A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor outlines plans for further reopening including churches, manufacturing and government offices

Governor Andy Beshear on Friday outlined the requirements to begin reopening major segments of the economy and society including houses of worship, manufacturing, construction, government offices and agencies, retail and funeral services.

The full plans for each organization to reopen is posted online at healthyatwork.ky.gov.

Beshear announced that government offices and agencies are able to open May 18. Churches can begin in-person services and funeral homes can resume business beginning May 20.

“I believe that the healthiest economy coming out of COVID-19 is going to be the one that can keep the virus contained while they successfully reopen,” said Beshear. “Remember, listen to your faith leader. If they tell you that they’re not ready and that they don’t think that it’s safe, then you should wait.”

Dr. Todd Gray, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said, “I am thankful for the hard work of Beshear and his team of advisers, as well as their outreach to faith leaders, in working through the details of this plan. While Kentucky Baptists are eager to return to in-person worship they only want to do so in a safe and healthy manner. I believe they will find this plan reasonable, doable, and in the best interests of the health of their congregations.”

Rev. Kent Gilbert, president of the Kentucky Council of Churches and pastor of Union Church in Berea, added, “We all want our families and our neighbors’ family to be and stay healthy. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other religious settings are here to support life and well-being. As supporters of #TeamKentucky, the Kentucky Council of Churches and its member bodies encourage everyone to follow these ‘Healthy at Worship’ guidelines so we can preserve the health of all. No one wants to rush back to worship just to cause more funerals. Worship is meant to be life-giving. These guidelines will help keep it that way in this time of pandemic illness.”

All businesses should follow the 10 rules of staying healthy at work as well as industry-specific guidance, which will be issued as soon as possible. See the full reopening schedule here.

Beshear said there were at least 6,288 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 176 of which were newly confirmed Friday. Four new deaths were also reported, raising the state’s toll to 298 deaths related to the virus.

The deaths include a 90-year-old woman from Edmonson County, a 90-year-old woman from Hopkins County, a 69-year-old man from Jefferson County and a 75-year-old man from Bullitt County.

“This number is a lot lower than yesterday, which is good, but these are four individuals we’ve lost and these are four families that need our support, so let’s make sure we light our houses up green and ring our bells at 10 a.m.,” said Gov. Beshear. “These are families that are counting on us.”

At least 2,266 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also thanked moms across the commonwealth ahead of Mother’s Day. The governor announced there will be no news conference on Sunday in honor of the holiday.

“To all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day. To all those who have served as mothers, bonus moms, stepmoms, women who long to be moms but cannot, I salute you as well,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “I hope you can feel the love we have for you even if we are socially distant.”

Gov. Beshear followed, “She beat me to it. Mom, Britainy, happy Mother’s Day.”

From Governor’s Office

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