Kentucky COVID Restrictions Explained as Schools, Restaurants Affected

Kentucky has announced new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, following a record 33 deaths announced on Tuesday. Governor Andy Beshear has announced new restrictions that will affect—but not close—restaurants, gyms, venues and schools for just over three weeks.

Beshear said that, as of Wednesday, Kentucky had reported 2,753 new cases and 15 new deaths. There are currently 1,553 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Kentucky, with 359 in the ICU and 176 currently on a ventilator. The positivity rate is 9.13 percent and the current total death toll is 1,712.

In a statement, Gov. Beshear said: "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.

"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."

New Kentucky Restrictions

The following restrictions will be in place from 5 p.m. Friday, November 20, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 13.

  • Restaurants and Bars: Indoor dining will be closed, but socially distanced outdoor dining is permitted, while carryout and delivery are encouraged.
  • Social gatherings will be limited to up to eight people from a maximum of two households.
  • Gyms, fitness centers, pools and other indoor recreation facilities will be open with a 33 capacity limit, while group classes, team practices and competitions will be prohibited. Masks must be worn while exercising.
  • Venues, event spaces and theatres will be limited to up to 25 people, which includes indoor weddings and funerals, but excludes in-person worship services—Beshear will provide recommendations for worship services on Thursday.
  • Professional services: Office-based businesses are limited to 33 percent of employees and those who can work from home must do so. Businesses that can close to the public must do so.
  • Schools: All public and private schools (K -12) will stop in-person classes, and middle and high schools will continue with remote or virtual instruction until at least January 4, 2021. Elementary schools may reopen for in-person instruction on December 7 if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at School guidance.
Remote Learning
Joanne Collins Brock, a second grade teacher at St. Francis School, teaches online in her empty classroom on April 15, 2020, in Goshen, Kentucky. Schools in Kentucky will move teaching online as part of the new restrictions announced by Gov. Andy Beshear on November 18, 2020. Getty/Andy Lyons