Wednesday , June 16 2021

Kentucky’s mask mandate, capacity restrictions come to an end

After nearly a year and a half of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of Kentucky’s COVID-19 restrictions – including its mask mandate – will come to an end on Friday.Kentucky’s coronavirus-related capacity restrictions, as well as the state’s mask mandate, will largely end on June 11. Masks will still be required on public transportation, schools, long-term care facilities and other locations that serve the “most vulnerable.”Kentucky followed CDC guidance last month, no longer requiring fully-vaccinated people to wear masks. But the governor said he wanted to wait a few weeks to lift restrictions so children between 12 and 15 years old had time to get their COVID-19 vaccine.”After a long, dark pandemic, more of our people have gotten their shot of hope, and we have steadily moved to lift the last remaining restrictions put in place to slow the spread of this dangerous virus and save lives,” Beshear said. “Team Kentucky: your patience, hard work and sacrifices have paid off. For those not vaccinated: you still have time.”Also on Friday, Kentucky’s senior centers will reopen at full capacity.The increasing number of vaccinations makes it safe to let Kentuckians gather once again at senior centers, the governor said at a news conference.“These things are miracles,” Beshear said of the vaccinations. “They have effectively ended death and hospitalization for the most vulnerable. They are saving lives every single day. And we’ve got to make sure more people get them.”People entering senior centers will be required to follow county-level mask guidance, he said.Closing Kentucky’s nearly 200 senior centers for more than a year amid the pandemic “was a hard thing to do, but it was the right thing to do,” the governor said. The virus ravaged Kentucky’s older population, but now more than 80% of Kentuckians 65 and older have been vaccinated.More than 2 million Kentuckians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including more than 80% of Kentuckians ages 65 and older. But vaccination rates have lagged among younger adults, despite testimonials from the state’s most powerful Democrat and Republican about the importance of getting the shots.Just last week, Beshear introduced a “vaccine lottery” to encourage people to get the vaccine. Three adults will win $1 million and 15 students will win full-ride scholarships.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has repeatedly stressed the importance of getting the vaccine during his trips across the Bluegrass State. Beshear said again Friday that the vaccines are safe and effective and are the key to “winning our war against this evil virus.”“We need even more of our fellow Kentuckians to get vaccinated before we can truly be free of COVID-19’s threat,” the governor said.Friday will also be the last regular COVID-19 briefing from Beshear.More than 7,000 Kentuckians have died from the virus.The Associated Press and WLWT contributed to this report.

After nearly a year and a half of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of Kentucky’s COVID-19 restrictions – including its mask mandate – will come to an end on Friday.

Kentucky’s coronavirus-related capacity restrictions, as well as the state’s mask mandate, will largely end on June 11.

Masks will still be required on public transportation, schools, long-term care facilities and other locations that serve the “most vulnerable.”

Kentucky followed CDC guidance last month, no longer requiring fully-vaccinated people to wear masks. But the governor said he wanted to wait a few weeks to lift restrictions so children between 12 and 15 years old had time to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“After a long, dark pandemic, more of our people have gotten their shot of hope, and we have steadily moved to lift the last remaining restrictions put in place to slow the spread of this dangerous virus and save lives,” Beshear said. “Team Kentucky: your patience, hard work and sacrifices have paid off. For those not vaccinated: you still have time.”

Also on Friday, Kentucky’s senior centers will reopen at full capacity.

The increasing number of vaccinations makes it safe to let Kentuckians gather once again at senior centers, the governor said at a news conference.

“These things are miracles,” Beshear said of the vaccinations. “They have effectively ended death and hospitalization for the most vulnerable. They are saving lives every single day. And we’ve got to make sure more people get them.”

People entering senior centers will be required to follow county-level mask guidance, he said.

Closing Kentucky’s nearly 200 senior centers for more than a year amid the pandemic “was a hard thing to do, but it was the right thing to do,” the governor said. The virus ravaged Kentucky’s older population, but now more than 80% of Kentuckians 65 and older have been vaccinated.

More than 2 million Kentuckians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including more than 80% of Kentuckians ages 65 and older. But vaccination rates have lagged among younger adults, despite testimonials from the state’s most powerful Democrat and Republican about the importance of getting the shots.

Just last week, Beshear introduced a “vaccine lottery” to encourage people to get the vaccine. Three adults will win $1 million and 15 students will win full-ride scholarships.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has repeatedly stressed the importance of getting the vaccine during his trips across the Bluegrass State. Beshear said again Friday that the vaccines are safe and effective and are the key to “winning our war against this evil virus.”

“We need even more of our fellow Kentuckians to get vaccinated before we can truly be free of COVID-19’s threat,” the governor said.

Friday will also be the last regular COVID-19 briefing from Beshear.

More than 7,000 Kentuckians have died from the virus.

The Associated Press and WLWT contributed to this report.

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