Beshear Mask Mandate Starts Today
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT - During his Thursday update, Governor Andy Beshear announced a new executive order requiring Kentuckians to wear masks.

Beginning today at 5 p.m., all Kentuckians visiting any place of business will be required to wear a mask. Kentuckians are also required to wear a mask outside if social distancing of at least 6 feet can't be accomplished. 

He said, "It's no longer voluntary, it's mandatory, and I'm willing to take whatever criticism comes with that." 

Anyone not following the mandate will first receiving a warning, but Beshear says they could face fines if they are a repeat offender.

Beshear reminded Kentuckians that according to health professionals, wearing face masks lower the infection risk for others wearing masks by up to 65 percent. According to Beshear, an analysis from Goldman Sachs shows that if everyone in America were required to wear a mask in public, it would save the economy from losing 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

He said the new executive order will be reviewed after 30 days to determine any additional steps or extensions to the mandate.

Under the executive order, face masks will be required in the following situations:

"While inside, or waiting in line to enter, any: retail establishment; grocery store; pharmacy; hair salon/barbershop; nail salon/spa; tattoo parlor; child care facility; restaurant or bar (when not seated and consuming food or beverage); health care setting, or; any other indoor public space in which it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from all individuals who are not members of that person's household;

"While waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit, or while riding in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle, or driving any of the above while customers are present; or

"While in outdoor public spaces in which the person cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from all individuals who are not members of the person's household and is not otherwise covered by previously issued guidance."

There will be a few exemptions to the order, including children who are younger than 5, anyone with a disability, or anyone with a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from safely wearing a mask.  

A copy of the executive order can be read at the link below.

As of Thursday there were 333 new cases of the virus across the state. A total of 461,756 Kentuckians have been tested, with 18,245 testing positive. There are 457 Kentuckians hospitalized with the virus, with 105 in the ICU.

Beshear announced four new deaths related to the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 612. At least 4,939 Kentuckians have recovered.

You can see Beshear's full update below.

On the Net:

Mask Executive Order

Published 12:55 AM, Friday Jul. 10, 2020
Updated 06:54 PM, Friday Jul. 10, 2020



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