(NEW YORK) — The governor of Kentucky has stepped up efforts to prevent churchgoers from attending any in-person mass gathering services this weekend by enforcing misdemeanor violations related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced during his daily COVID-19 press conference that the state police will be recording the license plate numbers of any vehicles seen at any of the gatherings and the owner of the car will be notified by local health officials that they were in violation of the emergency orders issued by state officials.
Those associated with the spotted vehicles will be required by health officials to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.
“This is the only way we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill someone else,” said Beshear on Friday.
Stay-at-home orders, social distancing and quarantining are all recommendations health officials have given to people in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19. As of Friday evening in Kentucky, almost 1,700 people were tested positive for the coronavirus and 90 residents have died.
Among the 90 deaths, Beshear noted that two were traced back to a church revival in Hopkins County last month.
While several faith leaders in the community have conducted remote services and encouraged their members to worship at home, officials are aware of six churches that are planning to have in-person service, Beshear said.
The quarantine does not apply to drive-in services complying with CDC guidelines, said Beshear.
“Folks, we shouldn’t have to do this,” said Beshear. “What we’re asking is for you to love your neighbor as yourself. We shouldn’t have to do this.”
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