Residents of Kentucky were told they’d be required to begin wearing face coverings in public as cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in the Midwestern state on the same day a judge blocked the governor’s executive orders.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear ripped the ruling of Scott County Circuit Judge Brian Privett after he issued a temporary restraining order against the governor in a case challenging his use of executive orders during the health crisis. The judge’s decision came soon after Beshear signed an order mandating face coverings beginning Friday.
“This is dangerous and devastating and for a court to say, ‘I guess I just don’t believe that the virus exists, and you don’t have to do anything,’ no social distancing, nothing else, is absolutely irresponsible,” the governor said.
Beshear’s mask mandate will apply to all businesses and also to public places such as parks. Residents who fail to comply with the order will be subject to a fine. The executive order pointed to an “explosion” in cases and a Goldman Sachs analysis that suggested the state could lose $10 billion if it failed to mandate masks. Over 330 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in the state on Thursday.
“I believe if we’re clear, and we don’t have a lot of exceptions, and people absolutely know the expectation, it gives us our very best chance of getting it done,” Beshear said.
The order, which will be reviewed after 30 days, does not apply to children under the age of 5 and adults with breathing conditions.
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