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Ky. governor urges churches to cancel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear urged churches to cancel worship services and state universities announced classroom closings as officials seek to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I don’t believe that whether you go to church during this period of time is a test of faith,” Beshear said Wednesday. “I believe God gives us wisdom to protect each other and we should do that.”

He said state prisons are being temporarily closed to visitors, and that non-essential out-of-state travel has been suspended for state employees.

“All of these are aggressive steps, and we believe that they are necessary steps that will help us to ultimately move through this,” Beshear said of his administration’s actions.

He said that recommending cancellation of worship services statewide was a “big step” and one likely to draw pushback. But he sees it as necessary to protect public health.

“We know that this (virus) is community spread and we think it’s very important to get ahead of it,”he said.

People can practice their faith at home this week, he said. Beshear, a deacon at his church, said two coronavirus patients in Harrison County attend the same church.