Facing an increased incidence of Covid-19 statewide, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered new restrictions, including shutting down in-person school and sports until after the first of the year.
Beshear announced the new restrictions this afternoon. Under the new executive order, which Beshear said was written in consultation with the Kentucky Commissioner of Education, the chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, schools will be closed to in-person instruction beginning Monday and will remain closed until January 4.
Elementary schools may reopen Dec. 7, if the county in which they are located is not in the “Red Zone,” meaning an incident rate of 25 per 100,000 or greater.
The KHSAA has suspended fall sports and practices at Kentucky schools until after Dec. 13.
Gymnasiums, pools, bowling alleys and similar facilities are reduced to 33 percent capacity beginning Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 pm. and will remain restricted until Dec. 13. That means no group classes, though individual training will be allowed if participants wear masks.
Other indoor venues will be restricted to no more than 25 people.
Restaurants and bars will again be closed to indoor dining, but outdoor dining, take-out and delivery will be allowed. That restriction is also from 5 p.m. Friday until 11:59 p.m. December 13.
Beshear announced a $40 million fund to assist restaurants and bars that are struggling financially as a result of the restrictions.
Other businesses are being asked to close “if possible,” and to allow employees to work from home whenever they can. He asked that the number of employees inside offices be limited to 33 percent of those who would normally be there.
Beshear also asked that residents forego any large gatherings, and that Thanksgiving dinners be restricted to no more than two households with a maximum of eight people gathering at one time.
Beshear said more than 9 percent of people tested for the virus are testing positive. In New York, where the rate is about a third that in Kentucky, businesses have already been ordered closed.