Twitter | @ladd_sarah

Kentucky Easter Churchgoers Get 14-Day Quarantine Orders

With the COVID-19 pandemic requiring people to keep their distance from each other to avoid spreading the disease further than it already has, how churches would respond on one of Christianity's holiest days was hotly anticipated.

In the end, several churches opened their doors to their congregations in defiance of state-issued bans of mass gatherings, and for at least one Kentucky church, the police were well aware of the situation.

At Maryville Baptist Church in Hillview, Kentucky, much of the action was out in the parking lot.

Sarah Ladd, a reporter for the Louisvile Courier-Journal, was on hand to capture the scene on Easter Sunday as congregants packed the church.

Before the day had even started, however, Ladd noted that nails had been spread at the building's entrances and in the parking lot in an apparent attempt to discourage churchgoers.

The church's staff managed to get all the nails cleaned up before the services started, but the action didn't stop there.

And at least a few of the churchgoers seemed to anticipate some trouble with the police.

"The parking lot, cleaned of nails, is fast filling with cars now. At least 2 have covered their license plates to avoid quarantine orders," Ladd tweeted.

Turns out those drivers had reason to be concerned.

Shortly after the services started inside, Kentucky State Police showed up and started patrolling the parking lot.

It wasn't immediately clear if the police were issuing citations for breaking the state's orders, but in a briefing, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that nobody would be facing charges for attending church on Easter Sunday.

Police were, however, taking down license plate numbers while in the parking lot.

For those who covered their plates, the police took VIN numbers instead, and they left notices asking the churchgoers to self-quarantine for 14 days, saying only vaguely that failure to do so could result in "further enforcement measures."

Several churchgoers indicated they had no intention of abiding by the 14-day self-quarantine orders, either.

And as the Courier-Journal reported, the pastor, Rev. Jack Roberts intends to keep holding in-person church services.

"If you read the Constitution of the United States, if you read the constitution of the state of Kentucky, they both say that (Beshear) is infringing on the church's rights," by banning mass gatherings, Roberts said.

However, as Kentucky Health Commissioner Steven Stack asked, "At what point do our rights to gather entitle us to have other people die as a result?"

h/t: Louisville Courier-Journal