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Roughly 50 worshipers ignored stay-at-home order in Kentucky and they gather in Maryville Baptist Church to attend services together on Christianity's holiest day and to celebrate Easter. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear warned people last week that if they gather in groups, law enforcement officials would record their license plates. After that the state could send out orders urging people to self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
As the Courier Journal reports, several said as they left (the church) that they had no intention of abiding by the notice on their windshields that called for a 14-day self-quarantine or face the threat of "further enforcement measures."
Beshear said Sunday that those who received notices will get a letter "asking them to self-quarantine."
"No one is being charged with anything," he said.
Asked if the state will consider GPS monitoring anklets such as Jefferson County has used for those exposed to COVID-19 who failed to self-isolate, Beshear said "it's not going to come to that."
The Governor was clear: “If you’re going to expose yourself to this virus, and you make that decision to do it, it’s not fair to everybody else out there that you might spread it to. This is just an example of personal responsibility. We’re going to make sure that those that are going, and get noticed, that this will happen — that if they’re going to participate in the mass gathering, it’s 14 days self-quarantine at their home.
Somebody makes that decision, okay. But understand that this is the only way that we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill somebody else.”
Beshear's order for police to record license plates has drawn criticism from numerous Republicans at the state and federal level, including U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, Congressman Thomas Massie and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
After Governor Brshear’s warning, conservative radio host, Todd Starnes, called him “fascist” and “godless” because he tries to protect people from COVID-19. “Folks, I tried to warn religious leaders that this was going to happen. If you give an inch, the godless leftists will shut down your churches, threaten to arrest your preachers and quarantine your congregation,” Starnes said.
Sen. Rand Paul also reacted to the warning: “Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.” Sometimes, protecting public health may need to be a priority over the practice of faith, but there are still people that don’t understand that.