Kentucky is easing the mask mandate for outdoor events. At Monday’s COVID news conference, Governor Andy Beshear announced that facial coverings are no longer required for outdoor events involving 1,000 or fewer people. Larger outdoor gatherings must still include masking, and people must still wear a facial covering indoors.
The governor stated that the change is possible because of the growing number of people vaccinated and because of the state’s declining positivity rate. Monday’s COVID report included 213 new cases and a 3.15% rate.
Among the events that Beshear noted do not need masks include public pools and summer youth sports. The governor did have a warning for some Kentuckians. “If you are not vaccinated, and you are at an event where people are less than 6 feet apart outside,” he said, “we recommend you wear a mask. But that will be a decision for your own safety.”
As of Monday, public health officials have given at least one COVID shot to 1,726,346 Kentuckians. Beshear promised to lift most restrictions currently in place once that number reaches 2.5 million.
Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted the temporary halt of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and Kentucky has resumed using the shot.
Beshear revealed that Kentucky will begin closing regional vaccination locations as registration numbers at the sites drop. The state plans to shift focus to neighborhood sites, such as local pharmacies.