Kentucky reclosing bars, reducing indoor restaurant capacity

U.S. & World

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor has ordered that bars close and restaurants scale back indoor service and urged school districts to wait until later in August to resume in-person classes in a new round of actions to combat a spike in coronavirus cases.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday stressed that his decisions follow recommendations from federal health officials to try to reverse escalating COVID-19 cases.

Beshear ordered that bars close for two weeks, starting Tuesday. Restaurants will have to limit indoor capacity to 25%, though outdoor seating can be unlimited if social distancing guidelines are followed, Beshear said.

The clampdown comes weeks after Kentucky’s bars reopened and restaurants were allowed to increase indoor capacity to 50%. But the Bluegrass State has been hit by record or near-record numbers of daily COVID-19 cases for more than a week.

In defending his actions, the governor said: “It’s our state. It’s the lives of our people. And it’s our economy on the line. I believe that we are going to do the right thing.”

Beshear also recommended that public and private schools wait until at least the third week of August to resume in-person classes to help control the virus’ spread.

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