FRANKFORT ⎯ COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths continue to spike across the Commonwealth, which prompted Governor Andy Beshear to take decisive action. On Wednesday, there was announced a series of measures to curb the third wave of COVID-19. These measures will be in effect from Friday, November 20, and last through Sunday, December 13.
All indoor gatherings at venues are limited to 25 or fewer people per room. Gyms must reduce to 33% capacity with masks required at all times while exercising, and group classes are prohibited.
Another provision of the measures states that restaurants and bars must close in-person dining services. Outdoor service and carryout will continue. Knowing this will hurt many Kentucky restaurants, to alleviate some financial burden associated with these adjustments, there was $40 million announced in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, which will be made available to assist establishments affected financially. There are more details on how to apply for up to $10,000 in funds for various expenses, with a maximum award of $20,000 per business entity. Further informationwill be provided in the coming days. You can check www.governor.ky.gov for more updates.
Lastly, under the new provisions, all Kentucky K-12, public and private schools will cease in-person instruction beginning Monday, November 23. Middle and high schools will remain closed for the remainder of the fall semester until at least January 4, 2021. Also, high school winter sports are postponed until January 4. Elementary schools may reopen to in-person instruction on December 7 if the county is not in the red zone and can follow guidelines.
As we approach the holiday season, we are at a critical junction in regard to COVID-19. Although it may be much different than previous years, I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving. As vaccine clinical trials continue to produce encouraging results, there is hope of normalcy on the horizon.
There was a full schedule of committee meetings in Frankfort this week and we are facing the challenges regarding staff, working from home, and skeleton crews at the Capitol, and I ask my constituents to continue to be patient as we attempt to process your inquiries and concerns.
I encourage you to stay engaged and share your input as we near a month from the start of the 2021 Regular Session on January 5. As always, I will do my best to keep you updated and informed about what is happening in Frankfort. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, I remain accessible by email at [email protected]. You can also leave a message for me on the Legislative Message Line at (800) 372-7181. Citizens with hearing impairments can use the Kentucky Relay Service at 711.