Beshear not ruling out future mandates as COVID cases rise

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - On Monday, Gov. Beshear issued “strong recommendations” for masks and other safety guidelines for the upcoming school year.

He says he’s not ruling out a mandate for them if districts don’t comply. WKYT’s Chad Hedrick asked Beshear if he was looking at other mandates as other states explore requiring masks and even vaccines for certain fields.

“So we’re not there yet,” Beshear said. “However I do think that healthcare organizations should think very strongly about whether or not they mandate or don’t mandate for their own groups.”

The mask mandate in Kentucky expired in June along with other restrictions. While they were in place, they faced criticism and even legal challenges. New mandates would likely face the same battle.

“There’s a lot of questions as far as what potential mask or vaccine mandate could be in the future,” said attorney Abe Mashni with Baldani Law Group.

Mashni says the merit and ultimately the consequences of not following a mandate would depend on who issued them, like an executive order from Beshear.

“Normally the order that is going to be instituted is going to provide for some consequences,” explained Mashni. “For example, if somebody is breaking the law and the store owner requests them to leave, they could be determined to be trespassing if they don’t leave.”

As of Monday, no mandates are in place. Beshear is urging anyone unvaccinated for COVID-19, to get the shot.

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