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Governor Beshear announces guidelines going into effect Friday, such as the closing of bars and restaurants

Gov. Andy Beshear gives an update on COVID-19.
Gov. Andy Beshear gives an update on COVID-19.(Governor Andy Beshear/Facebook)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 4:02 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear gave his Wednesday COVID-19 update.

You can watch that here:

The governor announced 2,753 new cases and 15 new deaths in Kentucky.

“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.”

This is the fourth-highest number of daily cases on record and the governors says the state has experienced a 400% increase in positive cases over the past nine weeks.

At least 144,753 Kentuckians have contracted the virus. The death toll is now at 1,712.

25,058 people have recovered from the virus.

2,482,404 Kentuckians have received tests.

The positivity rate is now 9.13%.

The governor spoke about how we are seeing our third wave of the coronavirus.

In response to the first wave, #HealthyAtHome was put in place.

Wednesday, the governor announced new counterattacks for the third wave.

“When addressing COVID-19, action is unpopular, but inaction is deadly,” Beshear said. “… None of these decisions are easy. I can tell you, none of them are going to be popular. … But these restrictions are necessary now.”

These new steps will last from three to six weeks.

Starting Friday, November 20th at 5 p.m. the following will steps will be taken, and will last at least through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2020.

1. Private gatherings will be limited to your immediate household plus one other household or a maximum of eight people.

2. Attendance at venues, such as weddings and funerals, will be limited to 25 people.

3. Bars and restaurants’ indoor dining will be closed until further notice. This will not affect delivery and outdoor seating.

4. Gyms and similar businesses will have to operate at 33% capacity and masks will now be required. Group classes will also be curtailed.

5. All schools must cease in-person learning by Monday, November 23rd. Middle and high schools will be allowed to return on January 4. Elementary schools can go back on December 7 provided their county isn’t in the red zone.

6. All employees who are able to work from home must do so and all businesses that can close to the public must do so.

“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, Beshear announced he 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 is not eligible for the funding. Publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply either to focus on locally owned businesses.

Applications are scheduled to open on Nov. 30th and close on Dec. 18th. 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.

KY COVID Info - 11/18/20
KY COVID Info - 11/18/20(WYMT)

WYMT independently confirms all coverage area positive COVID-19 cases, along with any coronavirus-related deaths, with local health departments before publishing any details.

You can see how your county is doing right now on the color-coded COVID-19 incidence rate map here.

If you have any questions about the coronavirus in Kentucky, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.

You can also find more information, including how to protect your family, by visiting Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

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