Governor Andy Beshear announces phased re-openings

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- It’s no question that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted both daily life and the economy. Governor Andy Beshear made an announcement Thursday that the state would begin to slowly reopen several types of businesses including retail stores, like Bowling Green’s Barbara Stewart Interiors.

“It was wonderful news, and I feel like Barbara Stewart Interiors can open safely and be able to take care of our customers and make them feel safe and comfortable,” said Barbara Stewart Interiors owner Susan Hoechner.

Retail stores are tentatively going to reopen May 20, but they’re not alone. Houses of worship like Crossland Community Church in Bowling Green will also be able to open their doors once again in this phase.

“I was stoked. But I’m also at a point where I know I need to be patient. I think we all need to be patient with that date because it is tentative. There are so many variables still up in the air,” said Crossland worship pastor Tyler Lindsey.

Both churches and retail stores will open with reduced capacity. All businesses and organizations opening are also taking safety precautions when opening.

“We do a lot of phone call orders anyway, but one or two people in the store at the same time is usually about it,” Hoechner said.

“We’re buying gallons of hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, and we’re just doing everything that we can to make sure we’re ready,” Lindsey said.

While this day and age has made livestreamed worship and shopping possible, everyone agrees that it doesn’t hold a candle to seeing everyone in person again.

“It will be wonderful to see our customers again, and know that we can take care of them, their needs, and be safe about it,” Hoechner said.

“When we finally get to, you may be able to hear me from anywhere in bowling green, I’m going to sing so loud,” Lindsey said.

The first phase will feature manufacturing, car dealerships, and pet grooming businesses, just to name a few. Phase 1 is set to begin May 11.