FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced the schedule for reopening recreation and tourism-oriented entities which had been ordered closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Kentucky State Resort Parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins, will be open to the public for normal business beginning June 1,” he said on Friday at the daily briefing. “It’s going to be required social distancing at each of these. The way the restaurants work will be different, but they will be reopened, on June the first.”
Guests can begin making reservations beginning Tuesday, May 19, at parks.ky.gov, he said.
Some state resort parks will not reopen to the public June 1 after being designated to provide temporary housing for low-acuity COVID-19 patients, those who are sick but not in need of hospitalization. Those are Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, Blue Licks Battlefield, and Buckhorn Lake.
Barren River Lake State Resort Park is currently closed due to ongoing renovations.
In addition, starting June 11, the Kentucky Horse Park, Otter Creek and state park campgrounds will open to the public, to self-contained campers and RVs, in accordance with the healthy at work camping guidelines.
Beshear said he didn’t want to shut down campgrounds, but people weren’t social distancing. “Just because we are reopening, just because we can have groups of 10 or less, doesn’t mean social distancing isn’t required. So, let’s not mess up a good thing, let’s make sure that we do this in the way we have been doing everything else, which is responsibly.”
He also announced fishing tournaments can resume June 1, with new guidelines established by Fish and Wildlife Resources officials.
“Tourism is an incredibly important business in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “We’re taking a big revenue hit from it, but that’s not the reason that we’re reopening it now. It’s that we believe we can do it safely with social distancing. As long as Kentuckians continue to buy into the rules, to know that this virus is still out there, we have an opportunity, especially this summer, for people to travel in-state.”
While swimming pools remain closed, aquatic centers are also being allowed to reopen June 1 for training, as well as lap pools and those designated for exercise.
Guidance was also issued Friday for massage therapy and nail salons, with cosmetology, hair salons, barber shops, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors.
He also reported 252 new cases of the coronavirus in Kentucky on Friday, bringing the total to 7,444. There were also four deaths, making it 332 since the pandemic began. Two of them were inmates at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, with one each from long-term care centers in Campbell and Jefferson counties.
There were 28 new cases involving residents at long-term centers and 11 involving staff members, which makes the totals 969 residents, 391 staff, and 193 deaths, all but two of them residents. Cases have now been reported at 01 long-term care facilities.
The governor said he will not hold press briefings on Saturday and Sunday but will post a video on his Facebook page Saturday. For more information on the new guidance, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.