Perhaps tellingly, Joe Sonka’s story this afternoon at the Courier Journal is filed under “politics,” not “public health” or “civic responsibilities.”
Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Thursday mandating that Kentuckians wear a mask in public in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s scheduled to go into effect at 5 p.m. today.
Or is it?
Sonka goes on to explain what happened.
Hours before Beshear announced his mask mandate, Scott County Circuit Court Judge Brian Privett signed a temporary restraining order limiting the governor’s ability to sign future executive orders related to the pandemic emergency unless they include specific details on why they are needed.
So are masks now required at 5 p.m., or has Privett’s order preemptively blocked it from being enforced?
The Kentucky Restaurant Association (KRA) assumes the answer is yes, masks are required, and the requirement is subject to being enforced.
“Kentucky’s mask mandate goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. Let’s be kind and respectful to each other. If your restaurant needs mask signage to display, email firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll send you some to print.”
In the thread that followed, confronted by a persistent reader objecting to Beshear’s order who continually cited the judge’s restraining order, the KRA replied in measured tones.
Health departments will be enforcing the Governor’s mandate, which reiterates the Healthy at Work recommendations … our members will do whatever they can to stay open, including wearing masks and encouraging masks with patrons. This is part of the original restaurant guidance put out by the state.
In three hours, perhaps we’ll know the answer. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Guild of Brewers has devised a sensible response of its own.