Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear June 22 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reported no new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, a day in which the number of new cases of the illness was below 100.

Beshear said during a Frankfort briefing Monday that the state is “having a pretty good week in maintaining and controlling this virus. We have come very far, which is allowing us to do more and more in our economy.”

He said cases have plateaued. But he urged Kentuckians to continue to wash their hands, wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing and avoid falling into old habits that could result in a spike in the coronavirus illness, as some states are seeing.

Kentucky is scheduled to move into its third phase of reopenings next Monday, when “just about everything in the commonwealth will be open in some capacity,” including wedding venues and the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park, Beshear said. Gatherings of up to 50 people also will be allowed.

Beshear said people ought to embrace a “rule of 50%” as restrictions continue to be lifted.

“If you would have gone to lunch and gone to dinner, just do one,” he said. “If you would have gone to a certain number of meetings with others out there, cut them in half.”

Dr. Steven Stack, the state’s public health commissioner, said he and his public health colleagues in the U.S. are at times frustrated with how many people aren't using face coverings when they're near others.

Social distancing is still important, while masks are "absolutely essential,” he said.

Beshear said he believes Kentucky's reopening plan is "pacing it correctly," and people are generally following state guidelines. But he said he is concerned how those rules will be followed as the summer wears on. 

"I'm not seeing nearly the amount of masks we need to. You have countries out there that are doing an amazing job simply because they're willing to wear masks," he said. 

Starting on June 29, restaurants in the state will be permitted to increase their capacity to 50% of pre-coronavirus levels, while public pools also can reopen under new social distancing and hygiene guidance. Youth sports also can resume.

Beshear reported 90 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, “one of the first times -- at least in a little while -- that we have been under triple digits.”

Beshear said he plans to issue guidance on school reopenings on Wednesday.

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