Mandatory mask mandate officially goes into effect throughout Kentucky

Mandatory mask mandate officially goes into effect throughout Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive order is officially in effect, which mandates the wearing of face masks in public.

This means anytime people are near each other and unable to social distance, they need to have a mask on. The mandate comes after the Governor remarked earlier this week that Kentucky’s increasing number of coronavirus cases was cause for concern.

During a press conference on Friday afternoon, Gov. Beshear reemphasized the importance of face coverings.

“A decision not to wear a mask - you could think that there’s some liberty component, but any of that ends when you put the health and safety of someone else at risk,” Beshear said.

The Governor’s executive order requires for residents to wear a mask in places like retail stores, restaurants, gyms and any outdoor spaces where people are unable to stay six feet apart.

“I’m very aggravated and I won’t be wearing a mask,” McClean County resident Sabrina Sonner said. “And many of my family and friends - they won’t be wearing a mask either.”

The mandate puts local health departments in charge of enforcing the new requirement.

Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson says this is just another thing for the health department to worry about.

“While they’re doing testing, contact tracing and all the other things - it makes no logistical sense,” Watson said.

Officials with the Green River District Health Department say they're looking into what is needed to help businesses comply.

“It’s going to be difficult to enforce,” Watson said. “You can’t ask the police department and the sheriff’s department to follow people around.”

Beshear says he believes if Kentuckians commit to wearing face masks, the state won’t have to shut down again or reduce capacity, similar to other states across the country.

“I don’t understand out of all the states why we’re required to wear masks,” Owensboro resident Karl Davis said. “I mean I can see it in Florida or Texas - where their stuff is spiked up, but our stuff relatively has not spiked up. All it is the numbers have increased due to the fact that they’re doing more testing.”

Gov. Beshear says he’ll reevaluate the executive order in 30 days to see how cases are trending then.

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