Gov. Andy Beshear is asking houses of worship across Kentucky to suspend all in-person gatherings starting on Friday and through the end of day on Dec. 13, though he is not issuing a mandate.
Beshear said he made the recommendation during a regular call Thursday with the Kentucky Council on Churches, and he’ll be contacting other congregations with the same request.
“It’s a group that’s been really supportive in wanting to hear the information and provide it to their congregations and we appreciate them,” Beshear said of the Council. “The virus is spreading so fast right now, and I think we have at least 35 examples in the last six weeks of spread in and around a house of worship — not just worship services but potlucks and others.”
Beshear said his recommendation to was to do virtual-only services through the same period that came with the new restrictions he announced Wednesday.
Those include requiring schools to temporarily stop in-person learning beginning Monday; closing bars and restaurants to indoor service through Dec. 15; limiting private indoor gatherings to two households and a total of eight people; and limiting capacity at indoor venue spaces as well as gyms/recreation facilities.
Beshear also announced 3,649 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky — a new single-day high — as well as 30 more coronavirus-related deaths. The top five highest days of cases have come in the last week. The state’s total number of reported COVID-19 cases is now 148,402, while the number of coronavirus-related deaths is now 1,742.
Kentucky’s positivity rate also rose to 9.18% Monday, marking the highest rate since testing became widely available statewide.
Daviess County moved back into the Red Zone of Kentucky’s COVID-19 incidence rate on Nov. 5, and it has remained there due to a sharp increase in the number of daily cases. Red Zone counties are those with a rolling seven-day average of 25 or more daily cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents.
Daviess County’s rate as of Thursday afternoon was 46.3 — and it’s been above 40 since Nov. 11.
All but eight of Kentucky’s 120 counties are in the Red Zone. The state’s total number of reported COVID-19 cases is now 148,402, while the number of coronavirus-related deaths is now 1,742.