Kentucky is set to begin Phase 3 of reopening the economy next Monday. Venues and event spaces will be able to reopen, restaurants and bars can resume operations at 50% capacity, and groups of up to 50 people can gather again.
The announcement came Monday afternoon from Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, who said they are following Phase 3 as described in President Donald Trump’s Opening Up America Again Plan.
Restaurants have already opened at 33% capacity but will be allowed to increase beginning June 29. Bars will have to follow the same guidelines that have been issued for restaurants.
Similarly, venues and event spaces — such as hotels, arenas, convention centers and wedding venues — can operate at 50% capacity as long as they follow safety guidelines.
Public swimming pools will also be able to reopen Monday, and youth sports will be allowed to expand activities as previously announced.
Stack said the guidelines all include steps everyone should be familiar with by now — such as social distancing, face masks, hand hygiene and symptom screening.
“They’re simple steps that are not always simple to execute because they’ve really changed the world as we know it, but these are the things we have until we have a vaccine or a treatment,” he said.
Stack said Kentucky is able to move to Phase 3 in large part because the number of cases has continued to plateau despite many reopenings. However, he said it’s important to continue mitigation efforts because other states — such as Arizona, Florida and Texas — have seen massive spikes in cases recently.
“We have good numbers recently, which enables us to responsibly attempt to go to Phase 3 on June 29,” he said. “Whether we can stay at Phase 3 responsibly depends on what you do back at home and what you do when you’re out in public.”
Gov. Andy Beshear reported no new coronavirus-related deaths were reported for Kentucky on Monday, one of only a few times that has happened in the last couple of months. He also announced only 90 new cases.