Museums, distilleries, libraries open June 8, child care, camps June 15; 20 new deaths in state

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – State officials unveiled more opening dates, including distilleries, museums and libraries, Tuesday, continued to push health and safety guidelines to make reopening work, but also announced 20 new deaths in 11 counties.

With retail, restaurants and churches, among others, opening in the next few days, Gov. Andy Beshear and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack both preached safety going into the Memorial Day weekend.

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“We know we desperately crave seeing our family and friends. We just must stay safe together,” Stack said during Beshear’s daily briefing.

The tips included do events outside, making sure to keep gatherings to 10 or less people, wearing masks, social distancing. not sharing food and utensils, keeping sanitizer available and other safety tips that have become “the new normal.”

With restaurants opening at 33 percent capacity, Beshear said the state would need at least two weeks of data after the reopening to see when and how to expand the capacity limits.

“We want to do it right. If some states are doing more and aren’t seeing a spike, good for them. But we want to do it right and safely,” Beshear said.

Beshear announced museums, libraries, distilleries, outdoor attractions and aquariums, and similar groups, can open June 8. They also will be limited to the 33 percent capacity initially.

Child care will open June 15 with strict guidelines. Camps, including sports camps, that can meet the strict child care guidelines also will be able to open June 15, Beshear said.

Concerts can do drive-in or drive-up shows, but live performances and bingo halls aren’t yet able to open, the governor added.

The state had 20 deaths, Beshear said, noting it is the highest one-day total. The deaths came in 11 counties, including Jefferson, Daviess, Logan, Edmonson, Campbell, Kenton, Allen, Warren, Boone, Adair and Brekenridge.

The 20 cases bring to 266 deaths in the state since the coronavirus outbreak began in early March.

Beshear also reported 164 new cases, which is on par with the state’s signs of a “plateau.” The new cases brought to 8.069 the number in the state since early March.

Of the total, 269 patients remain in ICU and 443 in the hospital.

More importantly, 2,826 people have recovered and the number of people tested has reached 153,800.

O fhr new cases, 50 were in Jefferson, 33 were in Fayette, 10 were in Kenton, two each were in Bullitt, Fanklin and Grayson counties, and one each in Wolfe, Whitley, Clay, Edmonson, and Madison, among others.

Wolfe was one of only a handful of counties in the state that previously had no cases.

With the June 8 date in mind, the Lexington library system announced a phased reopening starting on June 8.

The plan calls for curbside service to start at the Eastside Branch, located at 3000 Blake James Drive at the corner of Palumbo Drive and Man O War Boulevard, on Monday, June 8.

Customers are asked to keep library materials they have previously borrowed until further notice.

The state has not yet released guidelines for reopening governmental entities, so the library facilities will remain closed to the public at this time.  Additional plans will be announced as they are finalized.

“We are excited to begin the reopening process of the Lexington Public Library,” said Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach. “Our top priority remains keeping our cardholders, volunteers, and staff safe by following the preventative precautions and guidelines provided by the Health Department along with state and local leaders.”

The Library’s Virtual Branch, which has seen unprecedented usage over the past two months, will continue to operate and is available to all library cardholders.

This resource allows customers the ability to access collections of Ebooks, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, tutorials, and other resources at www.lexpublib.org.  The Library plans to continue online programming on social media and digital platforms.

All late fees remain suspended until further notice, and due dates have been extended during the closure.