Ky. health officials ban all public mass gatherings

New York reports first coronavirus-related death in state
Posted at 9:13 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 21:13:00-04

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Kentucky health officials issued a formal letter Thursday banning all mass gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter, penned by Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack and acting secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Eric Friedlander, does not set a limit on the number of people who can be in one place at a time, unlike other states who have similar bans.

The decree, which reiterates measures Gov. Andy Beshear previously recommended, bans all events which brings together groups of individuals including:

  • Community
  • Civic
  • Public
  • Leisure
  • Faith-based
  • Sporting events
  • Parades
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Conventions
  • Fundraisers

“I am a person of deep faith, I am a deacon in my church and this is a hard decision,” Beshear said. “This is not a test of faith. This is something we must do to keep each other safe.”

A news release stated that mass gatherings do not include normal operating crowds at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping centers or "spaces where persons may be in transit."

It also excludes office environments, factories, or retail facilities including grocery stores, but health officials would like to remind people to maintain safe distances when possible and encourage good hygiene practices.