Review: Kentucky governor threatens to disperse church services; attending drive-in services deemed compliant

This article describes the steps taken by the Kentucky governor to prevent churches from violating the state’s Executive Order prohibiting public gatherings over 10 people, but will allow drive-in services in which attendees remain in their cars.

News reached the Kentucky governor that at least 17 churches in the state planned to violate the state’s Emergency Order ban on in-person gatherings by holding Easter services. In response, Governor Beshear has contacted the state’s 120 county executives and gotten them to agree to break up gatherings of more than 10 people. The governor has indicated that drive-in services, during which attendees remain in their cars, would be permissible. Governors in other states are trying to use persuasion, rather than enforcement measures, to discourage gatherings. The Mississippi Governor successfully discouraged the head of a large church in his state from holding services by speaking with him by phone. The Ohio governor has stated, “I don’t know of any religion that says it’s not OK to worry about your neighbor, to not worry about other people,” but that he would not use police to break up services.

|2020-04-10T07:59:44-04:00April 9th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Kentucky governor threatens to disperse church services; attending drive-in services deemed compliant

About the Author: Ross Silverman

Ross Silverman
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH, is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health and Professor of Public Health and Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. He is a member of the IU Centers on Health Policy and Bioethics. His research focuses on public health and medical law, policy, and ethics, and law's impact on health outcomes and vulnerable populations. He also serves as Associate Editor on Legal Epidemiology for Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. His most recent Covid-19 publications include: "Ensuring Uptake of Vaccines Against SARS-CoV-2" in the New England Journal of Medicine (with MM Mello & SB Omer), and "Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive" in BMJ (with ZD Berger, NG Evans & AL Phelan)

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