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FRANKFORT, Kentucky, March 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has urged churches to “cancel their worship services this weekend” over coronavirus fears, while not asking the same of any other institutions where crowds congregate.

According to Lexington, Kentucky’s NBC affiliate Lex18, Beshear, a Democrat, told Kentuckians to protect themselves and others from the Covid-19 coronavirus. 

“The governor said he hoped that the general public would take aggressive steps to avoid the potential to spread the illness,” Melissa Ratliff reported.

Beshear asked people to avoid cruises and nursing homes and to run errands when they are least likely to encounter crowds. He has suspended all non-essential travel for government employees and hopes religious communities will suspend their worship services. 

“I am also encouraging churches to cancel their worship services this weekend,” he said.

However, this was the only form of public assembly that Beshear wished to discourage. Cinemas, theaters, museums, schools, stadiums, and universities still remain open in Kentucky, which has reported eight cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

All these institutions are shut throughout the nation of Italy, in which the Catholic bishops have bowed to civil authorities’ instructions to suspend Masses. 

Beshear is a deacon in the mainline Protestant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

LifeSiteNews has reached out to Beshear's office for comment.