KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear gave a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
Gov. Beshear reports 2,753 new coronavirus cases. He says 292 of those cases are 18-years-old and under.
Kentucky now has 144,753 total confirmed positive cases.
“Action is unpopular,” says Gov. Beshear, “but inaction is deadly.”
During the briefing, Beshear says there are 15 new COVID-19 related deaths, including Kentucky’s first student to die from COVID-19. He says the student was a 15-year-old.
“Now, it is time for Kentucky’s third counterattack on the coronavirus,” Gov. Beshear said. “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.”
Gov. Beshear says the following guidelines will start Friday, November 20, and last until December 13. Some may range from three to six weeks.
- Private gatherings are limited to eight people.
- Limiting attendance to venue spaces to 25 people, including weddings and funerals.
- Gyms, fitness centers and pools will be at 33% capacity with masks being required.
- All public and private schools will cease in-person instruction starting Monday, November 23.
- Bars and restaurants will be closed to indoor service. These businesses can continue to operate through to-go orders or outdoor seating where mask requirements and seating requirements are followed.
Governor Beshear announces that he is launching a $40 million fund to assist bars and restaurants affected by COVID-19.
“It’s time to do what it takes to finish this fight,” says Gov. Beshear.
You can view the full executive order here.
One Owesboro business owner says she is trying to get creative. Oralis Radilla is the owner of Don Mario’s. She already has outdoor seating, which is allowed, but the temperature will continue to get cooler. So, she’s finding ways to attract customers.
Patio seating is largely empty on a cool Owensboro evening. Business owners running restaurants and bars are quick to having to adapt to additional restrictions sent down by the state.
Starting Friday, neither will be allowed to serve customers indoors until December 13.
“What we’re going to do is embrace in our to go orders, our deliveries,” explained Radilla. “More than anything, we will be able to cater outside with our awesome outdoor heaters.”
Businesses will be allowed to have outdoor seating, like at Don Mario’s, but no outdoor events. Beshear warned that “packed patios” would lead to further restrictions.
Because of the cooler weather, some are having to get creative.
“Some possible tents to see if we can be able to provide our families a little bit more of a secured area and a little bit more heated because I know the winds down here can be a little chilly,” said Radilla.
Entities that qualify for the $40 million grant will receive $10,000, and the stipend will only apply to non-publicly traded businesses.
“Especially the restaurant business because we’ve been impacted so dramatically by this,” shared Pat Buntin, owner of Briarpatch. “You have to look at what it can do for you. You have to.”
There were a few areas Governor Beshear is leaving be for now.
Daycares, churches, barbershops and retail stores will not be further restricted, at least not yet.
Beshear said he would offer additional guidance to churches across the Commonwealth Thursday.
We spoke to leaders of the Owensboro Catholic school system. They tell us they’ll be able to give us more direction on their plans Thursday.
You can watch Gov. Beshear’s full Wednesday press conference in the video below.
On Wednesday, the Green River District Health Department reported two more COVID-19 related deaths and 152 additional cases.
Of those new cases, 54 are in Daviess County, 33 are in Henderson County, 21 are in Union County, there are 12 new cases in both Hancock and Ohio counties, 11 new cases in McLean County and nine new cases in Webster County.
Green River health officials say one of the COVID-19 related deaths was a resident of Daviess County while the other was a resident of Hancock County.
The district has reported a total of 7,021 cases and 5,552 recoveries.
The Muhlenberg County Health Department reports 28 new coronavirus cases.
The Hopkins County Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard is showing 39 new cases. Since the start of the pandemic, they have had a total of 1,554 confirmed cases and 1,003 recoveries.
Hopkins County currently has 507 active cases.
Officials with the Hopkins County Health Department announced Wednesday that they will no longer be doing contact tracing for close personal contacts due to the overwhelming number of cases.
They say they will continue to contact tracing for those contacts who fall into a high-risk category or who work in high-risk environments.
Here are the all-time totals of confirmed positive cases and deaths in our area of Kentucky:
- Daviess Co. - 2,762 cases, 40 deaths, 2,213 recovered
- Muhlenberg Co. - 1,244 cases, 19 deaths, 1,017 recovered
- Hopkins Co. - 1,554 cases, 44 deaths, 1,003 recovered
- Ohio Co. - 813 cases, 14 deaths, 655 recovered
- Henderson Co. - 1,759 cases, 37 deaths, 1,395 recovered
- Webster Co. - 467 cases, 6 deaths, 352 recovered
- McLean Co. - 334 cases, 12 deaths, 229 recovered
- Union Co. - 643 cases, 6 deaths, 539 recovered
- Hancock Co. - 243 cases, 9 deaths, 169 recovered
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday.
According to the state’s website, nearly 3,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday.
Officials also reported 33 deaths across the Commonwealth.
All of Kentucky counties in our viewing area remain in the red Wednesday morning.
Out of the state’s 120 counties, only 14 counties are considered in the “orange” on the state’s incidence rate map.
We’ll keep you updated on those new restrictions once they’re announced later on Wednesday.