Governor mandates masks for Kentucky schools

Governor Andy Beshear announced a mask mandate for Kentucky’s schools on Tuesday.

According to the state’s website at https://kentucky.gov, Beshear issued an executive order in response to recent CDC guidance and the COVID-19 delta variant.

“We are in the midst of the fastest surge that we have ever seen during COVID right now. This move is supported by medical organizations, local health department leaders, businesses and education leaders. It is also supported by the Kentucky Chamber, representing 3,800 member businesses across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is a united front of saving lives, keeping our kids in school and keeping our economy and workforce going.”

According to the order, regardless of vaccination status all individuals, including all teachers, students, staff, and visitors, are required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering while indoors in all public and private preschool, Head Start, elementary, middle and high schools (preschool through grade 12) in Kentucky. This includes but is not limited to the inside of vehicles used for transportation such as school buses.  All staff, visitors and children ages 2 and older who are able to wear a face covering must cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when indoors in all childcare settings in Kentucky, regardless of vaccination status.

Beshear announced via social media outlets on Wednesday there were 2,961 newly reported COVID cases in Kentucky on Wednesday, and 14 new COVID-19 related deaths. As of Wednesday, there were 1,327 individuals hospitalized across the state due to the virus, with 363 people in ICU and 169 on a ventilator.

The state’s positivity rate was at 11.22 percent on Wednesday.

The Bell County Health Department reported 32 new cases on Wednesday, putting the total number of case in the county since the beginning of the pandemic at 3,455. There were six people hospitalized in Bell County due to the virus, with 177 active cases as of Wednesday.

There have been 47 COVID-19 related deaths in Bell County.

The Bell County Health Department recommends the following steps to help slow the spread of COVID 19:

• Wash hands with soap and water before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or after using the restroom;

• Avoid contact with people who are sick;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

• Wear a mask when in public and social distancing is difficult.