Kentucky sees drop in cases, indication that ‘mask mandate is working’


In this Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about the coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Ryan C. Hermens//Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) – On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear announced 323 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky. This marked the first day of significantly lowered numbers in the past week, an indication that the mask mandate is working according to the data Beshear shared.

“There is reason for optimism because what the numbers are telling us is that face coverings and masks are working,” said Beshear.

Governor Beshear shared the week-by-week data for Kentucky since June 8th, showing the mask mandate has significantly reduced the rate of case increase initially projected.

The governor said July was the toughest month in terms rise in positive cases. Governor Beshear says this will likely mean August will be a rough month for COVID-19 deaths since fatalities usually occur a few weeks after cases surge; however, the case increase is significantly leveling off since the mask mandate was implemented on July 10th.

Governor Beshear also implemented additional restrictions last week, including a travel advisory and restrictions on bars and restaurants. He said the restrictions on bars and restaurants will continue to be evaluated this week to determine if they will be lifted or renewed. Governor Beshear said he is considering stricter guidelines when bars reopen such as a potential curfew.

Additionally the governor announced two new COVID-19 deaths on Monday. There are also 12 new cases in children under the age of five. Kentucky currently has a 5.18 percent positivity rate, another significant drop since a week ago.

Governor Beshear also announced Kentucky is launching a statewide mask campaign called ‘Mask Up KY’ that will encourage all Kentuckians to ‘mask up’.

The governor said he recommends everyone gets tested at least once a month, even those with no symptoms or exposure. He said people who have more interaction, such as those working in restaurants or retail, should get tested every two weeks.

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman also provided a school update. In addition to the many flexibilities already implemented for schools this fall, Kentucky also added leeway in facilitation on online instructional models. This includes allowing teachers to help on the virtual platform across the curriculum rather than limiting teachers to teaching only their specific subject area.

Secretary J. Michael Brown also provided an update in the investigation of the death of David McAtee on June 7th in Louisville. The state has announced today that this investigation is complete. The file is not closed, but is now being handed over to the FBI to assist in their independent investigation. Federal agencies have asked the state to forgo any public release of any additional details until the federal investigation is complete.

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(This story was originally published on August 3, 2020)


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