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Beshear: People shouldn’t feel pressure to take off masks

March 8, 2022 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — As COVID-19 cases drop, Kentuckians should resist feeling pressure to peel off masks if they think it’s best for them to keep wearing facial coverings in public, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

The governor reported that the number of new coronavirus cases, the test positivity rate and virus-related hospitalizations declined again last week in Kentucky.

As the virus’s prevalence wanes, Beshear says Kentucky is moving toward “personal empowerment,” with people making their own health decisions as the availability of virus-related information and the tools to combat COVID-19 have grown.

That included deciding whether to continue masking up in public, the governor said.

“My best advice is, first, don’t feel pressured,” he said. “There is definitely a pressure out there when some people start taking them off for you to feel like you should. If you are uncomfortable taking your mask off at the moment, that’s the first thing. Listen to yourself and keep it on.”

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Another factor is a person’s health situation, Beshear said at a news conference.

“If you have preexisting conditions that make you more vulnerable to COVID, there is still a lot of omicron out there,” he said. “So I would continue to wear a mask in that instance as well -- depending on where you are in this state and depending on how big of a group that you might be going to.”

As virus numbers continue declining, the state will stop posting daily coronavirus updates on its website — kycovid19.ky.gov. Instead, the state Department for Public Health is shifting to posting weekly data reports on the website each Monday.