Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, announced on Friday that those in the state who are attending mass gatherings, including church services over the Easter break, must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Authorities will record the license plates of anyone who plans to attend a mass gathering and report them to the local health departments, Beshear added.
“Any individual that’s going to participate in a mass gathering of any type that we know about this weekend—we’re going to record license plates and provide it to local health departments,” Beshear said. “Local health departments are going to come to your door with an order for you to be quarantined for 14 days.”
The governor said that “this is the only way” that the state can ensure that individuals’ decisions to attend gatherings “doesn’t kill somebody else.”
“I think it is not a test of faith in whether you’re going to an in-person service,” Beshear said. “It’s a test of faith that you’re willing to sacrifice to protect your fellow man, your fellow woman, your fellow Kentuckian, your fellow American.”
He asked Kentuckians of all faiths to remain at home and consider online services.
Officials are aware of only about six churches in the state that are still planning to hold in-person services, Beshear said, adding, “We don’t have any synagogues or mosques that are holding in-person services.”
“We absolutely cannot bring people together in one building like that because that is how the coronavirus spreads and that is how people die,” Beshear said.
He acknowledged that some people believe they should be able to choose whether to attend an in-person gathering.
“I guess I hear that there are some individuals that say that ‘this is my choice about whether I go to something and get the coronavirus,’ but it’s not the next person’s choice that you might spread it to,” Beshear said. “This is the only way that we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill somebody else, that your decision doesn’t spread the coronavirus in your county and in your community.”
The Kentucky governor has noted that an outbreak in Hopkins County that sickened dozens and led to multiple deaths was traced to a church revival there in mid-March.
Kentucky has more than 1,600 cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. Eleven people died on Friday from the virus, bringing the death toll in Kentucky to 90.
The state saw an increase of 242 cases on Friday, the largest increase so far in the state.