Kentucky governor urges churches to cancel services due to virus

Kentucky governor urges churches to cancel services due to virus

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, at podium, announces the state’s first confirmed case of the new coronavirus at a press conference on Friday, March 6, 2020, in Frankfort, Ky. Beshear was flanked by top public health officials in his administration while announcing that the positive test came back Friday afternoon. (Credit: Bruce Schreiner/AP.)

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday urged churches across the state to cancel worship services to help prevent spread of the new coronavirus.

FRANKFORT, Kentucky — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday urged churches across the state to cancel worship services to help prevent spread of the new coronavirus.

“I don’t believe that whether you go to church during this period of time is a test of faith,” he said. “I believe God gives us wisdom to protect each other and we should do that.”

Recommending cancellation of church services this week is a “big step” and “some won’t agree with it,” Beshear acknowledged.

The governor announced other steps to try to prevent spread of the virus.

State prisons are being closed to visitors, he said. Non-essential out-of-state travel has been suspended for state employees and he recommended that businesses do the same.

“All of these are aggressive steps, and we believe that they are necessary steps that will help us to ultimately move through this,” Beshear told reporters.

Eight cases of the virus have been diagnosed in Kentucky. Patients range in age from 27 to 69. All eight are receiving medical care in isolation.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.


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