Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the extension of the commonwealth's statewide mask mandate during his Thursday COVID-19 update.
Beshear signed an executive order that made masks mandatory throughout the state of Kentucky effective July 10. According to the Kentucky governor's Thursday announcement, the statewide mask mandate will be extended for an additional 30 days.
"We're gonna go ahead and make it official and let Kentuckians know that we're gonna extend that facial covering mandate for another 30 days," Beshear said on Thursday.
"It's working," Gov. Beshear said, referencing the statewide mask mandate while displaying a graph that showcased COVID-19 statistics and highlighted trends since the mask mandate went into effect. "And since we've made it mandatory, more people are wearing them."
Beshear had previously said he would "likely" extend the statewide mask mandate, citing it as a necessity in reversing the additional steps in the state's fight against COVID-19 such as the closure of bars and reduction of indoor seating at restaurants.
"If we want to get some things back open that we had to pause, if we want to continue to grow our economy, this is our way," Beshear continued. "So I just want to make sure that people know that for the near future, we're gonna have to do this - we're gonna do it 30 days at a time."
Beshear on Thursday also announced new restrictions on the Kentucky State Fair.
"As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, today we are announcing the Kentucky State Fair Board will limit this year's state fair to participants only," Beshear said.
Beshear went on to say that the Kentucky State Fair Board's decision to limit the event to participants only was made based on consultations with public health officials.
"This is something that the Fair Board came to, understanding it's their responsibility to protect Kentuckians, to create a safe atmosphere for everyone, and it's a decision that I fully support," said Beshear. "One that we were in consultation on, a decision that needed to be made."
The Kentucky State Fair's full COVID-19 plan can be found by clicking here.
Gov. Beshear also noted that come Monday, he will have additional guidance for Kentucky’s bars and restaurants.
“Expectations ought to be that capacity will increase again to 50% but there will be some changes. Especially in restaurants, we need people to still prioritize outdoor seating,” said Gov. Beshear. “Bars and restaurants are both going to be expected to have their last item served at 10 p.m. Then there is going to be an hour to let people eat and drink and ultimately go home.”