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Beshear: COVID-19 restrictions to be eased again ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear has pulled the state mask mandate for small private or business gatherings starting Thursday, so long as every person in the group is 100% vaccinated.

Beshear made the announcement during his daily briefing on the coronavirus outbreak in Kentucky.

The governor also said starting May 28, leading in the Memorial Day weekend holiday, all events indoors and outdoors under 1,000 can be held at 75% capacity. That includes facilities like retail stores, salons, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, weddings, and memorial services.

Restaurants now have a few weeks to prepare for the increase capacity. Chase Schnatter, chef de cuisine at Cask Southern Kitchen and Bar in Plainview, told WAVE 3 News he’s starting to feel like they’ve made it to the other side.

“The fact that we opened in July, until now, it’s just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger,” Schnatter said. “I think it’s fantastic.”

Cask Southern Kitchen and Bar opened their doors in July, in the middle of the pandemic. It hasn’t been easy with limited capacity, but like other restaurants, they are making it work.

“It’s definitely been a struggle but everything has been coming along and it’s finally, hopefully we get out of the whole pandemic and everything,” Schnatter said.

Over the past several months, Cask has started to welcome more customers, as people are starting to venture out more.

“People are also excited to celebrate, you know,” Schnattet told WAVE 3 News. “Just the fact of getting out of the house and being around their friends they haven’t seen in over a year and you know, being able to eat out at a restaurant.”

Schnatter said he’s encouraged to hear Governor Beshear increase capacity at restaurants later this month.

“We’ve been struggling with, you know, the capacity and bringing people into the restaurant and stuff like that,” he said. “And we have to tell people to leave or stand outside. But the more and more we open, and the more people we can come back to normalcy and stuff like that. So i’m real excited for it.”

Events with more than 1,000 people starting May 28 can be held at 60% capacity.

There were six deaths reported to be COVID-19-related on Thursday. In addition, Beshear reported 655 new cases of the virus. The governor also said the state was seeing a 3.51% positivity rate.

As of Thursday, at least 1,855,111 people were vaccinated against the virus.

“We really do need more people to get vaccinated, though,” the governor said. “Please, treat your neighbor as yourself. Get vaccinated and protect everyone around you.”

Vaccination locations can now be found on vaccines.gov. Users can search for a site using their zip code and specifying a travel radius.

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