A day after announcing new COVID-19 restrictions for schools, service-based businesses (restaurants, bars, gym, etc.) and private gatherings, Governor Andy Beshear is recommending that Kentucky churches follow suit in halting indoor, in-person services beginning Friday through Sunday, December 13.

Rather than announce the recommendation during his daily afternoon update, the governor instead met Thursday morning with the Kentucky Council of Churches. He was then questioned about it during the update.

"It is a request," Gov. Beshear stressed, "but I think the vast majority of houses of worship are already doing this as they see what is going on in their communities. They want to protect their congregations and our faith leaders have been so incredible in their leadership during this -- in protecting their congregation but also in pastoring to them."

Unlike the recent Kentucky Supreme Court decision allowing the governor to enact restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, Beshear's March mandate prohibiting in-person church services was ruled unconstitutional in federal court by May.

The council itself represents 11 denominations and 16 regional areas in Kentucky and has more than 1,100 member churches.

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