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Beshear: Some Restaurants Using Tents For Outdoor Dining May Be Trying To ‘Cut Corners’

Gov. Andy Beshear

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear in a Frankfort media briefing Monday said some restaurants using tents to provide outdoor, in-person dining services may be trying to skirt around the provisions of his executive order mandating the closure of dining rooms.

“We’re reviewing some of these options. There are some that we believe are safe and there are some that might be trying to cut corners,” Beshear said.

One western Kentucky county is using government resources to provide restaurants with tents as a tool to stop the potential financial losses associated with fully shuttering sit-down service. Marshall County Judge/Executive Kevin Neal signed an executive order Monday directing the county’s emergency management office to execute the order. He said the order is a tool to offset the negative aspect of Beshear’s mandate.

Credit Submitted
An outdoor dining tent located in Marshall County

“During this time when so many of our local restaurants are struggling to remain in business due to these orders from the Governor, we have to come together, step up and help in any way we can,” Neal said. “Some of these small businesses don’t have drive through capability or outdoor seating like the larger chain restaurants have. This is so much harder for them and their employees to overcome.”

The state is again reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases on a Monday. Mondays typically report lower case counts due to weekend lab closures. Beshear announced 2,135 new cases Monday, bringing the statewide total to 160,232. The commonwealth’s positivity rate dipped to 8.97%.

Western Kentucky counties with double-digit case increases include McCracken (68), Daviess (28), Graves (26), Calloway (25) and Logan (21).

Five Kentuckians died Monday as a result of the virus, including an 88-year-old man and an 85-year-old man from McCracken County. The Calloway County Health Department reported four new deaths in the county Monday, although reporting to the state usually lags behind initial local announcements. 

View the executive order signed by Neal below:

Credit Marshall County Fiscal Court

This report was updated to include the latest reports of COVID-19 deaths in Calloway County. 

Dalton York is a Morning Edition host and reporter for WKYU in Bowling Green. He is a graduate of Murray State University, where he majored in History with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership Studies. While attending Murray State, he worked as a student reporter at WKMS. A native of Marshall County, he is a proud product of his tight-knit community.
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