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What does a state of emergency mean?

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 19:41:22-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — What does it mean when a state official declares a state of emergency? It certainly doesn't mean to stock up on toilet paper, which we have seen at box stores around the country.

A state of emergency often means that elected officials have access to funds that aren't normally accessible. Governor Beshear detailed this in his executive order released Friday after a test came back positive for COVID-19.

In most instances, states of emergency are used for natural disaster response. In this case, the declaration allows access to coordinate the National Guard, if needed, and to allow the Department of Public Health to staff the Kentucky Emergency Operations center.

In some cases, the declaration also opens up federal funds.

You can read the governor's entire declaration here.