'We are ready to remove our masks': Lexington mayor lifts mask mandate in city offices and buildings

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 14:50:19-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has announced the city's mask mandate for employees and visitors in city offices and buildings has been lifted.

The mask mandate in city buildings has been dropped, effective immediately. Even though Lexington is still in the high community level of transmission by the CDC, Mayor Gorton, who is also a former nurse, says it's time.

She says the decision to lift the mask mandate now was backed by health officials who looked at COVID-19 numbers and vaccination rates in the city, current daily cases, and hospitalizations. Mayor Gorton says the situation was the same around this time last summer when she made the same decision.

"Today, all those things have combined to tell me that I can remove this mask mandate," said Mayor Gorton. "We are at a wonderful place. So people still have to individually pay attention to their own health and if they're more comfortable in a mask, put it on."

City division directors in more challenging environments, like the jail or the senior center, will decide whether to continue to wear masks in their area, in consultation with the administration, Gorton said.

Gorton reiterated that she will continue to monitor the situation with local health officials to determine if things need to change. So, it might be a safe bet to keep masks handy, just in case.

The news comes as a growing list of school districts in the state have opted to go mask-optional as COVID-19 cases continue to go down. The Kentucky Senate has also passed a resolution that would mark the official end of the pandemic in Kentucky on March 7, 2022, two years and one day after it was initially declared.