Harrison, other counties limit shoppers per family or per cart, governor considering steps

HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — With all the complaints about people not social distancing in businesses – like grocery stores – some communities are now limiting how many people can be in them at a time.

It’s happening in Harrison County.

The first case of COVID-19 in the state and now, one of the first counties to limit the number of shoppers allowed inside businesses.

“COVID-19 is not something you want to lead in and be one of the firsts in the state but we didn’t have a choice on that and now we’re just trying to be proactive and do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Harrison County,” says Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett.

The order – now in effect – allows only one adult member, per household, inside essential businesses like gas stations, grocery stores, and Dollar Stores.

“The only complaint I get here in Harrison County about social distancing is at our store,” says the judge-executive.

The county took the tough step after repeated pleas to citizens weren’t working.

“We had so many people that were afraid to go in and shop because they would pull up and see a parking lot full of cars and a store full of people and they had a fear of catching the virus and being so close to people that they wouldn’t go in themselves,” says Barnett.

Barnett says the order is to keep the community safe, including the workers.

“There’s just no need for a mom and dad and four kids and grandpa to go into a grocery store to get a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. That’s just not necessary,” says Barnett.

As for exceptions, he says common sense works.

“If a single mother comes with a young child and has no child care because it’s hard to get child care right now, go on and let them in,” Barnett says.

He says the goal is to protect every person in the county.

“Every decision we make comes from our heart and from the science that tells us we will flatten the curve with our decisions,” says Barnett.

The order stands until the governor lifts the state of emergency.

Other counties are doing similar things. And some are ordering one person per shopping cart rather than one person per family.

In the region, Breathitt County was one of the first to impose that order effective Wednesday.

Along with Harrison, Clay County did the same thing Wednesday.

All the orders are similar. The one signed by Harrison County Judge Executive Alex Barnett states: “The number of shoppers being allowed to enter businesses shall be limited to one adult member per household.”

The word shall means it is imperative in legal terms.

Furthermore, all shoppers must main the six-foot social distancing rule.

Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday he has considered such a move statewide, but still is weighing options.

The issue is the one that has come up like a single mom or dad who doesn’t have child care. We may want something like one adult per shopping cart,” Beshear said when asked about the growing movement.

“We’re getting more steps from businesses to enforce social distancing, but we’ve got to do more,” the governor added.


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