New mandatory mask requirement sparks criticism and praise

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Wearing a mask is already a controversial topic for some Kentuckians, and now it’s going to be mandatory. That news comes with some mixed reviews.

In the grocery store, book store, or even your favorite café, Governor Andy Beshear is now requiring mostly everyone to wear a mask with limited exceptions.

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“If we do this, and if we really do it, not just when we think other people are watching, I believe that we can keep restaurants open at 50 percent, says Beshear. “I believe that we can keep retail open at 50 percent.”

The sweeping executive order was not taken well by Linda Esters during her Thursday evening shopping trip.

“It’s like we’re living in a communist state,” says Esters. “I don’t like it. I think I do my distancing.”

Esters says she knows not everyone stays six feet apart in stores, but requiring them to wear a mask won’t help what she calls the inevitable.

“If something’s gonna get you it’s gonna get you whether you wear a mask or not,” Esters says.

Earl Crouch agrees and says there’s a hidden agenda.

“I think it’s all politics,” says Crouch. “After the election it’ll all be gone.”

Lavonne says she’s a health care professional and the new mandate is a step in the right direction.

“I feel like it should have been done a long time ago because it’s been proven that masks, may not prevent illness, but it’ll definitely lessen somebody’s viral load,” Lavonne says.

The new order will take effect for 30 days Friday at 5 p.m.

Beshear says there will be a few exceptions, including: people with underlying health conditions, kids under 5, those who are 6 feet apart from others, and those around people already in their household.

He says health officials will monitor cases in the next month and see if the state is improving with the new mandate.