State Watch

Kentucky governor announces state will record license plate information of church attendees, impose mandatory quarantine

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) urged residents to remain indoors for the Easter holiday and mandated that anyone who breaks the state’s stay-at-home order will have to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Beshear will enforce his state’s laws by recording the license plates of any person attending Easter services or other gatherings. The residents will then receive quarantine notices in person.

“This is a time and weekend, a whole week for multiple faiths, that is about faith. It’s about knowing we have faced as people – as Christians, as Jews, as members of many faiths – many difficult, dark times, and we have prevailed,” Beshear said Friday. “We know that the weeks or the months ahead will be difficult. We know that there are going to be tougher days before there are easier days.”

“This is the only way we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill someone else,” he added.

Beshear said the state government is only aware of six churches that are planning to hold in-person services for Easter. Those attending any gathering will be charged with a misdemeanor violation of the emergency orders issued by the governor and Kentucky Department for Public Health. 

“I want to encourage you to meet together separately this Sunday, to remind you that on that first Easter Jesus came to people behind locked doors,” Chris Michael, pastor of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, said. “He will come to you as well.”

The announcement comes as a handful of churches around the country buck state orders, drawing national headlines with controversial in-person services.

Kentucky has had nearly 1,700 confirmed coronavirus cases and 90 deaths. 

Public officials have credited social distancing measures with helping slowly curb outbreaks in a number of states and have warned that reversing such practices could lead to a dangerous COVID-19 resurgence.

However, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) slammed Beshear’s order, saying he needs to “take a step back.” 

“Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here,” Paul, a staunch libertarian, tweeted.

Tags Beshear Coronavirus Easter Kentucky Passover Rand Paul Sunday

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