Governor Andy Beshear discussed the latest on the COVID-19 delta variant in Kentucky and explained how Kentucky is leading by example with a new testing and vaccine program at state-run health care facilities.
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander, who joined the Governor on Monday, explained that universal masking will be required in all state-run health care facilities, including veterans nursing homes, effective Tuesday, August 3.
In addition, following the recommendation of the Long-Term Care Task Force, the cabinet will strongly encourage all contractors and state employees working in these state-operated facilities be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, unless there is a religious or medical reason they cannot be vaccinated.
If any of the staff in these facilities is unvaccinated, they will be tested at least twice weekly for their safety and the safety of the Kentuckians they serve.
The latest move comes after Governor Beshear announced last week new COVID-19 precautions based on updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Governor required all employees and visitors at state office buildings, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings.
Many businesses and organizations have followed by increasing indoor masking, including Ford Motor Company in Louisville.
In accordance with CDC guidance, Governor Beshear also recommended school districts require universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with layered strategies in place to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission.
On Friday, Governor Beshear signed an executive order renewing emergency orders for pharmacists to ensure their authority in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.
The order says pharmacists located in any Kentucky county may dispense emergency refills of up to a 30-day supply of any non-scheduled medication for residents of any county in the state.