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The Bottom Line: Group gatherings reduced from 50 to 10, Beshear orders

By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Beshear administration said group gatherings are now being reduced from 50 people to 10. The governor pointed to backyard barbeques and other large gatherings and said it is contributing to increased numbers of cases.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack pointed to the notion that informal gatherings with friends and family are when people are most likely to let their guard down and get close with individuals they are comfortable with. “The larger the gathering of people, the more likely one person infected will spread it to many others,” Stack said.

Gov. Andy Beshear said the mandate does not apply to weddings and venues because they have staff and the ability to clean and sanitize.

These two new guidelines come after a challenge to Beshear’s executive-order power went back and forth in court last week. The Kentucky Supreme Court indicated it will rule on the issue at a later date.

Along with the changes at the state level announced Monday, the governor said the White House is recommending items like facial coverings, reducing restaurant capacity to 25 percent in hard-hit areas, and closing bars for states seeing large surges. Beshear said Kentucky is not there yet and he would like to ensure Kentucky doesn’t see the need to take the steps around restaurants and bars as he knows many of the state’s restaurants can’t operate at that capacity.

Beshear will continue to hold press briefings every day this week. Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates.