Gov. Beshear: Face Coverings Protect Families, Economy

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Earlier today, Gov. Andy Beshear re-emphasized the importance of wearing face coverings in many situations to protect Kentucky lives and the state economy and to preserve the commonwealth’s hard-won but fragile progress in the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“The more people who wear masks, the more leaders who model wearing masks in any region of the state, the more people there are going to be safer, are going to have their economy reopen and be able to stay open, are more likely to be able to get their kids back in school and are less likely to lose people,” said Gov. Beshear. “Those who don’t follow the mask requirements and don’t model this, again, you’re just risking the lives, the economy and the schooling of the people in your community.”

On Thursday, the Governor issued a new executive order and today filed an emergency regulation requiring Kentuckians to wear face coverings under several circumstances for the next 30 days. The order went into effect at 5 p.m. today.

According to health experts, wearing face coverings not only protects others, it also lowers the infection risk for those wearing masks by approximately 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. Gov. Beshear noted that 5% of Kentucky’s Gross State Product alone is $10.4 billion. 

Click here to read the executive order’s requirements and exemptions, which include children who are 5 or younger and anyone with a disability or a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.

As of 4 p.m. July 10, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 18,670 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 426 of which were newly reported Friday. Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported eight new deaths Friday, raising the total to 620 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Friday include a 68-year-old man from Clay County; an 88-year-old woman from Fayette County; an 89-year-old woman from Grant County; a 69-year-old man from Russell County; an 81-year-old woman from Shelby County; and two women, ages 78 and 79, and a 61-year-old man from Warren County.

“One of the concerns for the country, for all those states we showed earlier, is the death peak that follows the infection peak,” said Gov. Beshear. “I had hoped that we were past having to report these deaths every day, but unless we do what it takes, unless we follow the rules, I’m going to have to read a lot more of these. For anyone who says this thing only comes for really old people, first of all, we should want to protect them, too. But also, look, we’ve got three people only in their 60s that are on this list today.”

As of Friday, there have been at least 470,548 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. At least 5,258 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at tinyurl.com/kygovespanol (Spanish) and tinyurl.com/kygovtranslations (more than 20 additional languages).