extent possible and will release the minimum amount of information necessary to prevent further illness. This may include the name, and if needed, other identifiers to help detail an employee’s time at work.
      • Note that LMPHW is notified only of laboratory-confirmed cases. If an employee notifies you that their healthcare provider has diagnosed them with COVID-19 without a test, it’s important that you treat these individuals the same as if notified of a confirmed case.
      • After a positive COVID-19 test, an employee should follow CDC recommendations of self-quarantining for 14 days before returning to work in order to stop the spread of the virus.
      • Learn more about testing.

      Additional Resource

      Gov. Andy Beshear's executive orders

      Purchase Personal Protective Equipment

      Purchase Hand Sanitizer

      Louisville Water's Guidance for Closed Businesses: How to Flush the Pipes

      CDC guidance for businesses and employers

      Footnote: The legal authority for any actions taken by Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness and other Metro personnel are Gubernatorial Executive Orders 2020-215, 2020-246, 2020-257; 2020-258; 2020-266; Cabinet for Health and Family Services Orders dated April 27, 2020, March 23, 2020, March 19, 2020, March 17, 2020, March 16, 2020; Public Protection Cabinet Order dated March 19, 2020; Mayoral Orders 2020-001, 2020-002, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Orders 20-001, 20-002, 20-003, 20-004 and KRS Chapters 39A through 39F, KRS §§ 194A.025, 212.245, 214.020(?), 241.090, 243.490, 244.120.