August 11, 2020

Local Health Departments to Enforce New Mask Requirement

Local Health Departments to Enforce New Mask Requirement

An emergency regulation filed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on August 10, 2020, renews the 30-day statewide mask mandate ordered by Governor Andy Beshear on July 10, 2020. Individual enforcement of the mask mandate remains difficult for state and local law enforcement authorities. It directs enforcement pursuant to KRS 39A.180 but provides no practical mechanism for local law enforcement to assess civil penalties. Violations of the mask mandate by public-facing entities is now enforced by the Department of Labor, Department for Public Health and local health departments.

Penalties for violating the regulation include a warning for the first offense, $25 for the second offense, $50 for the third offense, $75 for the fourth offense, and $100 for each subsequent offense (902 KAR 2:210E). In addition to the civil fines, public-facing entities may also be subject to an order of immediate closure for permitting a person in violation of the face covering mandate to remain on the premises. Administrative appeals of a citation issued under this regulation are taken by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Public Health under KRS 211.180.

Challenges to the governor’s executive orders that impact business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic remain pending before the Kentucky Supreme Court. On July 17, 2020, the Court issued an order to hear the challenges but left the governor’s executive orders in effect while the cases proceed on direct appeal to the Court. Oral argument in the Boone County case is scheduled for September 17, 2020.

KLC will keep members updated as more information becomes available.