Gov. Beshear: Mask Mandate Changing for Smaller, Outdoor Events Due to Increased Vaccinations

State officials also update Kentuckians on COVID-19 memorial, Johnson & Johnson vaccine

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 26, 2021) On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,726,346 Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Governor said beginning tomorrow, based on recent studies and Kentucky’s increasing number of vaccinations, the statewide mask mandate will no longer be in effect when Kentuckians are outside at events or venues with 1,000 people or fewer.

“What this means is at events like the Kentucky Derby, you still have to wear a mask, but if you’re at a backyard barbeque, your community pool or an outdoor wedding, you’re not required to wear a mask,” said Gov. Beshear. “We hope this is a relief for people, and remember, the state will be able to lift even more restrictions once the 2.5 million vaccine Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge is reached.”

Masks are still recommended at outdoor events with 1,000 people or fewer, and the mask mandate is still in effect when Kentuckians are indoors or at any outdoor event with more than 1,000 people.

Kentuckians should visit to find a COVID-19 vaccination site near where they live.

National Women’s Soccer League club Racing Louisville FC has announced it will host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic tonight at its game against the North Carolina Courage. The clinic will be run by Wild Health. Fans who sign up to receive a vaccine dose will receive free admission. Those who get vaccinated at the game but already have a ticket will be given a voucher to attend a future game free of charge.

The vaccine appointments are available from 5 to 8 p.m. and can be made online, here.

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. Monday, April 26, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

Kentuckians vaccinated (have received at least one dose): 1,726,346

New cases today: 213
New deaths today: 4
New audit deaths: 7
Positivity rate: 3.15%
Total deaths: 6,459
Currently hospitalized: 414
Currently in ICU: 108
Currently on ventilator: 47

Top counties with the most positive cases today are Jefferson, Daviess, Fayette and Bullitt. Each county reported at least nine new cases.

To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.

Gov. Beshear Asks Artists to Apply to Design COVID-19 Memorial at State Capitol
The Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet is requesting that artists apply to design the upcoming COVID-19 Memorial at the state Capitol. To learn more and apply, click here.

“As we get excited about a light at the end of the tunnel in the pandemic, we must also make sure we never forget the loss and sacrifices of so many Kentuckians during the last 14 months,” said Gov. Beshear.

Kentuckians can help make this memorial a reality by contributing to the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund here.

Dr. Stack Updates Kentuckians on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined yesterday that the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine may be used in individuals 18 and older as outlined in the current FDA Emergency Use Authorization.

All Kentucky vaccination sites may now resume use of the J&J vaccine with the inventory already in their possession, although vaccination sites may prefer to wait until more detailed guidance from the CDC and FDA is provided tomorrow. At present, new J&J vaccine shipments into Kentucky are not anticipated until the week of May 3.

Federal Funds Now Available to Those Most Affected by Severe Flooding
Following, Gov. Beshear’s request, President Joe Biden granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the Commonwealth of Kentucky on Friday. The president’s action makes federal funding available to help individuals and communities in the counties of Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Marion and Powell recover from the severe storms, flooding and mudslides that occurred Feb. 27-March 14, 2021. To learn more, see the full release.

Gov. Beshear Proclaims April 25-May 1 Ed Brown Society Week in Kentucky
Today, Gov. Beshear signed a proclamation naming April 25 – May 1 Ed Brown Society Week in the commonwealth, recognizing African Americans’ contributions to horse racing ahead of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. The Ed Brown Society is named after Edward D. Brown, who was born into slavery in Lexington in 1850, but through his tenacity and love of the sport developed into one of the most accomplished African American horsemen in the history of thoroughbred racing. To learn more, see the full release.

Gov. Beshear Congratulates University of Kentucky Women’s Volleyball on National Title
Gov. Beshear congratulated the University of Kentucky Women’s Volleyball Team on their NCAA championship victory, the first national title for the program and for any women’s volleyball program in the Southeastern Conference.

More Information
To see all vaccination sites and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).

To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit