The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance on Thursday that says people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings.
Gov. Andy Beshear quickly issued a statement to say Kentucky will follow the CDC’s recommendation.
“This is outstanding,” Beshear said in a video posted to social media. “It means we are so close to normalcy, and we are going to be changing Kentucky’s mask mandate to be the same with those CDC guidelines.”
He said the new mask rule should motivate more Kentuckians to get the vaccine.
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As of Thursday, 1.897 million residents had received at least one dose of a vaccine, the state reported.
During a White House briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” the Associated Press reported.
Walensky said the decision to change the mask guidance was based on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” he said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
Masks are still recommended in certain settings, including hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters — and on buses and planes.
Read the CDC’s guidance for people who are fully vaccinated here.