FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear once again reported the state’s highest ever number of new daily cases on Friday.
“This is exponential growth. It is shattering records over and over until we stop it. That’s why we are taking action – we have to,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve got more than 10,000 students quarantined right now just based on the last two weeks alone. We’ve got to do so much better.
“That’s why starting at 5 p.m. today, we’ve got new restrictions in place to help us slow down this speeding train and prevent avoidable death. Remember, your decisions are going to be what determines how many people live or die. Do your part.”
New requirements impact restaurants; bars; social gatherings; indoor fitness and recreation centers; venues and theaters; professional services; and schools.
Restaurants, Bars – No indoor food or beverage consumption; carryout and delivery is allowed; socially distance outdoor seating
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.
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.”
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.
Case Information for Friday
As of 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases Friday: 3,825
New deaths Friday: 20
Positivity rate: 9.15%
Total deaths: 1,762
Currently hospitalized: 1,544
Currently in ICU: 366
Currently on ventilator: 188
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Boyd, Boone and Kenton. Each of these counties reported more than 100 new cases.
Those reported lost to the virus today include a 74-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man from Boone County; a 54-year-old man from Boyd County; an 88-year-old woman from Campbell County; two 85-year-old men from Fayette County; two women, ages 74 and 90, and an 82-year-old man from Hardin County; four women, ages 69, 86, 87 and 91, and two men, ages 80 and 92, from Jefferson County; a 77-year-old woman from Johnson County; a 93-year-old woman from Marshall County; a 93-year-old man from Nelson County; a 71-year-old man from Pike County; and a 72-year-old woman from Washington County.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends Americans avoid Thanksgiving travel.