Governor recommends everyone wear masks in schools
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear held a press conference with state health officials at the Capitol building. While he spoke, Beshear recommended that everyone in Kentucky schools wear masks this fall, even if they have been vaccinated. The Governor previously recommended unvaccinated students wear masks, however he’s now pushing for universal masking at schools. While this isn’t a mandate, Governor Beshear says he will not hesitate to make it one if COVID cases get out of control. Some school districts have already announced they will not require masks in school. Beshear says those districts can expect to see quarantines and sporting events cancelled because the virus will spread.
“To the schools, if you teach science in your classrooms you should consider it when making decisions. We’ve seen what works we are able to get back to in person classes while masking and we have seen what doesn’t and we don’t have enough kids that are vaccinated now in elementary schools none,” says Beshear.
The Governor also added that districts face liability issues if they refuse to follow the CDC and state guidelines on masking.
Some elected state officials, including Treasurer Allison Ball and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, both Republicans, are pushing back following Beshear’s announcement Wednesday that he’s requiring all state employees and visitors to wear masks inside state buildings. Treasurer Ball released a statement Thursday going against Governor Beshear’s mask mandate. She says she won’t require employees in her department to wear masks, saying the mandate is counterproductive and too broad. Ball says the treasury has a very high rate of vaccinations and that staff have been responsible for monitoring their own health.
She says if employees want to wear a mask, they can, but they won’t be penalized for not doing so.
She also added that Governor Beshear is “Fixated on controlling every aspect of Kentuckians’ daily lives with this mandate.”
Beshear responded Thursday, saying he’s doing what he believes to be best for Kentuckians.
“I talked to somebody who worked a shift at the local ER. There’s more and more and more COVID cases everyday. I’ve heard anecdotally about people in state government and apparently some offices that are pushing back. They’ve tested positive recently. I care more about my people more than my popularity. I have the backbone to do what’s right for them. I wish other people did too,” says Beshear.
Governor Beshear added he is not considering mandating vaccinations for state employees at this time.