Gov. Beshear signs executive order requiring masks in all Ky. schools

Gov. Beshear gives an update on COVID-19.
Gov. Beshear gives an update on COVID-19.(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 12:16 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced he has signed an executive order mandating masks in all school districts within Kentucky.

The new executive order requires all teachers, staff, students and visitors to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering while indoors in all schools as well as child care centers.

“I’ve always told people that I treat every Kentucky child like they’re mine and treat every family like mine,” Beshear said.

The executive order went into effect starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and comes with a list of exemptions including children under 2 and individuals who are seated and are eating or drinking, among others.

“This is a united front of saving lives, keeping our kids in school and keeping our economy and workforce going,” Beshear said.

The order was put in place as the Delta variant continues to spread throughout Kentucky and schools open back up to in-person instruction.

“We are at an alarming place,” Beshear said. “Yesterday, we passed a grim milestone.”

On Monday, Kentucky passed more than half a million total cases of COVID-19.

The governor mentioned that from week to week, cases continue to rise and test positivity increases.

“We are in the midst of the fastest surge that we have ever seen in COVID,” Beshear said.

As of Tuesday, Kentucky has an 11.05 percent positivity rate. There are now 108 counties within the “red zone” based on incidence rate.

“Let’s not pretend that just because your county is a slightly different color is a slightly different color on here there’s not as much COVID,” Beshear said. “It is everywhere and we all need to act.”

Tuesday’s report confirmed a total of 2,500 new cases in the commonwealth and 7 additional deaths.

Currently, there are 1,251 people in Kentucky hospitalized with COVID-19, Beshear announced. There are 339 patients currently in the ICU and 168 patients on a ventilator.

“We are doubling the number of Kentuckians in the hospital for COVID every two weeks,” Beshear said. “Faster than we’ve ever seen, fast enough that it can get out of hand.”

Beshear said 2,376,891 individuals have been vaccinated so far in Kentucky.

For more information on vaccines and to find an appointment in your area, click or tap here.

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