July 23, 2020

Cities Exempt from Decreased In-Person Gathering Limit

Kentucky experienced a record number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in mid-July. Addressing the recent spike in numbers, Governor Andy Beshear stated that contact tracing identified informal gatherings as the primary source of the transmission increase. On July 20, the administration issued an order reducing the number of informal in-person gatherings from 50 to 10. Recognizing that businesses are not implicated as a source of transmission, the order exempts businesses from the new restrictions as follows:

For the avoidance of doubt, this Order does not apply to or otherwise restrict entities such as restaurants, in-person retail establishments, public-facing businesses, venue and events spaces, or other businesses permitted to reopen pursuant to other Orders of this Cabinet or another Cabinet, or Executive Orders. However, such entities must comply with the requirements set forth for those entities in applicable Orders.

City governments have not been subject to closure since the governor first declared a state of emergency on March 6. Previous orders placed unqualified limitations on in-person public gatherings that applied to all public meetings and even suspended in-person government activities, but they left cities flexibility to continue operations. Unlike previous orders, the July 20 order specifically exempts businesses authorized to operate under other orders that established guidelines for opening.  Since June 29, cities could hold in-person public meetings with up to 50 attendees. 

Under the terms of the governor’s July 20 order, cities can continue to welcome up to 50 attendees at meetings if they meet all other guidelines.