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Restaurant owner and customers react to Kentucky mask mandate

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 11:17 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - No mask, no service.

That’s the new mandate in Kentucky from Gov. Andy Beshear that went into effect Friday evening.

Kentucky has become one of nearly half the states in the country to adopt some type of mask-wearing requirement in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Everybody needs to know it’s in effect,” Beshear said.

After signing an executive order mandating people in the commonwealth wear a mask in public, Beshear is instructing businesses not to serve customers who don’t wear masks.

The owner of Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall says customers have to wear masks when they come in, but can take them off once they’re seated. He says they need to put the masks back on if they go to the restroom.

“We’re doing what we’re supposed to do and required to do, asked to do,” Tal Callihan said. “It’s just one of those things. It’s either operate this way or don’t operate at all.”

A couple customers Friday evening said while wearing masks in the heat isn’t comfortable, they’re willing to do their part to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I don’t like it honestly,” Ashland resident Greg Brown said. “It’s 90 degrees, but if I have it (the virus) and don’t know it and can stop it from spreading, that’s the thing to do, I believe.”

“I think it’s protection for your fellow man,” Ashland resident Tom Leach said. “I think if everybody recognized that, we’d get through this better.”

The order is still in effect despite a Scott County circuit judge signing a temporary restraining order limiting the governor’s ability to sign executive orders related to the pandemic.

The Kentucky Attorney General filed a motion for a hearing in Scott County court to find out whether the mask order violates state law.

Beshear says he’s confident he’s operating within his authority, and that he’s doing the same thing other governors across the country have already done.

“It’s time if we’re going to get lawsuits on this stuff, that we go ahead and get in front of the Kentucky Supreme Court and get a final ruling,” Beshear said.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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