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Ky. houses of worship can now hold in-person services; governor officially issues guidance for safety

Starting on Wednesday, healthcare facilities will be allowed to permit one visitor per patient, Gov. Andy Beshear says.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Houses of worship have sat idle for almost two months in Kentucky, with less than a handful going against the governor's orders that banned any type of mass gathering.

But now a federal judge has ruled all churches can now hold in person services. This comes as Tabernacle Baptist Church in Nicolasville, Kentucky, won a temporary restraining order blocking Governor Beshear's order that includes barring in person church services, along with any type of mass gatherings.

"On Friday we issued our guidance to churches on how to more safely hold in person worship services starting on May the 20th," Governor Andy Beshear said. "In light of recent court rulings which allow in person services to resume immediately, we'll be making the guidance effective for services starting today."

With this happening just under two weeks earlier than it was scheduled, Governor Andy Beshear is asking all places of worship to take their time, and make sure to have the right safety guidelines in place before opening.

"People want to say oh just sit six feet apart it's so much more than that. It's forward, it's backward. it's making sure only family units are together," Beshear said.

Restrictions may also become more lenient when it comes to patient visitors at different healthcare facilities starting this upcoming Wednesday, March 13th. Dr. Steven Stack, with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced the state will allow for up to one or a single visitor per patient, subject to the hospital or healthcare facilities policies.

So to be clear, there is still a visitors restriction in effect at healthcare facilities, but each place has the option to allow a single visitor per patient.

As limitations begin to lessen around Kentucky, the Governor is continuing to expand testing around the state.

They started with limited options that we're only available to the extremely sick and most vulnerable. Now they need to test a large part of the population each month, to know how much symptomatic spread there is. 

So now with multiple options and testing partnerships, some even with no costs, he's urging anyone and everyone whose interested in getting tested to do so.

Click here for a list of testing locations.

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