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Guidance on gatherings scaled back, limited to 10 or fewer people in Kentucky

Governor Andy Beshear said people are letting their guard down when they gather at events like backyard barbecues and block parties.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Social gatherings in Kentucky must be limited to 10 or fewer people, according to a new order from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Gatherings of 50 people were allowed in the state starting on June 29 as restrictions were eased. However, the rise of COVID-19 cases led the cabinet to return the guidance to only allow smaller gatherings. 

In a briefing on Monday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said people are letting their guard down when they gather at events like backyard barbecues and block parties, so they may not be following measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We take off our masks, we relax, we get too close, we stand around while people are grilling and we’re seeing some difficult outcomes because of it,” Beshear said. “So much depends on us trying to stop this thing before it gets out of control.”

The new order keeps other guidance on mass gatherings intact. Masks and social distancing are required, and people are urged to not share food or drinks. People who are hosting social events are encouraged to hold them outdoors, if possible.

The new guidance does not apply to weddings, restaurants, stores or other public venues. The guidance went into effect at 5 p.m. on July 20.

The original order concerning mass gatherings was issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on March 19 and has been amended several times as case numbers change in Kentucky. The full order can be read here.

On Monday, the Kentucky Department of Health issued a travel advisory for Kentuckians who have traveled to states reporting high numbers of COVID-19. The advisory recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for travelers who went to any of eight states reporting a positive testing rate equal to or greater than 15% for COVID-19 testing.

Kentucky saw the largest single-day COVID-19 case increase on July 19, with 979 new cases reported.

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