HILLVIEW, Ky. — As Maryville Baptist Church moved forward with its in-person Easter service Sunday morning, Kentucky State Police troopers were recording the license plates and placing notices on the roughly 50 cars parked outside of the congregation.
The action related to license plates came as a result of an order that Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday as part of ongoing efforts to keep Kentuckians from further spreading COVID-19.
Following Beshear’s license plate order, which applies anyone who attends an in-person church service or any mass gathering, police will refer those motorists to local health departments, which will then order 14-day quarantines – although several attendees told The Courier Journal they have no intention of following the order.
Sgt. Josh Lawson of KSP said most of the state’s 16 posts have responded to between two and five complaints about church services. But so they’ve found no violations of CDC guidelines and no in-person services, with Maryville apparently the exception. Most calls have been in reference to outdoor services, where people were in cars and not passing between cars. Those types of services “were specifically mentioned by the governor as being allowed,” he said.
“We’re responding to those calls as we would any other calls for service. As of now, we have not found anyone to be in violation when we responded to those calls. They are following the proper guidelines,” he said.
Maryville was the only place plates have been recorded and notices put on cars that he knew about. He couldn’t answer what exactly they will do with them, but noted the action was the directive of the governor.
Troopers have used community connections to speak with pastors to advise that “they can worship while doing so safely and within proper guidelines.” Lawson said it’s been “very non-confrontational.”
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Editors note. This article was written by Sarah Ladd. Originally posted at the courier-journal. Title changed by Pulpit & Pen
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