Gov. Beshear's Friday COVID-19 Update
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT - During his Friday update, Governor Andy Beshear provided the latest COVID-19 numbers from across the state.

As of Friday there were 426 new cases of the virus across the Commonwealth. A total of 470,548 Kentuckians have been tested for the virus, with 18,670 testing positive.

"So today's news also has some other tough parts in it," said Gov. Beshear. "We've got a lot of kids under 5 years old in this report that have COVID-19. Folks, I have kids, and they're older than this now but when they would get a fever, my heart would stop beating. I mean I would stop breathing when they were hurting. Whatever your reason is to wear a mask, this is a pretty good one."

Beshear announced eight new deaths related to the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 620. At least 5,258 Kentuckians have recovered.

He reminded Kentuckians of the importance of wearing face 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." 

Beshear added, "No matter what people try to throw out there, yes, this is mandatory regardless of anything else that's out there, and we can explain why, but this is really important to do."

Regarding Attorney General Daniel Cameron's motion in Scott County, Beshear said it doesn't stop his requirement from going into effect. 

"That applies only to executive orders and we think it's wrong on that, but we also did an administrative regulation - an emergency regulation - separate and apart, and it's in effect. The attorney general didn't file a motion to stop the masks, he filed a motion for a hearing for the judge to think about whether or not it violates it," Beshear said Friday.

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. 

Published 06:23 PM, Friday Jul. 10, 2020
Updated 07:27 PM, Saturday Jul. 11, 2020



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