Beshear: Forced self-quarantine for mass-gathering participants over Easter weekend

Gov. Beshear speaks on COVID-19 response in Kentucky
Updated: Apr. 10, 2020 at 6:07 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear introduced a new executive order Friday that anyone who decides to participate in a mass gathering over Easter weekend will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.

The license plates of participants will be recorded and provided to local health departments, Beshear said. The departments will then come to the participant’s door and provide them with a 14-day quarantine order.

The participant will also be notified attending the gathering is misdemeanor violation of the emergency orders issued by the governor and Kentucky Department for Public Health.

“There are some that say, ‘This is my choice, about if I go some place and get the coronavirus,’” he said. “But it is not the next person’s choice you spread it to.”

The governor introduced the order after he announced 11 new deaths due to COVID-19 in Kentucky, bringing the Commonwealth’s total to 90.

“Folks, we shouldn’t have to do this,” Beshear said. “What we’re asking is for you to love your neighbor as yourself. We shouldn’t have to do this.”

He continued: “This is the only way we can ensure your decision doesn’t kill someone else, that your decision doesn’t spread the coronavirus in your community, that your decision to go to a mass gathering doesn’t undermine the sacrifice of every other house of worship that is choosing the right thing."

Beshear announces new executive order, no mass gatherings on Easter weekend

Beshear added only around seven Kentucky churches -- “just a handful” -- are contemplating holding in-person services Easter weekend.

“We cannot bring people together in one building like that, because that is how the coronavirus spreads and that is how people die,” he said.

“Even on weekends like this, we cannot have in-person gatherings of any type.”

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The order does not apply to drive-up services, only in-person services, the governor clarified.

Even with drive-up shrives, though, nothing may be passed in and out of the car, and a single car cannot contain multiple groups of people.

The order also does not exclusively apply to church services, Beshear said. It covers all mass gatherings, provided health officials know about them beforehand.

“This is a time and weekend, a whole week for multiple faiths, that is about faith. It’s about knowing we have faced as people – as Christians, as Jews, as members of many faiths – many difficult, dark times, and we have prevailed,” the governor said. “We know that the weeks or the months ahead will be difficult. We know that there are going to be tougher days before there are easier days. But we also know because we have faith that we are going to get through this and we are going to get through it together. We are going to pass this test of humanity.”

Beshear announced Kentucky now has 1,693 cases of COVID-19, up 242 from Thursday, marking the Commonwealth’s largest day-on-day increase.

A total of 24,288 tests have been performed, the governor said.

Additionally, 271 patients are currently hospitalized, and 105 are currently in the ICU.

Some 464 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, the governor said, though he says he believes the actual number of recoveries is much larger.

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