Governor Andy Beshear says there are signs the Kentucky's mask mandate has played a role in slowing the state's sharp COVID-19 increase.
Monday, he reported 323 new cases — a number he suggested could be topping 1,000 daily were it not for the adoption of a statewide facial covering order on July 10th. To reach a true plateau or a downward shift, he said, will require more residents make a habit of wearing a mask.
"We know that if we can get the vast majority of Kentuckians to wear one every time they go in public when you're six feet away from somebody that we can make a major difference, that we can get close to our old normal," the governor advised.
Should the state successfully bend the curve back down, Beshear hinted at a possible easing of restrictions on restaurants, which have been reduced to 25 percent indoor capacity. If bars are permitted to reopen, the administration is weighing the use of curfews to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Kentucky's state-measured positivity rate continues to hover just above 5 percent, though the data point has inched down over the last week. Beshear said an increase in testing of younger people, including the University of Kentucky's plan to screen upward of 30,000 students in the coming weeks, could boost that number.