Gov. Andy Beshear has extended Kentucky's public face mask mandate for another 30 days. The emergency order originally went into effect at 5 p.m. July 10 and was subject to renewal.
“By now, we all know someone that we care about, that we’re close to who is fighting this virus or has fought this virus. And as things progress, we will all probably know somebody who we have lost to this virus. This is going to be a month where I hope we turn things around, but based on July, we’re still going to see a lot of pain,” said Gov. Beshear during a press briefing. “So let’s make sure that we protect our mental and emotional health, stay as committed as we’ve always been to defeating this virus and step it up.”
As of Sunday, Aug. 9, the state had 425 newly reported cases of COVID-19, nine of which were in children ages 5 and younger. Beshear noted Jefferson, Fayette, Pulaski, Taylor, Hardin, Madison, Casey, Warren and Wayne counties had 10 or more newly reported cases.
“No matter where you are in the commonwealth, COVID-19 is spreading,” he said.
Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health Dr. Steven Stack said that all but five Kentucky counties saw an increase in COVID-19 cases last week.
“More Kentuckians will get COVID-19 resulting in more hospitalizations and deaths, but we know what to do right now to mitigate the risk. Every time we take steps, such as wearing masks and social distancing, it impacts how many Kentuckians will test positive, how many businesses, schools and other places where we gather can remain open, and how many Kentuckians will get hurt,” Dr. Stack said.
Dr. Stack also provided safety tips to take in addition to wearing a mask like walking, biking or riding in/driving your own car to your destination, if possible; avoiding close interaction with people; avoiding touching things unnecessarily; washing your hands frequently and keeping hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes with you; sneezing into your elbow if you have to sneeze, and if you sneeze into your cloth mask, wash it when you get home.
Here are details on the renewed mask mandate, which you can read in full at governor.ky.gov.
When do you have to wear a mask?
You have to wear a face mask or some kind of covering that goes over your nose and mouth:
- While inside or waiting in line to get into a retail establishment, grocery store, pharmacy, hair salon/barbershop, nail salon/spa, tattoo parlor, child care facility, restaurant or bar (when not seated and not consuming food or drink), health care setting, or any other indoor public space where you can't get 6 feet apart from those who aren't a member of your household.
- While waiting for or riding in public transportation or paratransit, or while riding in a taxi, private car service or ride share, or if you're driving any of those while a customer is present.
- While in an outdoor public space when you can't maintain 6 feet of social distance from humans that aren't in your household.
When don't you have to wear a mask?
- If you're seated at a bar or restaurant and actively eating or drinking.
- If you're getting some kind of service, like getting your teeth cleaned, where you need to take off your face mask.
- If you need to remove your mask to be identified for security or screening purposes.
- If you're giving a speech or broadcast to an audience and you can maintain 6 feet of distance from them.
- If you're in a lake, pool or other body of water.
- If you're actively exercising in a gym or other indoor facility as long as you can maintain 6 feet of distance from other people.
- If you're actively participating in an athletic practice, scrimmage or competition as outlined in the Healthy at Work requirements.
- If you're actively engaged in a lawful activity where federal or state law prohibits a face mask.
- If you're engaged in work that a state or federal regulator has concluded would make wearing a face covering a risk to your health or safety.
Who is exempt?
- Children under 5.
- Anyone with a disability or physical or mental impairment that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.
- Anyone who is hearing impaired or is communicating with the hearing impaired where seeing the mouth is an essential part of communication.