LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As cases of COVID-19 surge in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday signaled that he may announce new restrictions later this week.
During his daily briefing, Beshear said Kentucky’s coronavirus cases had increased exponentially and are spreading “like wildfire.” He reported a record number of hospitalizations at 1,442 people and record ICU levels at 360 beds filled with patients with COVID.
“We right now are suffering from avoidable loss, meaning we are having loved ones die that we can stop, that we can prevent. That if we all get back to doing just the right things to protect one another that somebody doesn’t lose their mom or dad, or brother of sister or even their kid,” he said.
Beshear explained that he could implement “additional steps” to control the virus on Wednesday if COVID numbers don’t go down.
When asked, Beshear clarified that the new restrictions could impact bars and restaurants.
“If we have to take additional steps they are going to be more targeted to ensure we are getting the best possible results,” he said.
META bar owner Jeremy Johnson told WAVE 3 News he supports more restrictions for the service industry. Sunday, he tweeted to Beshear telling him to “do the right thing and shut down” bars and restaurants.
“We’re all kind of limping by and we’re slowly bleeding out,” Johnson said. “I would much rather have a targeted approach where we get the virus under control in a quicker fashion instead of limping along for the next six months.”
With so many restrictions already in place, the bar owner said it’s been difficult to run a profitable business and pay his bills.
“It’s not really feasible to stay open with the decreased capacity and decreased hours like we have been especially when you’ve got the governor telling people to stay home,” Johnson said.
He explained that he wants to stay open and do it safely but he’s noticed too many patrons defying health guidelines.
“Even when people are well intentioned, they’re going to make some little mistakes which makes it very easy to spread the virus,” Johnson said.
He hopes further restrictions come with some financial relief. He said he understands that other bars and restaurants might not support a shut down but believes it is needed to stay open in the long term.
“We should be able to take care of our small business, without the business fighting among themselves,” Johnson said.