“We recognize that this will be painful for some groups, but we also know that we must do everything we can to protect the lives of our citizens,” said Lexington mayor Linda Gorton at one of this week’s coronavirus press conferences.
[This is an ongoing, developing story and will be updated frequently.]
Below is a list of precautionary closings that have been announced in Lexington and the surrounding bluegrass area. This list will be updated frequently as more info becomes available. As always, check with the venue/organization directly to confirm the most up to the minute information.
This is also a developing economic impact story for the bluegrass. Locally-owned businesses are the lifeblood of the Lexington community, and continuing to support them is a critical part of the entire regional economy, and the interconnected network that makes the bluegrass special.
Alltech will transition this year’s international One Conference to a virtual event, allowing registrants from around the world to engage in industry-leading content in a way that is accessible for everyone.
This information has since been updated as of March 27, 2020. Click here for the updated information.
The Arboretum has announced “Due to COVID-19, the Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center is TEMPORARILY CLOSED. All classes, programs and events in March and April have been cancelled or postponed. As of March 17, the grounds and outdoor restrooms (near the Kentucky Children’s Garden entrance) are open. The opening date for the Kentucky Children’s Garden 2020 season has been postponed until further information is available.”
Blue Grass Airport has reported “We are still operating non-stop flights to all destinations, but carefully monitoring the situation. We continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Mayor’s Office and health officials to meet and exceed local, state and federal guidelines. We are committed to keeping our passengers safe and informed as we continue to navigate this global pandemic.”
Brown-Forman is temporarily suspending tours at all of its Kentucky visitor locations beginning March 15, 2020. “Existing reservations that occur before these suspension dates will be honored. No walk-in tours.
These closures will remain in place until the health emergency subsides. Production at these locations will continue. This temporary suspension is related to public tours only.” The Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors “strongly recommended that members take all necessary precautions to protect the safety of guests and staff on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour from the Coronavirus outbreak. The Coronavirus has not impacted production. Some members are temporarily suspending all tours, while others are scaling back tours of sensitive areas like production and bottling facilities, said KDA Board Chairwoman Jessica Pendergrass.
The Central Kentucky Home & Garden Show announced on their website, “The show scheduled for April 3-5, 2020 has been canceled as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During this time, we urge all in the community to follow guidelines from local public health officials. The well being and safety of all attendees and exhibitors are our first priority in creating a dynamic marketplace. Be safe, and we look forward to seeing you at our 2021 Central Kentucky Home & Garden Show, April 9-11, at the Central Bank Center.”
Governor Beshear announced all childcare facilities to close by end of business on Friday, March 20 until further notice.
DiverCity Festival has been rescheduled from its original date of April 18, 2020. The Festival will now be celebrated on August 29, 2020 at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington.
Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins announced in a release, “The Fayette County Clerk’s office will close to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed until further notice. Staff and office ceased operation on March 27 and will remain temporarily closed until April 13.
More government and LFCUG updates can be found here.
Fayette County Public Schools reported schools will be closed beginning March 16 and will not reopen until April 6, 2020. The Governor announced this decision is “not in response to a specific public health threat in our schools, but is an action to implement social distancing statewide.” FCPS offices will be open to help respond to questions from March 16 through March 27, and will pause between March 30 and April 3 due to spring break. (Child Care Council of Kentucky is launching a website to help connect people with childcare openings.)
On Sunday, March 22, Superintendent Manny Caulk announced “All Fayette County Public Schools will remain closed to students until April 20, 2020.”
On April 2, Superintendent Manny Caulk announced that all Fayette County Public Schools are “officially extending the closure of all schools and offices through at least May 1, 2020.” Click here for the updated information.
This information has since been updated as of March 26, 2020. Click here for the updated information.
With food security being a reality for many families, FCPS has developed Bus Bites, a plan to provide breakfast and lunch for anyone 18-years-old or younger. Boxed meals will be available for children at a total of 115 bus stops and 18 school locations throughout the community. Breakfast will be served from 8-9 am and lunch will be served from 11 am-12:30 pm. On March 16, 2020, only lunch will be served. Twice a day service on March 17-20, 2020 and March 23-27, 2020. No service on March 30-April 3, schools were already scheduled to be closed for spring break. Specific information can be found here.
Fayette Mall will temporarily close during COVID-19 beginning March 22 and will remain closed until further notice.
Gyms and Spas across Kentucky have been ordered to shut down effective March 18 until further notice. Check with your gyms social media or website for when they will open and posts of workout videos.
Habitat for Humanity’s Shamrock Shuffle, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been canceled.
Hair Salons in Kentucky have been ordered to close by Governor Beshear until further notice.
The I Know Expo, a senior living conference, originally scheduled for April, has now been rescheduled for August 22.
Keeneland officials have announced “the cancellation of the upcoming Spring Meet, which was scheduled for April 2-24, due to safety concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.”
What is the impact of coronavirus in the equine industry?
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts released a statement “In an effort to minimize social interaction in Kentucky’s busy courthouses and judicial centers during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has issued an order placing restrictions on dockets, jury trials and jury service from March 16-April 10. The amended order signed today reflects changes to the original order issued Thursday evening, March 12.”
Chief Justice Minton said “It’s important to note that courthouses and judicial centers will remain open and offer limited services. However, trials, hearings and motions will be postponed and rescheduled. Juror orientation will be canceled and existing jury panels may be extended. Attorneys are encouraged to use e-Filing for court documents.” For complete details, see how Kentucky Courts respond to COVID-19 updates.
Kentucky American Water Company has placed a moratorium on service shut offs at this time.
Kentucky Crafted Market, scheduled for Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15 has been canceled.
Kentucky Derby scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020 has been postponed until September.
Kentucky Horse Park announced that its attractions, including the International Museum of the Horse and Park barns, are closed until further notice. Kentucky Horse Park grounds are open to the public. The Visitor Center will be open 9 am to 5 pm, Wednesday-Sunday, for access to the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and public restrooms. The Kentucky Horse Park Campground remains open. Events scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Horse Park through March 31 have been canceled or postponed.
Kenwick’s Neighborhood Association facebook page includes a post from neighbors who’ve shared a google doc inviting neighbors at high risk for COVID-19 to fill out a form for errands or supplies needed. “There’s a whole team of folks working on connecting people.” Filed under “Mutual Aid.”
Kentucky Utilities Company announced “The utilities, until May 1, will suspend disconnects for residential customers who may have difficulty paying their bill and waive new late fees incurred during this time. Currently, all KU business offices and facilities also remain open and in operation.”
The KHSAA has announced the Boys’ Sweet 16 is postponed indefinitely and the Girls’ Sweet 16 basketball tournament, which had already begun, is postponed indefinitely effective with the conclusion of game five.
KHSAA said in a statement they will “try and seek options for rescheduling later in the spring if at all possible, but not until after we have received collaborative approval from our Governor’s office, the Commissioner of Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Education.”
Is Kroger still open? Kroger stores in Kentucky remain open, but continue to take action in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 24, Lexington Children’s Theater will be closed until further notice. They have had to cancel their upcoming performance of Ella Enchanted the Musical.
Lexington Comic Con, scheduled for Thursday, March 26 through Sunday, March 29 has been postponed until Thursday, May 14 through Sunday, May 17.
Lexington Humane Society has suspended their volunteer program in all areas as of Tuesday, March 17. They are temporarily closing their main adoption campus and assessing if they have the ability to facilitate adoptions by appointment. Their Everyday Adoption Center at PetSmart in Hamburg is still open.
Lexington Legends posted the following statement from Minor League Baseball on their Facebook page, “In light of current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date.” Whitaker Bank Ballpark will also be closed to the public for the time being.
LexPark will convert several paid parking spaces into “Curbside Pick-Up ONLY” spaces. These spots will be marked by blue bags. Restaurants and merchants are encouraged to reach out to the LEXPARK customer service center at 859-231-7275 or at [email protected] to request a nearby meter to be converted for this use. LexPark will also allow free parking until Friday, April 10.
The 2020 Lexington Pride Festival is postponed until October.
Although the Lexington Public Library initially canceled all library-sponsored programs, effective immediately, and planned to keep locations open, a new announcement on Friday, March 13 reported, “In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, Lexington Public Library will close all library locations beginning at the close of business today, Friday, March 13 at 6 pm. The Library currently plans to reopen for daily operation on Monday, April 6.” According to the post on their Facebook page, “Please do not return library materials until we reopen. There will be no charges for overdue materials.”
As of Monday, March 30, the Lexington Public Library will remain closed until “officials deem it safe to reopen.”
Effective March 27, restrictions have been put in place to help the public with social distancing at public parks throughout Lexington. Mayor Linda Gorton announced that all athletic fields and courts are closed, but walking/biking/running trails will remain open. More information on restrictions coming to Lexington parks.
Lextran announced they “will reduce service beginning Thursday, March 19, out of an abundance of caution and to help protect employees and customers. Weekday service on the following routes will operate on a reduced schedule, found here.
Additionally, Lextran is eliminating fares until further notice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center made the decision to cancel or postpone all theater and cultural art center events between March 16-April 7, 2020. They remain closed until further notice.
Lexington area movie theaters including AMCTheatres on Mapleleaf Drive, Cinemark Fayette Mall, The Kentucky Theater, and Regal Hamburg Pavilion are closed. More information on having access to recent movie theater releases for rental from your home.
On the Table, scheduled for March 25, is a city-wide conversation where Lexingtonians can get to know each other better and discuss what is and is not working in our communities. This year, due to a recommendation from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Dept., “we are postponing the in-person conversations as a part of On the Table.” The survey process will instead begin online on March 25.
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton recommended that all public events be canceled or postponed. The CDC recommends canceling or postponing events of 50 or more.
On March 25 at 8 pm, all non life-sustaining businesses were requested to close in-person traffic as requested by Governor Behsear. For more information on what qualifies as “life-sustaining” and “non life-sustaining” businesses, click here.
The SEC has released a statement for the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville. According to the SEC, the University of Kentucky would have been awarded the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but March Madness was also canceled this year.
The NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors have reported the cancelation of the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.
The Saint Patrick’s Parade and Festival, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been canceled. Many area restaurants and bars will continue St. Patrick’s festivities with special menus and offers.
God’s Pantry Food Bank has postponed Taste of the Bluegrass. They are planning to reschedule for later in the summer and will be working with Keeneland on dates. For those who registered via Eventbrite, please hold on to your tickets.
Thursday Night Live is postponed until Thursday, May 7, 2020. The series will run weekly through Thursday, October 8, 2020.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in a letter posted on the company’s website, “We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. The most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance.” This includes the Lexington Apple store located in Fayette Mall.
All Bath & Body Works are temporarily closing their stores in the US and Canada. Customers can still shop on their online store.
Bed Bath & Beyond on Nicholasville road in South Park is operating on reduced hours. The Hamburg location is temporarily closing.
Half Price Books are closing all of their stores across the nation until March 31.
H&M has closed all stores nationwide and in Canada until April 2 or until further notice.
JC Penney’s in Fayette Mall is closing their stores effective March 19 until April 2.
Kohl’s in Hamburg Pavilion is temporarily closed amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers can still shop on their online store. CEO and President plans to re-evaluate on April 1.
Both Lexington Habitat ReStores are closed effective March 21 until further notice.
Macy’s at Fayette Mall is temporarily closing their stores starting on March 18. They will reassess when to open at their doors at the end of their temporary closure.
Wheeler Pharmacy is offering curbside pick up and delivery effective March 19.
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.
Berea College was the first Kentucky college to announce the cancellation of classes amid the coronavirus. Berea College President Lyle Roelofs reported that the school would cancel the remainder of the spring semester and students were requested to move out by Saturday, March 14.
Centre College President John P. Roush announced “Based on recent developments, we will take a different course of action and begin an extended, two-week Spring Break tomorrow, Monday, March 16. All coursework will be suspended until remote, online learning starts on Monday, March 30, continuing through the remainder of the academic term, which will end on May 12, followed by finals.”
Transylvania University Interim President John Williams announced “After extensive conversations with campus leadership, we have decided to move to remote instruction for the remainder of the academic year and provide May term instruction remotely only for seniors who require credits to graduate in May.”
University of Kentucky has decided to make the remainder of the spring semester online only. For more information and updates on UK’s spring commencement, click here.
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