FRANKFORT, Ky. — Highlighting his commitment to protecting all Kentuckians, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday Kentuckians must wear face coverings in many situations if the state is going to stop the increase of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases and continue to reopen the economy safely.
The executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. EDT Friday, July 10.
“The No. 1 thing a mask can do is protect the health and the life of yourself and those around you,” the governor said. “It can make sure we don’t lose more people than we should, it can keep our cases down and it can help us to continue to reopen our economy.”
According to health experts, wearing face coverings not only protects others, it also lowers the infection risk for those wearing masks by 65%. The governor also pointed to analysis from Goldman Sachs showing that if everyone in America was required to wear face coverings in public, it could save the U.S. economy from losing 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. Beshear noted that 5% of Kentucky’s Gross State Product alone is $10.4 billion. So far, 22 states have implemented some sort of order mandating face coverings, although details vary.
Kentucky’s new executive order requires Kentuckians to wear face coverings under several circumstances for the next 30 days. The order will be evaluated during that time to determine any additional steps or extension.