FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — May will be an important month in Kentucky, as the state slowly allows people to go back to work.
Gov. Andy Beshear plans to re-open some Kentucky businesses on May 11, and gradually open more every week through June 1.
"Every week thereafter, for four weeks, we are going to gradually ease some restrictions, bring some groups or some industries back online," said Beshear.
The governor didn't reveal specifics on which industries or businesses would be allowed to re-open on May 11. However, he did promise more information on that later this week.
"We're going to need every industry and every group to stay patient with us," said Beshear. "It may be (that) you'll be planned for week 'x'. It may be that you're in phase two and that might be something you're not happy about. But we have got to do this right. We're going to do it the best that we can."
The governor said everyone will also need to be flexible because it's possible these steps could be rolled back at some point.
"If we take a step and it turns out we all thought it was the right step, but it's not - we may have to pull it back ultimately to protect people," said Beshear. "That gives us the chance to re-calibrate and to move in the right direction."
Beshear said that work cannot be the same as it used to be.
"We have to be further spread out. There has to be social distancing and as many people possible who can telework have to be able to telework," said Beshear.
Beshear said temperature checks must also be done and by May 11, he wants all Kentuckians to wear masks at work and in public.
"We're going to be asking everybody in every area that we re-open and in our essential businesses to be wearing masks," said Beshear.
"We're also going to need people to wear these to the grocery store or other places that they're going out where there are other people," said Beshear. "Now, if you go on a run and it's just you, you don't need to wear this. If you are in your home and it's just your family, you don't need to wear this. But this does help us open different things a little bit earlier."
Beshear said this is an important step given that many Kentuckians will gradually be increasing the number of contacts they have. However, he said people should not be using surgical masks in public.
"If you're not a healthcare worker, you should not have an n95 or a kn95 mask. You don't need a surgical mask. What you need is a cloth mask," said Beshear.
Until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, Beshear warned masks will be part of "our new normal."
Beshear said if businesses do not cooperate with the mask requirement, they could be temporarily shut down. Grocery stores and any other forward facing business will also have to ability to refuse to serve customers without masks. However, no one will be arrested or cited for not wearing a mask. But law enforcement can tell you to put one on.
"If any of our law enforcement folks see you, you're going to be asked to put on a mask," said Beshear.