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Gov. Beshear announces new restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, schools

Kentucky Coronavirus
Kentucky Coronavirus(WBKO)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 2:56 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Gov. Andy Beshear gave an update on COVID-19 Wednesday and announced new steps to combat the virus.

Gov. Beshear reported 2,753 new cases of the virus raising the total to 144,753. He said the top five single-day totals have all been within the last week.

The Governor reported 15 deaths including a 15-year-old girl from Ballard County and a 60-year-old man from Barren County. The 15-year-old girl did have pre-existing conditions but the Governor stated COVID was a factor.

Those reported lost to the virus Wednesday also included a 75-year-old man from Caldwell County; a 90-year-old man from Calloway County; two women, ages 78 and 91, from Christian County; an 87-year-old man from Clay County; a 43-year-old man from Fayette County; a 78-year-old man from Hancock County; two women, ages 32 and 73, from Jefferson County; a 78-year-old man from Marshall County; a 68-year-old woman from McCracken County; an 86-year-old woman from Nelson County; and a 79-year-old woman from Pike County.

The positivity rate was 9.13 percent.

Kentucky COVID Facts 11-18-2020
Kentucky COVID Facts 11-18-2020(WBKO)

“Since March 6 – the day Kentucky had its first confirmed case – we have been under attack and at war with the coronavirus. It has upended our routines, damaged our economy, threatened our children’s education and taken far too many lives,” Gov. Beshear said. “Now, it is time for Kentucky’s third counterattack on the coronavirus. Let me be clear about a few things. This is not, and will not be, a shutdown. Our economy is open, and there will be no closings based on essential or nonessential services. But today we are announcing significant, but surgical and targeted steps designed to slow the spread of the virus and protect our people.”

Restaurants, Bars – No indoor food or beverage consumption; carryout and delivery encouraged; socially distance outdoor seating

To help offset the financial impact on restaurants and bars, the Governor also announced he is dedicating $40 million in CARES Act funding to provide qualifying entities $10,000 in relief for various expenses, with a maximum award of $20,000 per business entity. Businesses with at least 50% of their sales via drive-through will not be eligible. To focus on locally owned businesses, publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply. Applications are scheduled to open Nov. 30 and close Dec. 18. Businesses will be required to remain in compliance with all public health orders. Applications will be processed in the order they are received, and funds will be awarded until they are exhausted. Additional details on where to apply will be forthcoming.

Earlier this month, the Governor also waived alcoholic beverage renewal fees for Kentucky restaurants, bars and temporary venues for 12 months to help during the pandemic.

Private social gatherings – Up to eight people from a maximum of two households

Gyms, fitness centers, pools, other indoor recreation facilities – 33% capacity limit; group classes, team practices and competitions prohibited; masks must be worn while exercising

Venues, event spaces and theaters – Each room will be limited to 25 people. This applies to indoor weddings and funerals, but excludes in-person worship services, for which the Governor will provide recommendations Thursday.

Professional services – Office-based businesses limited to 33% of employees; all employees who are able to work from home must do so; all businesses that can close to the public must do so

In addition, new requirements for schools will begin Monday, Nov. 23. See the executive order here.

Schools – All public and private schools (K -12) to cease in-person instruction:

  • Middle and high schools will remain in remote or virtual instruction until at least Jan. 4, 2021.
  • Elementary schools may reopen for in-person instruction Dec. 7 if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at School guidance.

“As for our schools, I want to thank everyone who is working to continue to educate our children and to make sure they have access to healthy meals,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our children are resilient, but they are sacrificing so much and we need them to sacrifice even more right now so we can protect them from this surge in cases.”

Watch below.

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