KENTUCKY — Kevin Hall is having tough conversations with the people of Fayette County.
As COVID-19 cases quadrupled there from June to July, the health department spokesman said everyone above the age of two should wear masks inside businesses and in crowded areas for now.
“We have too many people who think that getting the vaccine is an open return to life before the pandemic, but we still have to keep doing these things together,” Hall said in a Monday interview with Spectrum News 1.
Cases are surging statewide, leading large employers to bring back mask rules. Ford announced all employees must mask up in its Kentucky plants, while Kroger is requiring unvaccinated employees to mask up and is suggesting customers do the same.
But, health officials like UofL’s Dr. Mark Burns now know the delta variant can spread among the unvaccinated and vaccinated.
“It is much more easy to transmit than previous versions of this virus,” Burns said during a Monday press conference. “So it’s extremely important that, even if you’re fully vaccinated, to wear a mask indoors.”
Masks — which many Americans thought they might be rid of — are still the best weapons against spread, Burns said, while getting a vaccine will keep recipients out of the hospital. As for those frustrated about covering their faces once more, Hall said science continuously updates and we must update with it.
“The guidelines will change; recommendations change because we want to keep adapting to protect people,” he said. “It does not mean that we, as public health, are at a loss here. We do know what we can do. We can get vaccinated, we can wear our masks, we can wash our hands and we can work together to stop this.”
The cities of Lousiville and Henderson implemented new rules Monday as well, requiring masks in all city buildings. During his Monday press briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear again implored all Kentucky school districts to require masks.