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Date set for Kentucky to reopen to 100% capacity, mask mandate to be lifted

Published: May. 14, 2021 at 9:47 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) – A date when Kentucky will reopen to 100 capacity and the mask mandate will be lifted is in sight.

Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement Friday and said the changes would go into effect on June 11.

“A return to full capacity could raise the risk of exposure to those not vaccinated, the solution is to get your vaccine,” Beshear said.

On Thursday, the CDC eased mask-wearing guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated.

Opponents of the COVID-19 restrictions are now asking why it’s taking a whole month to follow CDC guidance.

Kentucky AG Commissioner Ryan Quarles tweeted that Beshear is “holding Kentucky hostage” for another month.

Beshear said the June 11 date was set to allow time for 12 to 15-year-olds to get their vaccine, in addition to others who are not vaccinated. People in the 12 to 15 age group just became eligible in Kentucky Thursday.

Beshear initially said there wouldn’t be looser restrictions until 2.5 million Kentuckians were vaccinated. That number’s not been met with, 1.9 million Kentuckians vaccinated as of Friday, but Beshear said that idea came before the CDC’s latest announcement.

“The CDC’s news yesterday is just a gamechanger. It’s huge,” Beshear said. “We all feel it. so that’s certainly changed things.”

Dr. Steven Stack choked up as he spoke about walking into the Capitol Friday and seeing people’s faces for the first time in over a year.

“I think the emotion kind of captures how meaningful this is,” Stack said, with tears rolling down his face, “and it does sort of feel like there’s a new day dawning.”

The new CDC guidance says fully vaccinated people can go without a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings, with the exception of crowded indoor settings, such as trains, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

A person is considered fully vaccinated either two weeks after receiving a second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two weeks after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Beshear called the CDC’s announcement “great news for vaccinated Kentuckians” Thursday and urged those who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to get make a plan to get the vaccine by going to http://vaccine.ky.gov.

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