FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear is closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity to 25%, but he made no mention of restrictions on in-person worship services during Monday’s press briefing.
Last week, Beshear spoke personally with the faith leaders of the Kentucky Council of Churches, urging them to host virtual or drive-in services or at least double down on safety precautions for in-person services.
In his Friday briefing, Beshear said that suggestion was for all houses of worship but was in no way a mandate.
“While most KBC churches did hold in-person services this past Sunday, they did ‘double down’ on safety precautions as he suggested,” said KBC Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Gray. “Each Kentucky Baptist pastor and church leadership should be encouraged to continue to meet, pray, and make the best decision for their unique congregation about in-person services.”
Gray said Kentucky Baptist churches and leaders have been “remarkably compliant and respectful” throughout the pandemic.
Beshear hinted last week more restrictions were coming if the state’s positive daily coronavirus rate exceeded 5%. He said he would need to take steps to stem the spread of the coronavirus if new case totals didn't stabilize over the weekend.
The governor was true to his word and put the restrictions on bars and restaurants in place on Monday. The new measures will begin Tuesday and will be in effect for two weeks, until Aug. 11.
The decision to close bars and reduce restaurant capacity are backed by the White House and come after Kentucky had some of its highest daily number of positive cases of the coronavirus in the past week.