Local businesses react to easing of mask mandate

Posted at 9:41 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 23:09:27-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky will change its mask mandate to reflect the latest guidance from the CDC that eases mask-wearing for fully vaccinated people.

The new guidance states that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face covering indoors or outdoors in most settings. The news was welcome to many who see it as another step toward normal.

"I'm ready to see smiling faces again," said Rylee Stafford as she was on her way to grab dinner in Downtown Lexington Thursday.

Stafford says she has received one dose of the vaccine but would feel comfortable to go maskless once she's been fully vaccinated.

"There are people who I talk to on a regular basis who I've never even seen their face so I'm ready for that," she said.

While exciting, the announcement brought up questions for some business owners. Third Street Stuff Owner Pat Gerhard said she sent a message to other coffee shop owners to ask how they planned to address the changes.

"We'll keep watching," Gerhard said. "We'll see what everybody else is doing."

But, at least for the short term, Gerhard plans to continue to ask customers to wear masks while ordering.

Bluegrass Tavern Owner Sean Ebbitt said he wanted to review the guidelines to learn more about how businesses should act.

"The only fear with anything is that there's a little clarity," Ebitt said.

But despite the questions, Ebbitt was glad to see more restrictions lifted.

"It seems like the restrictions are almost getting lifted at a faster and faster rate," he said.