Coronavirus News

Masks Are Still Required in Kentucky Healthcare Settings

On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updated guidance providing that fully vaccinated persons in non-healthcare settings need not wear masks indoors. However, the guidance explicitly said that this relaxation of mask standards did not apply to healthcare settings, which were still controlled by healthcare setting-specific guidance. “Healthcare settings” refers to “places where healthcare is delivered and includes, but is not limited to, acute care facilities, long term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers, physician offices, and others.” Therefore, under current CDC guidance, masks are required for all employees and visitors of healthcare settings.

In response to the updated CDC guidance, on May 13 Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued Executive Order 2021-326, effective immediately, to permit any fully vaccinated person to forgo face coverings/masks except in healthcare and long-term care settings (and in other settings such as public transportation, schools and childcare settings, and correctional facilities). Therefore, in Kentucky, the current requirement is that all healthcare facilities must “require all persons at the facility to wear face coverings consistent with their role (e.g., clinician, other staff, patient, visitor, etc.) and in alignment with current CDC guidance.” More information can be found at the Kentucky Health at Work guidance here.