The most recent pandemic containment twist was announced yesterday, becoming effective today at 5:00 p.m.
The social media scrum started intensifying on Sunday, then skyrocketed into Monday evening: Why doesn’t he close Kentucky Kingdom? Shouldn’t 25% capacity apply to all shopping venues? Why can’t the state enforce the rules already in place v.v. the bad actors at bars? What about Indiana?
These are questions landing somewhat above our pay grade and daily mission at the present time, so allow me to point to sources of further reading, as here: Gov. Andy Beshear closes bars, rolls back restaurant capacity as Covid-19 cases increase, by Marty Finley in Louisville Business First.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday enacted more restrictions on businesses as Covid-19 cases increase and the positivity rate inches up in the state. Beshear has ordered bars across the state to close and said he is rolling back restaurants to 25% indoor seating capacity as a new step to combat the virus’ spread. Bars and restaurants have been operating at 50% indoor seating capacity with unlimited outdoor seating if social distancing can be maintained. The order will take effect Tuesday and is expected to be in place until Aug. 11.
If you’re a Courier Journal subscriber, Dahlia Ghabour gathered reactions from food and drink operators, with this snippet indicative of the tone.
Stacy Roof, president and CEO of the Kentucky Restaurant Association, said she is disappointed, because, “I don’t think restaurants are the issue.”
“The restaurants … are not happy,” Roof said of the owners she’s spoken with.
“The schedules are made, the supplies are ordered, and they have to again change their plans. What plan are we on, Plan Q? We’re pretty far down the alphabet by now.”
From our standpoint at Food & Dining Magazine, the timing is a tad inconvenient. Of course, COVID-19 doesn’t particularly care about the calendar. Deadlines for our Fall “comeback” issue at the end of August (the Summer 2020 edition proved impossible under the circumstances of the first pandemic shutdown) coincide with the new two-week restriction rollback period, which probably will result in eateries going out of business. We’ll do our level best to keep abreast of the changes.
Pandemic conclusions would be ill advised at this juncture, so in closing let’s keep in mind the words of the Kentucky Restaurant Association: “Please continue to support our restaurants the best way you can: dine in, curbside, carryout and gift card purchases. We thank you!”