Opening date for Kentucky parks, gyms, racing tracks, bowling alleys and certain pools announced

Opening date for Kentucky parks, gyms, racing tracks, bowling alleys and certain pools announced
Natural Bridge State Resort Park (Source: Kentucky Department of Parks website)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced another string of reopenings Friday.

The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will open state resort parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins to the public for normal business hours beginning June 1.

Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls State Resort Parks will also reopen on June 1.

Playgrounds and swimming pools at state parks will remain closed.

“The tourism industry has suffered significant loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Beshear. “As the state focuses on rebuilding the economy, reopening tourism plays a significant role in generating revenue, opening business doors and helping more Kentuckians get back to work.”

Some other swimming pools around the state will reopen the same day. These include so-called aquatic centers, meaning training pools, lap pools, or those Beshear described as being designated for exercise.

“That’s very different from pools that have 100 kids in them that aren’t in a position to do social distancing,” the governor explained, adding those sorts of community pools will remain closed.

Additionally, auto dirt track racing will return June 1 with restrictions.

Bowling alleys, fitness centers and movie theaters will likewise reopen June 1 with restrictions.

New guidance has also been issued at Kentucky’s Health At Work website for massage therapy businesses, nail salons, cosmetology practices, barber shops, tanning salons and tattoos parlors.

All businesses and activities will reopen at reduced capacities, Beshear said.

Update on COVID-19 in Kentucky 05.15.2020

Posted by Governor Andy Beshear on Friday, May 15, 2020

Beshear announced Thursday he is lifting two important restrictions days earlier than he originally intended: limits on gatherings of 10 people and the state’s travel ban.

Groups of 10 or fewer people will be able to gather beginning May 22, the governor said. Originally the restriction was to be lifted May 25.

Also on May 22, the state’s travel ban will expire.

The governor cited the state’s flattened case curve in moving the dates forward, saying he’s seen “very positive signs” from general testing numbers.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities resumed non-emergency surgeries and procedures at 50 percent of their pre-pandemic patient volume on Wednesday. Hospitals now also have the discretion to allow one visitor per patient.

Several other sectors have already reopened: Horse racing (w/out spectators), manufacturing and distribution, office-based businesses, construction, pet grooming and boarding, photography and vehicle or vessel dealerships have followed.

On May 18, government offices and agencies are set to reopen, and retail and funeral services are scheduled to reopen May 20.

See the full reopening schedule here.

Case update

Kentucky has 252 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 7,343 on 127,689 tests.

The case numbers are up more than usual, Beshear said, due to testing in a federal prison near Lexington. Without those tests, the state’s numbers fall within its normal range of 130-190 new cases per day.

The state’s testing capacity remains encouraging, as does its positive testing rate, which remarkably fell again Friday to 5.7 percent. Discussions of those numbers can be found in previous articles here and here.

“We have tests for anybody who wants to get a test,” Beshear said Friday, drawing a sharp contrast from the state’s testing situation in March and April.

The state has 381 current hospitalizations and 218 patients currently in the ICU, numbers steady from Thursday.

Some 332 Kentuckians have died from the virus, Beshear said.

At least 2,739 have recovered.

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