Gov. Beshear reinforces ban on all public gatherings

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 9:32 AM CDT
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The Governor has already recommended all mass public gatherings end, but today the state’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack and acting secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Eric Friedlander issued a formal letter banning all mass gatherings.

The measure states what Gov. Beshear has previously recommended, including:

-All mass gatherings are hereby prohibited.

-Mass gatherings include any event or convening that brings together groups of individuals, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

“I am a person of deep faith, I am a deacon in my church and this is a hard decision,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is not a test of faith. This is something we must do to keep each other safe.”

“I have been inspired by men and women who lead faith communities across our commonwealth as they have done the best they possibly can to practice adaptive leadership as we have faced this unprecedented crisis,” said the Rev. Corrie Shull, senior pastor of the Burnett Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville.

“Men and women of faith are following the excellent leadership of our Governor and we are complying as best we can to mitigate against the spread of this virus. Our faith community is doing our best to make church happen but in creative ways. Just because we cannot gather does not mean church stops. In the midst of this crisis, people of faith are finding outstanding ways to spread hope, faith, and love. Please hear the wise words of our governor, of national leadership and the CDC – please do not put our most vulnerable at risk.”

For the avoidance of doubt, a mass gathering does not include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls, and centers, or other spaces where persons may be in transit.

It also does not include typical office environments, factories, or retail or grocery stores where large numbers of people are present, but maintain appropriate social distancing.

Any gathering, regardless of whether it is a mass gathering prohibited under the order, shall to the extent practicable implement Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, including:

-maintaining a distance of 6 feet between persons;

-encouraging good hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing, and providing adequate hygiene materials, including hand-sanitizing options;

-Encouraging people who are sick to remain home or leave the premises; regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The Department for Public Health has delegated to local health departments the authority to take all necessary measures to implement this order.

While other states have provided a specific limit on the number of people, Kentucky is not, but rather mandating space between people.