Senior centers, closed in Kentucky for 15 months since the pandemic, can reopen to full capacity on June 11, Governor Andy Beshear announced on Tuesday.
"On March 13, 2020, I had to make a tough call," said Beshear. On that day, he announced the temporary closure of all senior centers across Kentucky in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus into centers housing those most vulnerable to the effects of the virus.
During that time, Beshear said, communities in the state innovated, finding ways to make sure seniors throughout the state were taken care of as best as safely possible.
"During the 15 months that our 195 senior centers were closed, Kentuckians stepped up," he said. "Kentuckians stepped up to make sure that our seniors still got services."
Barring any changes in COVID-19 hospitalizations or cases, Beshear said he plans to deliver his final address to the state on June 11.
The Commonwealth was already slated to allow Kentucky businesses, venues and events to return to full capacity on June 11. The state's mask mandate will also be lifted on that day, except in "places where people are most vulnerable," Beshear said.
On May 28, Kentucky businesses were allowed to expand to 75% capacity and the state's curfew on bars and restaurants lifted completely.
Beshear also alluded to state incentives for vaccinations that he plans to announce on Thursday though he did not elaborate on what those incentives may be. He said he hoped the incentives would help encourage more in the state to receive vaccines.
In Ohio, more than two million people have signed up for the state's Vax-a-Million lottery, which offers a chance at $1 million for adults and a full-ride scholarship for teens. Governor Mike DeWine has announced that, after the introduction of the lottery, vaccinations in the state increased overall in every age group.
During the Tuesday address, Beshear said Kentucky had 137 new cases of COVID-19 and the state's overall positivity rate is down to 2.5%. The state announced only one new death.