Kentucky Mask Mandate

On July 9, 2020, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued Executive Order 2020-586, requiring people in Kentucky to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering while in certain prescribed situations.  The order became effective on July 10, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. and will last for 30 days, subject to renewal.

The Order, and all of Governor Beshear’s COVID-19 emergency orders, are currently in full effect, pursuant to a July 17, 2020 stay issued by the Kentucky Supreme Court. While Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, has brought legal actions against each of the Governor’s orders,[1] the orders will remain in full effect until the Supreme Court rules.

Due to the high risk of COVID-19 spread, the Order requires people in Kentucky to wear face masks when they are in the following circumstances:

  • Any indoor public space;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transit, a taxi, or ride-sharing vehicle; and
  • Any outdoor public space in which persons from separate households cannot maintain six feet distance.

Additionally, the Order provides a number of exceptions, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Children five years old and younger;
  • People who are physically or mentally disabled who cannot safely wear a mask;
  • Employees who work in a setting in which state or federal regulators deem masks to be unsafe;
  • Customers sitting and consuming food or beverage at a restaurant or bar;
  • Individuals required to remove face mask to confirm their identity;
  • People swimming in a pool or lake;
  • Athletes or other persons exercising at a gym, athletic practice, or competition.

The Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family services will enact regulation regarding implementation and enforcement of the Order.  Thus far, local health departments and the Governor have allowed individual businesses to enforce the Order on their own, but if noncompliance continues, businesses may be subject to inspections and fines.[2]

The Order states that penalties for failing to follow the mask requirement may include loss of access to a business’s services and penalties authorized by law.  Generally, violations of Kentucky Health Orders constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a $500 fine.

Businesses seeking advice for their unique needs in creating plans to follow face mask regulations and other Healthy At Work Guidelines should contact DBL Law.  You can read the full Order at

[1] Billy Kobin, Daniel Cameron Says Judge Sides with Him, Will Block Gov. Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 Orders, Courier Journal (July 17, 2020, 8:47 AM).

[2] Ben Tobin, 5 Days into Kentucky’s Mask Order, State Gets Thousands of Complaints About Noncompliance, Courier Journal (July 15, 2020, 4:06 PM),  See also Karla Ward, Several Lexington Businesses Reported for Not Fully Complying with KY Mask Mandate, Herald Leader (July 15, 2020, 5:53 PM),

*DBL Law Clerk Ellen Stephens contributed to this article