Masks required at work, strongly recommended in public by May 11

Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 29, 2020

(LEX 18) — As Kentuckians gear up to slowly return to work, the state is issuing new rules to help keep people healthy at work.

The 10 rules to reopening a business under the Healthy at Work plan are:

  • Continue telework where possible
  • Phased return to work
  • On-site temperature/health checks
  • Universal masks and other necessary PPE
  • Close common areas
  • Enforce social distancing
  • Limit face-to-face meetings
  • Sanitizer/hand wash stations
  • Special accommodations
  • Testing plan

When it comes to masks, Gov. Andy Beshear wants everyone working or visiting a business to wear one by May 11.

While masks are required at work, the governor is also urging everyone to wear a mask whenever they are in public. However, that is not being ordered. It's a strong recommendation.

“This isn’t something you can be fined for, and again no one is going to be arrested for not wearing a mask,” said Beshear. “But should you if you’re going to the grocery store? Yes. Think about it: None of us knows if we are infected but asymptomatic with this virus. This protects you and other people.”

Dr. Steven Stack, the state's Public Health Commissioner, says a cloth mask is recommended for everyone to wear.

"It has to cover your nose and go beneath your mouth,” Dr. Stack said. “Ideally, it also should go below your chin.”

Dr. Stack also advises to mark the inside of the cloth mask to avoid confusion. Cloth masks often look the same on both the inside and outside, which can cause people to accidentally flip the mask and bring germs to their face.

"You want to make sure the inside is the inside and the outside is the outside," said Dr. Stack. "If you keep flipping inside to outside, you're going to take your germs and put them on the one side and then turn it around and put them right on the outside."

Dr. Stack says it's also important to wash your cloth masks after using them. He suggest that people have more than one mask, so they have time to properly clean the ones they've used.

"I think you should generally try to wash these things, if you can, fairly often. As this becomes part of our new normal, people will probably have more than one cloth mask or face covering because they're relatively inexpensive and people can make them at home. So I would suggest people try to get a few of them and launder them every couple of days," said Dr. Stack. "It's sort of like wearing clothing - you want to wash it."