On Thursday, Kentucky recorded its highest single-day new COVID-19 case total--4,324. The good news is that, despite the large number, the Bluegrass State has seen a steady decline in its positivity rate over the past week.

When it was announced, a week before Thanksgiving, that there would be a three-week suspension of indoor service at bars and restaurants, all eyes were on December 13th. That was announced as the final day of the new temporary restrictions.

And all week long, Governor Andy Beshear has maintained that he likely wouldn't extend them.

And he didn't.

This Monday, December 14th, Kentucky bars and restaurants will once again be allowed to reopen--at 50% capacity--for indoor seating.

Since that temporary closure began on November 20th, many restaurants that were able to do so offered outdoor dining by way of large tents (with openings) and those big patio heaters.

And I happen to know for a fact that at least one restaurant--Brew Bridge, in downtown Owensboro--will maintain that outdoor offering with the use of tents and heaters.

But now all restaurants and bars will be able to join them.

Beshear also specified education guidelines for those counties still in the red zone.

Here's a list of Kentucky's new public health restrictions and recommendations that will begin Monday, December 14th:

1. All public and private middle and high schools will continue remote instruction until Jan. 4, 2021. Elementary schools can return to in-person learning once their county is out of the red zone.

2. Restaurants and bars can reopen at 50% capacity. Masks are required except when actively drinking or eating. Service must stop at 11 p.m.; establishments must close no later than 12 a.m.

3. Indoor social gatherings are recommended to have no more than eight people from a maximum of two households. There is no recommended limit on the number of people from the same household. There is no limit on outdoor social gatherings.

4. Gyms, fitness centers, pools and other indoor recreation facilities can operate at 50% capacity. Masks must be worn while exercising.

5. Venues, event spaces and theaters can reopen at 50% capacity.

6. Professional services can operate with up to 50% of employees working in-person; however, all employees who are able to work from home must do so.

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