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Kentucky Rewriting Mask Mandate In Light Of New CDC Guidance

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AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley
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Gov. Andy Beshear is calling the new U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidance on masks "great news" and another sign that the country is closer than ever to defeating the COVID-19 virus.

Thursday's announcement by the CDC reversing masking recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans in outdoor and most indoor spaces is being hailed by Beshear as news "we've all been waiting for."

He said the administration will immediately set about aligning its language with the latest from the federal agency.

"This is outstanding. It means that we are so close to normalcy," the governor said in a brief video address. "We're going to be changing Kentucky's mask mandate to be the same with those CDC guidelines."

Yet the news hasn't been greeted quite as enthusiastically from all quarters. 

Reuters reports the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has labeled the guidelines "confusing" and raised concerns about how the change will impact essential retail and grocery workers who come into contact with unvaccinated patrons who sometimes refuse to wear masks.

Roughly 43 percent of Kentuckians, and just over half of the adult population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — still more than 600,000 short of the goal originally set by Beshear to lift most capacity restrictions.