After more than three weeks of heavy COVID-related restrictions across the state of Kentucky, most of Gov. Beshear's "significant and surgical steps" to fight the pandemic will be lifted on Monday, Dec. 14.
On Nov. 20, Gov. Beshear implemented six new restrictions, which included limiting indoor gatherings to a maximum of eight; closing bars and restaurants to indoor service; limiting attendance at venue spaces; limiting capacity at gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys and pools to 33% occupancy; limiting professional business capacity to 33%; and ceasing all in-person education beginning Nov. 23 — middle and high school students will learn remotely until Jan. 4 and elementary students can return if their county is not in a red zone.
On Monday, bars and restaurants will be able to welcome guests back inside at a 50% capacity; masks must be worn when not actively drinking or eating. Bars and restaurants must officially close at midnight, and can provide service until 11 p.m.
Beshear is still recommending an eight-person cap on indoor gatherings, and asking them to be limited to guests from only two different households.
On Monday, gyms, fitness centers and pools can increase their capacity to 50%, but masks must be worn. Venues, fitness centers and theaters can also reopen at 50% capacity. And professional businesses can raise their capacity to 50% as well, though Gov. Beshear says any employee that can work from home "must do so."
This is good news for the hospitality industry, which saw several restaurants temporarily close to ride out the restrictions.
According to Beshear's Dec. 10 briefing, Kentucky saw its highest new COVID daily case count yet, which totaled 4,324 cases accompanied by 28 new deaths. However, Beshear says that yesterday was the seventh consecutive day where Kentucky saw its positivity rate decline (which is now at 9.13%).
“When we talk about COVID being a fast moving train, it doesn’t just immediately turn; you have to slow it down, stop it and turn it around. We still believe that’s what we’re seeing,” said Beshear.
“We may also be seeing some of the impact from Thanksgiving in these numbers, that we could be moving in the right way, but still, Thanksgiving has a major impact. I can tell you that if we are seeing Thanksgiving’s impact, it’s a lot less than what we are seeing in some other states.”
Read the entire Dec. 10 COVID-19 update at kentucky.gov.