Kentucky to record churchgoers’ license plates amid coronavirus

Kentucky State Police will record the license plates of residents who attend church on Easter — and report them to local health departments for quarantine, Gov. Andy Beshear said Friday.

Beshear, dropping the bombshell announcement halfway through a press conference late Friday, said that those who “make the decision” to be exposed to the deadly coronavirus are “not fair to those that you would spread it to.”

“We’re having to take a new action, and I hoped that we wouldn’t, and it’s that any individual that’s going to participate in a mass gathering of any type that we know about this weekend we’re going to record license plates and provide it to local health departments.

“Local health departments are going to come to your door with an order for you to be quarantined for 14 days,” Beshear said.

The Democratic governor said the move comes as the Bluegrass State recorded 242 new cases, its largest increase of confirmed cases in a single day. Kentucky has had 11 new deaths bringing the total count to 90.

“If all we’re asked is to do stay at home, 11,00 lives justify every single thing that we’re doing,” Beshear said earlier in the news conference.

Kentucky now has about seven churches still holding out and thinking about continuing to hold Easter services, Beshear said.

“We are down to less than seven churches statewide, because we don’t have any synagogues or mosques that are holding in-person services, … that are thinking about having an in-person service and we absolutely cannot bring people together in one building like that,” Beshear said.

Earlier in the press conference, the governor invited those who stay home to watch the online stream of the Beargrass Christian Church out of Louisville — where he serves as a deacon.

“This is a time and a weekend, a whole week, for multiple faiths that is about faith. It’s about knowing that we have faced — as people, as Christians, as Jews, as believers of many faiths — difficult, dark times and have prevailed,” Beshear said.

The press conference included videos from several religious leaders from around the state attempting to convince residents to stay home.

“Churches might be empty this Easter, but so is the grave,” said Todd Lester, pastor of Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church. “We encourage you to worship the risen lord at home this Easter Sunday.”

Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul blasted the measures on Twitter, writing, “Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.”

Paul, who was a physician before joining the Senate, has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

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