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Mask Mandate Brings Enforcement Challenges for Kentucky Communities

Some Bluegrass communities are turning to fines to keep compliance with direction from Frankfort.

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 10:09 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 10:07 AM

Making sure everyone is covering up is creating stressful challenges for local leaders, as Bluegrass communities are now turning to fines.

With Governor Andy Beshear's mask mandate already in full swing, the task of following up on masking up is falling to those already facing the heavy burden of fighting on the front lines against COVID-19.

"It's going to be enforced by local health departments," the Governor explained in his mask mandate announcement.

Local health departments like in Hopkins County, where the medical workers there have been tasked with being on the lookout.

"What the businesses don't want to happen, is they don't want to be cited or fined, or even shut down by the state government," said Mayor Kevin Cotton with the City of Madisonville.

Which means businesses too now have to keep an eye on who’s coming in, and who’s covered up

One restaurant owner says, he's already seeing enough in the way of challenges when it comes to just trying to operate a business during a pandemic.

"I don't think it's our job to police the public. We're already under strain as it is--it's killing our business. I think that's been more of an undue burden on us," said Scott Harris, with Swaggy P's Kitchen and Coffee Bar.

The idea of businesses facing a fine themselves if a customer comes in without a mask worries those who say their finances are already strained by the pandemic alone.

"My staff, I've had to reduce my staff again this week just because business is going to go down, since I can only have 25 percent in here. So, it hurts everybody, it hurts everybody," Harris continued.

The governor's mask mandate--and the need for those in Hopkins County and across the Bluegrass State to keep an eye on masking up--is currently set to expire August 10.

But even before the first round is over, the governor has already talked of extending it.

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