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County reaches 24 COVID deaths; Governor issues new restrictions

Gov. Andy Beshear announced new restrictions on Wednesday due to the rise in coronavirus cases across the state.
According to the state’s website at https://kentucky.gov, the restrictions were announced following a record 33 COVID 19 related deaths which were reported on Tuesday. The requirements for restaurants, bars, social gatherings, indoor fitness and recreation centers, venues, theaters, and professional services are effective at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.
“Since March 6 – the day Kentucky had its first confirmed case – we have been under attack and at war with the coronavirus. It has upended our routines, damaged our economy, threatened our children’s education and taken far too many lives,” Gov. Beshear said. “Now, it is time for Kentucky’s third counterattack on the coronavirus. Let me be clear about a few things. This is not, and will not be, a shutdown. Our economy is open, and there will be no closings based on essential or nonessential services. But today we are announcing significant, but surgical and targeted steps designed to slow the spread of the virus and protect our people.”
According to Kentucky.gov, The new restrictions include:
• Restaurants, Bars – No indoor beverage or food consumption, delivery and carryout are encouraged; socially distanced outdoor seating;
• Private social gatherings – A total of eight people from no more than two households;
• Gyms, fitness centers, pools, other indoor recreation facilities – limit of 33% capacity, group classes, competitions and team practices prohibited; masks must be worn while exercising;
• Venues, event spaces and theaters – Limited to 25 people per room. This includes indoor weddings and funerals, but excludes in-person worship services. The Governor will provide recommendations for in-person worship services on Thursday;
• Professional services – Office-based businesses limited to 33% of employees; all employees who are able to work from home must do so; all businesses that can close to the public must do so;
New requirements for schools will begin Monday, Nov. 23, and will include:
• Schools – All private and public schools (K -12) to cease in-person instruction. Middle and high schools will remain in virtual or remote instruction until at least Jan. 4, 2021. Elementary schools may reopen Dec. 7 for in-person instruction if their county is not in the red zone and the school follows all Healthy at School guidance.
See the complete executive order with this story on our website.
The Bell County Health Department’s COVID 19 update for Wednesday included 11 new individual cases in Bell County.
According to the Bell County Health Department, Bell County reached a total of 1,102 cases, with 4 people hospitalized. Those hospitalized were males between the ages of 59 and 78.
There were 91 active individual cases and 0 active long-term care cases. The Bell County Forestry Camp reports eight active cases.
One new death was reported, bringing the number of COVID 19 related deaths in Bell County to 24 as of Wednesday.
According to the state’s website at kentucky.gov, Beshear reported 2,753 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total case number to 144,753. 15 deaths were announced, bringing Kentucky’s Covid 19 related deaths to 1,712. As of Wednesday, at least 2,482,404 coronavirus tests have been performed in Kentucky. At least 25,058 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, and the positivity rate was 9.13 percent.
The Bell County Health Department recommends the following steps to help slow the spread of COVID 19:
• Wash hand with soap and water before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or after using the restroom;
• Avoid contact with people who are sick;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
• Wear a mask when in public and social distancing is difficult.