Beshear: Kentucky ready to begin Phase 3 of reopening

Gov. Beshear updates COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday Kentucky will begin phase 3 of the reopening of its economy June 29.

Phase 3 allows gatherings of 50 or fewer people and bars and restaurants to open at 50 percent capacity.

Professional event spaces can also reopen June 29, including convention centers, hotel ballrooms, music and concert halls, professional and amateur athletic stadiums and arenas, wedding venues, fairs and carnivals.

That means, according to Beshear, by next Monday everything in Kentucky will be open in some capacity.

“Next Monday, just about everything in the commonwealth will be open, from bars, wedding venues, public pools and even Kentucky Kingdom,” the governor said. “It has been a long road dealing with this virus. But by following medical guidelines we have gone from a time when our cases were doubling every week, to a point where we are safely beginning to reopen businesses and our economy.”

Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack, MD, credited the state’s “really good numbers” for allowing it move to phase 3.

Whether Kentucky stays in phase 3 or slips back into phase 2, Stack said, depends on people continuing to social distance, wear masks, practice hand a surface hygiene, screen for fever and symptoms and participate in contact tracing.

Beshear added other states that reopened faster have seen spikes Kentucky has not. But he was quick to caution: “Arizona was having good numbers too.”

Then, in just three days last week, Arizona reported more than 7,000 cases, good for half of the number of cases Kentucky has reported since the pandemic began.

“I wanna be humble about this virus,” the governor said. “It can pop up real fast. It can be unpredictable.”

He added he is concerned by how many people he sees out not wearing masks.

“If we don’t follow these rules to the best of our ability, we will certainly see an increase.”

Monday Beshear reported just 90 new cases and, for just the second time in as many months, zero new deaths.

“For somebody who has read the names, genders and ages of those we have lost, to have no reportable deaths today is special,” he said. “We are very grateful and blessed that today there is a reprieve from this deadly virus.”

Some 349 Kentuckians are hospitalized and 67 are in the ICU, numbers the governor described as “really low.”

The day’s low case numbers are doubly significant in light of the state’s “massive testing of all nursing homes,” Beshear explained.

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