KENTUCKY — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday that Kentucky will return to 100% capacity for businesses June 11. On the same date, the state will end its mask mandate for everyone, except in certain places where people are most vulnerable.
What You Need To Know
- Beshear announced Kentucky businesses can return to 100% capacity beginning June 11
- Kentucky will end its mask mandate on the same date
- The state is waiting one month to give 12-15-year-olds time to receive their vaccine and to give everyone else enough time
- The governor's announcement comes one day after new guidance from the CDC
Beshear said Kentucky will wait one month before lifting the restrictions to give 12-15-year-olds, who are now able to receive the Pfizer vaccine, time to get the inoculation. The governor said the timeline also gives notice and time to everyone else who has not yet received a vaccine.
"As we near the end of this pandemic, and the end of these briefings, let me say thank you," Beshear said during the announcement. "Thank you for your kindness, thank you for your compassion, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for your faith in me."
The announcement comes just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance that allows fully vaccinated Americans to stop wearing masks indoors at most places. An individual is considered fully vaccinated against the virus two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson. On Thursday, Beshear said Kentucky would "immediately" follow that guidance.
Beshear said he will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on Mondays up until the week of June 11.
Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack, who became of fixture of Beshear's regular COVID-19 briefings, spoke Friday morning.
"It does sort of feel like there's a new day dawning out there," he said, visibly emotional.
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, a frequent critic of Beshear's handling of the pandemic, released a statement in response to Beshear's announcement, which says in part, "With today’s announcement, the governor has abandoned his vaccination goal but is still holding Kentucky hostage for another month. As a result of his slow action, Kentucky will be one of the last states in our region to fully reopen."
With today’s announcement, Governor Andrew Beshear has abandoned his vaccination goal but is still holding Kentucky hostage for another month.— Commissioner Ryan Quarles (@KYAgCommish) May 14, 2021
As result of his slow action, Kentucky will be one of the last states in our region to fully reopen.
This story will be updated.