Schools to be virtual through the end of the year, no indoor dining, strict limits on events and more in Beshear’s new COVID-19 mandates

Beginning Friday, November 20 at 5 PM EST, there will be major changes across Kentucky as Gov. Andy Beshear announced new mandates to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Among the biggest changes (most of which have a mandate from Friday, November 20 through Sunday, December 13):

  • Restaurants and bars will be closed for indoor dining services (can still do outdoor dining, delivery and to go)
  • All middle and high schools and all universities (public AND private) will be required to be virtual through the end of the year beginning November 23rd
    • Elementary schools may reopen December 7 if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at Schools guidance
  • Event spaces are limited to 25 people per room-including conferences, events, weddings, funerals, etc. (excludes in-person worship services, for which the Governor will provide recommendations Thursday)
  • Gyms/pools/fitness/indoor recreation- reduced again to 33% capacity and cannot hold group classes, team practices or competition
  • Social gatherings should consist of no more than eight people from two families (your household and one other)
  • Professional services encouraged to work from home and if there are people in the office it should be back down to 33% capacity

There will be no changes to:

  • Childcare
  • Hospitals
  • Manufacturing
  • Barbers/cosmetologists
  • Retail (but must enforce mask mandate)

Because these closures will again negatively impact the service industry, Beshear said the state will be providing a $10,000 stipend to bars and restaurants through a $40 million fund they will make available 12/1.

These changes come after the Kentucky Supreme Court recently ruled in Beshear’s favor in a case challenging his executive order power.

On Wednesday, Beshear said these mandates represent the state’s 3rd “counter attack against the virus” and strongly stated “this is not and there will not be a shut down.” Instead, he said, the changes are targeted steps to stop the spread and added they are designed to cause the least amount of disruption possible.

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