Gov. Andy Beshear has issued an executive order shutting down all bars and restaurants until Dec. 14 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, which on Friday reached a record level of 3,825 new cases being reported.
The new order also limits attendance at event venues, weddings and funerals to no more than 25 people per room, limits gyms to 33 percent occupancy with no group classes, and limits family gatherings to your current household plus one other household not to exceed eight people.
In addition, all public and private schools (K-12) had to cease in-person instruction as of Nov. 23. Middle and high schools will remain in remote instruction until Jan. 4, 2021. Elementary schools may reopen on Dec. 7, if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all healthy at schools guidance. On Monday, all but three Kentucky counties were in the red zone.
“This is exponential growth. It is shattering records over and over until we stop it. That’s why we are taking action – we have to,” Beshear said Friday.
It is unknown how well the new restrictions will work.
In the spring, Beshear issued much wider reaching executive orders shutting down numerous businesses, including a ban on in-person dining in restaurants and bars and a ban on in-person school, which did reduce the number of cases locally.
Between April 6 and May 17, Whitley County had 11 COVID-19 cases diagnosed, and didn’t report a new case until June 8.
Between April 6 and May 30, Knox County reported 10 COVID-19 cases with no new cases reported until June 11.
Between March 24 and June 4, there were 22 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Laurel County with no new cases reported until June 9.