Kentucky Governor: Easter Churchgoers Will Have License Plates Recorded, Told to Self-Isolate
Kentuckians who attend in-person church services on Easter Sunday will be told to self-isolate for 14 days by state officials, according to governor Andy Beshear. The Democratic governor announced the plan on Friday, stating that Kentucky state troopers will record the license plates of vehicles parked at churches on Easter Sunday.
The plan is for Kentucky Department of Public Health officials to contact drivers who attended church gatherings and to tell them that they must remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
Kentucky is already prohibiting gatherings of ten people under the state of emergency order enacted by Beshear. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has stated that only a “handful” of churches in the Louisville metro area are holding in-person services, explaining that he was “imploring” the churches to cancel planned public services.
As of Friday night, Kentucky has incurred almost 1,700 coronavirus diagnoses with approximately eighty deaths.
Beshear claims that his office has identified 17 churches across the state that are willfully planning on hosting Easter Sunday services despite the executive order that expressly suspended religious gatherings during the pandemic. The governor has admitted that the small handful of organizations that are flouting the executive order means that “just about everybody is doing the right thing.”
There is a strong case to be made that pastors and churchgoers should be avoiding church services in the midst of the pandemic. The overwhelming majority of churches in America, and presumably Kentucky, have suspended in-person services, with many offering online streaming services instead. But Beshear’s threat to chase down churchgoers who attend services is more likely to concern the public about the state’s response to the crisis than it is to deter large gatherings, which are probably unlikely to occur in any event.